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by Carole Schwalm A series of small trees growing in identical containers against a tall stone wall.

“Practicing Reductionism”

If you have a small plot of land, or only a patio, you can have trees. They may be smaller (as in dwarf sizes) but they are truly apples, bananas and otherwise. Dwarf Plants and trees are perfect for containers, and this is why they work on patios.

The pot should be proportionate and used with the thought about how big the plant will grow. The pot should be durable and have proper drainage. You should use a well-drained, sandy soil that you keep moist (but not soggy). They like sunny spots. They happily respond to proper pruning.

Picture of an apple growing off a tree branch. Yes, you can plant the dwarf tree directly in the ground.

If you have a greenhouse, and are thinking about a dwarf banana tree, you’ve got a great idea and you are not alone, because I am thinking that right along with you. The temperature should be kept between 55 and 85 degrees, with adequate humidity. In this light, you may need to provide a little heat in the winter if you are in a very cool climate. Summer means shading the tree, because a greenhouse temperature can get too hot.

Picture of a couple of banana trees growing in a back yard. Here are some Zen suggestions.

If your space has lots of squares, as in patio tiles, boxy or square furniture, round containers create balance.

The tree shouldn’t block the view behind it.

Your Zen tree is going to be a focal point that grows up and spans width. To balance, you accent the surrounding lower tier of the yard.

Share your container tree experience or if you'd like more information.