5 Great Trees for Containers

Trees can provide great focal points for a balcony or frame an entry door on a porch. Trees also provide height and interest to a small garden. When decorating a small space, sometimes bigger is better and fewer is better. Using just several large plants can make a more stunning small garden space than many small container plants.


If you choose to grow a tree in a plant container, make sure that the container is large enough and heavy enough so the top-heavy tree won’t fall over (and also that the container is not too heavy for your balcony). Also make sure that your tree won’t eventually become too large for the container. If you plan to grow a tree so you can give it to someone, sell it or plant it in your own future yard, it is possible to grow a tree that will eventually grow to a tall height. Fruit trees, jacaranda trees and any other type of tree can be grown in plant containers until they are large enough to plant in the ground.

If you want to grow a small tree permanently in your balcony garden, consider the following great trees for containers. Their height is listed, but even though a plant may grow to 60 feet, it will most likely not grow larger than 10 feet tall in a plant container.

5 Great Trees for Containers

1. Dwarf lemon or dwarf orange tree (4 to 10 feet)
2. Japanese maple ‘Dissectum’ (6 feet)
3. Laurel tree (can reach 60 feet but will stay small in containers)
4. Star magnolia tree (15 feet)
5. Sergeant’s crabapple tree (6 feet)

Remember that you can also prune shrubs and other plants to look like trees. The rosemary shrub, for example, can be pruned so it looks like a Christmas tree, and miniature roses can be pruned so they look like flowering trees. You don’t necessarily need to grow trees to have that “tree” look in your balcony container garden.

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