Growing cherry trees (Prunus spp.) In indoor containers permits you to control the climate and growing requirements for your tree better than raising the tree outdoors. Choose a dwarf variety; these trees grow 6 to 10 feet tall and can be kept smaller with frequent pruning. Dwarf cultivars such as “North Star” are self-fruitful, but a few varieties require a second tree for pollination. Cherry trees develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, so if you’re outside the expanding zone, indoor trees are a fantastic alternative.
Plant the tree in a pot large enough for the roots to fit comfortably. You can increase pot size as the tree grows. The pot must have drainage holes to prevent the tree from drowning. If you’re planting a massive tree that’ll be moved, place the pot on a wheeled platform before adding the soil and tree.
Cover the drainage holes with a plastic mesh to keep the soil from washing out of this pot. Metal mesh can be utilized, but it might rust. Add 1 to 2 inches of gravel or foam peanuts to the bottom of the pot for extra drainage.
Fill around one-third of this pot using a general-purpose potting soil. The soil pH needs to be about 6.0 to 7.0. Utilize a loose, well-draining soil. Place the tree in the center of the pot. If the tree stays too low below the edge of the pot, add more soil to the bottom of the pot and replace the tree.
Spread the roots and continue adding soil to the pot until the ground is 1 to 4 inches in the surface of the container. The crown of this tree should be around an inch above the ground line. Water the tree to settle on the ground and fill in if necessary.
Place the tree in a spot where it will get at least six hours of sunlight a day. If you would like the tree to bear fruit, you will need to move it outdoors or put it into a area where it can spend 500 to 1,000 nighttime hours in temperatures between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Chill hours vary depending on the species. Hand pollinate trees using a toothpick, or shake self-fruitful trees to spread pollen.
Allow the top inch of soil to dry between watering. Utilize a balanced slow-release fertilizer beginning six weeks after planting. Follow the manufacturer instructions on the tag for correct rates. Do not overfertilize.
Boost the container dimension yearly as the tree grows, until it reaches the desired height. When the tree is repotted, check the roots for crowding. Prune out some of the larger roots and spread the remaining roots to provide the roots more space.
Prune leggy branches back to the branch collar. If the tree canopy rises too large for the roots and begins to die back, cut the arms back to just outside a bud or leaf node to control the dimension. Reduce water and fertilizer on heavily pruned trees.