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The 15 Best Fruit Trees to Grow in Your Garden

Here are the best trees to grow fruit in your own backyard.
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If you’ve been nurturing flowers and vegetables in your garden, you may be ready to move on to growing your own fruit. It's easier than you may think. Many types of fruit trees can be grown in both landscape beds or containers and work well in potager, Mediterranean garden or cottage garden designs.

While you may not yield bushels of fresh fruit, many fruit trees will reward you with a modest harvest year after year. And nothing’s more enjoyable than picking fruit right from your own trees. The first consideration: Fruit trees need full sun, which is six or more hours of direct sunlight per day. You’ll also want to choose varieties that can withstand winters in your USDA Hardiness Zone (find yours ). If you’re planning to keep fruit trees in containers, opt for dwarf varieties. You should also make sure the pot has drainage holes because no plant likes soggy roots. Even if a fruit tree isn’t cold-hardy in your zone, such as citrus trees, you can keep many types in patio pots and overwinter them indoors. Before temperatures drop into the 40s at night, cold-sensitive trees should be brought inside. You’ll likely need to use a grow light (like ) until they can go back outdoors next spring when all threat of frost has passed.

Another important point is that in order to produce fruit. It helps to have plenty of pollinator-friendly flowers nearby. But in order for pollination to occur for some fruit trees (such as apple and pear), you'll need at least two trees. Other fruit trees, such as fig trees, are self-pollinating, so while you don't need a second tree for pollination, you’ll increase crop size if you add another to your garden. Some trees are sold with multiple types grafted onto the same root stock, so they’re also considered self-fertile. Ask the nursery what you need if you’re unsure about what type of fruit tree—or how many—to buy.

Note: Some fruit trees cannot be shipped everywhere, depending on your state’s agricultural laws.

Ahead, our top picks for the best fruit trees to grow in your garden, in containers, and indoors:

Fig Tree

Fig Tree

Credit: Logee's

Zones 5 to 11

Self-pollinating

Figs are excellent producers, even in pots, and they have handsome foliage with bold, lobed leaves that make them quite ornamental. Some varieties such as ‘Fignomenal’ and ‘Petite Nigra’ can be brought indoors to fruit year-round if under a grow light. ‘Chicago Hardy’ is more cold-tolerant and will die back to the ground in winter in zone 5 but re-emerge next spring.

Olive Tree

Olive Tree

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Credit: Fast Growing Trees

Zones 8 to 11

Self-pollinating

These Mediterranean natives have striking silvery leaves and do well in patio pots or indoors in bright light. You may get some varieties, such as ‘Arbequina’ or ‘Frantoio’ to fruit if grown in temperate climates. Other non-fruiting varieties, such as ‘Little Ollie,’ are grown more for their handsome foliage.

Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer Lemon Tree

Credit: Amazon/ Via Citrus

Zones 7 to 11

Self-pollinating

Meyer lemons are a hybrid of lemon and mandarin orange plants. The small round lemons are sweeter and less acidic than other types. This citrus tree also will grow indoors with bright light.
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Banana Tree

Banana Tree

Credit: Lively Root

Zones 8 to 11

Self-pollinating

This tree is striking when planted in pots with its broad, flat leaves. It likes part shade on patios and moderate light indoors. If given proper conditions, it will fruit after about two years. Look for the dwarf Cavendish variety, which tops out at about 6 feet tall.

Apple Tree

Apple Tree

Credit: John Coletti

Zones 3 to 10

Requires more than one tree for pollination

With hundreds of varieties, choose one that thrives in your region. Your local nursery or university coop extension service can offer guidance. Because apples need a second tree to produce, plant more than one apple tree in your garden or look for trees grafted with several varieties on the same rootstock.

Calamondin Orange Tree

Calamondin Orange Tree

Credit: Amazon/Via Citrus

Zones 8 to 11

Self-pollinating

This is a cross between a kumquat and mandarin orange, with shiny dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers that appear year-round. It yields tiny oranges, about an inch in diameter, with super-sweet edible skin. It grows well indoors, too, with bright light or under a grow light.
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Plum Tree

Plum Tree

Credit: Courtesy of Fast Growing Trees

Zones 3 to 9

Self-pollinating

Plums can be quite prolific if given the right conditions. ‘Methley’ is a tree with gorgeous spring flowers, so it doubles as an ornamental. ‘Alderman’ is a more cold-tolerant variety that produces large crops. Plant more than one tree for a larger harvest.

Peach Tree

Peach Tree

Credit: Home Depot

Zones 5 to 9

Self-pollinating

Peaches come in many different types, with some hardier in cold climates. ‘Elberta’ is a classic heirloom variety that’s super sweet, while ‘Reliance’ matures later in the season and is more cold-hardy. Most peach trees will be more fruitful with a second tree planted nearby.

Cherry Tree

Cherry Tree

Credit: the_burtons

Zones 4 to 8

Self-pollinating and types that require more than one tree

Some cherries are self-fertile, and some aren’t; be sure to understand what you’re buying. ‘Stella’ is a self-fertilizing sweet cherry that bears fruit the first year. ‘Montmorency’ is a sour cherry, which tends to do better in colder climates.
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Pomegranate Tree

Pomegranate Tree

Credit: Logee's

Zones 7 to 11

Self-pollinating

Pomegranates are drought tolerant once established, and they also do well in containers. ‘Wonderful’ is a fast-grower with a long harvest window. ‘Angel Red’ and ‘Texas Pink’ have large, showy blooms so they double as ornamentals. ‘Nana’ is a dwarf variety that thrives in a pot. They'll do fine indoors with a grow light.

Pear Tree

Pear Tree

Credit: Tara Moore

Zones 3 to 9

Requires more than one tree for pollination

Pear varieties run the gamut in sizes and sweetness levels. ‘Bosc’ pear trees provide a late season harvest, while ‘Summercrisp’ is ready by late August. Although you’ll need to plant at least two trees to ensure pollination and fruit formation, trees grafted with more than one variety on the same rootstock are self-fertile.

Asian Persimmon Tree

Asian Persimmon Tree

Credit: Courtesy of Stark Bro's

Zones 7 to 10

Self-pollinating

Persimmon trees typically yield a large crop of vibrant orange fruits that will begin to ripen in early fall. Asian varieties are the most common in the U.S., and these heat-tolerant plants prefer full sun and loamy, well-drained soil.

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Nectarine Tree

Nectarine Tree

Credit: Courtesy of Monrovia

Zones 6-8

Self-pollinating

Dwarf nectarine varieties, like ‘Garden Delight,’ are ideal plants for patio containers, growing from five to six feet tall. Look for their sweet pink fruits in late summer to early fall.

Apricot Tree

Apricot Tree

Credit: Courtesy of Stark Bro's

Zones 5-8

Self-pollinating

Apricot trees show off beautiful pink blossoms in the spring, and then produce delicious sweet-tart fruits in late summer. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil, and though self-pollinating, perform best when another variety is planted nearby.

Pineapple Guava Tree

Pineapple Guava Tree

Credit: Courtesy of Stark Bro's

Zones 2-10

Requires more than one tree for pollination

Pineapple guava trees can be grown in temperate to subtropical climates, but if you live in a colder area, plant them in containers so they can be brought indoors during frigid temperatures. The plants produce kiwi-size tropical fruits and bear red and white flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and birds.
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Arricca Elin SanSone
Arricca Elin SanSone has written about health and lifestyle topics for Prevention, Country Living, Woman's Day, and more. She’s passionate about gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.
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