Apple does not need an introduction. It is enough to mention that an apple per day keeps the doctor away. We usually come across apple trees grown in gardens and farms as they’re large sized and require space.
But, did you know that you can grow apple trees indoors? Well, if you don’t, then please look at the below details on how to grow an apple tree indoors.
1. Choose a variety
When we say apple trees, the image that comes to our minds is big tall trees with a lot of bush and a lot of space. That is correct, most apple trees fall within this image. However, there are some dwarf varieties that are suitable to grow indoor.
Whatever the variety you’re growing, it must be grafted on dwarfing rootstock. These plants are grafted to control their height, size and to improve fruit production and resistance against diseases and pests. Growing apple from seeds is not a good idea as you will not be able to control the size of the plant.
Some of the most recommended dwarf grafted apple trees include M27, M26, Bud9, G16 or M9 rootstock. These varieties won’t exceed 8 inches in height making them one of the best container’s plants.
One more important thing is pollination. Apple trees require cross pollination to in order to fruit, which means you must buy at least two apple trees. Or else, you should buy a self-fertile variety.
2. Choosing the right pot
This is one of the most important steps as it requires your attention since the size of the container depends totally on the size of the plants. You will first start with a smart container and as your trees grow bigger, you will need to change to a bigger container.
When starting, choose a pot that is either 18-22 inches (46-56 cm.) deep or one with a volume of 10-15 gallons (38-57 L.). Of course, smaller containers can still work but bigger is always better. Make sure the container has drainage holes.
Apple Trees can take up to 6 years to start producing fruits and they can grow very large. If you started with a small container, please change the size of the container next year to protect the roots and prevent bonding.
Well drained, fertile, and deep soil is what apple trees need to grow. Unlike on the ground, when growing in containers it is easy to get the right soil quality. You can buy a potting mix that is rich in organic matter with slightly acidic to neutral pH (6-6.8).
Just like most fruit trees, apple trees need sunlight to grow. Place the pot in a position where the plants can get 6 hours of direct daylight in winter and autumn and shaded daylight in summer. The best time to expose apple trees to daylight is mornings. These plants can tolerate extreme low temperature degrees but cannot tolerate extreme heat.
These plants need regular moderate watering. During the formation of flowers, you can water them once a week. When the flower buds are formed, reduce the frequency of watering to a once in 2 weeks.
Pay attention to the way you’re watering your trees. Don’t water from the top as you will be watering the foliage which promotes the growth of powdery mildew. Watering is quite essential to promote the growth of healthy roots but also do not over water the trees. Overwatering can cause root rotten which will kill your plants.
6. Fertilizing and Overwintering
Apples trees need constant fertilizing during the growth season. It is recommended that you apply half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks. After the growing season, you can start applying any fruit fertilizer. In the winter, the plant goes dormant so you can stop fertilizing.
In winter and once the plant goes dormant to protect itself from low temperature degrees. Thus, all growth will be stopped until spring. However, you can help your plant by wrapping the container with bubble wrap.
7. Pruning and Thinning
All varieties of apple trees require pruning to control their size and shape especially if you’re growing them indoors and they impact the entire look of your house. In summer, regularly check your trees and remove dead, damaged or diseased branches.
Within the first 2 to 3 years, the trees will flower and may produce fruits. In order to direct the plants to focus their energy on growing, as soon as they’re flowering, remove all blooms to prevent fruiting.
8. Pests and diseases
Whether you’re growing apple trees in containers or in the garden, they will be attacked by the pests. The most dangerous pests and diseases are Aphids, moths, apple blossom weevil, scab, powdery mildew, and brown rot.
You can now that your apple is ready for harvest when the colour changes to red or yellow depending on the variety. However, the most certain way is when you see full sized apple falling from the tree. This usually happens in June after 7 to 8 years.
We hope you found the information you were looking for in this informative article and if you have questions, kindly leave them below.