Caring For Nectarines In Pots: Tips For Growing Nectarines In Containers

Close up of a nectarine covered in water droplets growing on a tree
(Image credit: RussieseO)

Fruit trees are great things to have around. There’s nothing better than homegrown fruit – the stuff you buy in the supermarket just can’t compare. Not everyone has the space to grow trees, however. Even if you do, the winter temperatures in your climate might get too cold to support certain kinds of fruit trees outside. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to grow fruit trees in containers, so you can keep them on a porch or patio and even bring them inside during the harshest parts of winter. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow a nectarine tree in a pot and potted nectarine tree care.

Nectarines in Pots

Growing a nectarine tree in the landscape is easy enough but what about nectarine trees for containers? When growing nectarines in containers, you have to accept that your tree won't get to be as big as it would if it were planted in the ground, especially if you’re planning on moving the tree with the coming and going of winter.

The ideal maximum size for a container is between 15 and 20 gallons (57-76 L.). If you’re planting a sapling, however, you should start out with a smaller pot and transplant it up every year or two, as nectarines grow better if their roots are slightly constricted.

Also, when growing nectarines in containers, you’ll have the most luck with a dwarf tree that’s bred to stay small. Nectar Babe and Necta Zee are two good dwarf varieties.

Potted Nectarine Tree Care

Nectarines in pots need a few things in order to succeed.

  • They need at least six hours of full sun each day.
  • They’re heavy drinkers and need to be watered frequently but should be planted in a well-draining potting medium.
  • Feed them frequently during the growing season with high phosphorus fertilizer to encourage flowers and fruit.
  • Prune your nectarines in pots to encourage low, horizontal branches. This will create a shrub-like shape that takes advantage of the tree’s small size.
Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.