The following tips will ensure your tree is as happy and healthy as can be in its container
- Use a good soil-based potting mix – this retains the right amount of water.
- Place stones or terracotta shards at the bottom of the pot to improve the drainage.
- Raise the pot above the ground so it doesn’t sit in water.
- As with all container plants, trees in pots will dry out more quickly. Keep the soil moist at all times by watering frequently. This may need to be once a day in hot or windy weather.
- Place a layer of mulch over the soil to retain moisture and help to keep the soil temperature constant.
- Refresh the soil each spring by scraping off the topsoil and adding a new layer of compost. At the same time, add a slow-release fertiliser. Don’t overdo the fertiliser as you don’t want too much extra growth.
- Depending on how fast your tree grows, you may need to repot it every two or three years. Look out for roots growing out of the drainage holes or loss of vigour. Either place it in a bigger pot (about 5cm or so larger) with fresh potting mix or prune the roots and plant it back into the same pot, also with fresh potting mix. Prune the roots by removing the tree from the pot, shaking the excess soil off the roots and clipping off the bottom quarter of the root ball. When repotting, make sure the tree is placed back into the soil at the same level. Root pruning is best done in winter.