Thanks to a well-known nursery rhyme, you may well think of mulberry trees (or bushes!) as being huge, big enough to skip around. However, if you opt for the much more modest dwarf mulberry tree then you have a much smaller variety. These light and dark fruits are juicy and sweet, ready to enjoy straight from the tree from August.
As well as being a fruiting tree (usually after two years), dwarf mulberry trees are also a very ornamental addition to the garden. The flowers in spring are green and white and called catkins, while the leaves are attractive heart shapes. Mulberry fruit can grow in three colours (white, red, and black) depending on the variety.
If you are lucky enough to have a big crop of mulberries, our guide on what to do with a glut of mulberries will save the day!
Best Dwarf Mulberry Tree Varieties
Despite its usefulness, Google can sometimes cause information overload when it comes to the best dwarf mulberry tree varieties.
Here are some suggestions for good compact mulberry varieties which would be excellent to grow in a small garden or even a pot on your patio.
Charlotte Russe / Mojo Berry
The beauty of the Charlotte Russe is that it can fruit on both old and new wood, meaning you can have fruit within a year of planting.
Producing plentiful juicy crops, Charlotte Russe mulberries are a great summer treat.
- Best Feature: Produces mulberries on both old and young wood.
- When To Plant Out: November to March
- Harvest Fruit: August onwards
- Best Growing Position: Sheltered with full sun
Growing Dwarf Mulberry Trees
Although you can successfully grow dwarf mulberry trees in containers, you can also plant straight out in the garden.
It’s important that your chosen spot gets plenty of sun and is well sheltered from any adverse weather conditions.
- What Size Pot for a Mulberry Tree? 14” initially, and repot every few years.
- Compost: Fertile, free-draining soil
- Watering: Pot grown trees need regular watering, more so during dry periods
- Feeding: Your dwarf mulberry tree will benefit from a fertiliser annually in February.
- Rootstock: Dwarfing
Common Dwarf Mulberry Tree Problems
- Birds: Unfortunately, mulberry trees are popular with bird species including blackbirds and pigeons. Often they will eat the buds before the fruit develops, hindering its crop size. Container-grown trees may be less affected, especially if they are on your patio. The close proximity of your house may deter birds from coming too close. You could also use some form of netting to protect it.
- American Gooseberry Mildew: A fungal disease affecting the tree and fruit, American gooseberry mildew can damage the fruit. You may notice a grey fungus if your tree has fallen victim to this. To help prevent this disease, make sure there is no overcrowding and plenty of air can get through.
Pruning Dwarf Mulberry Trees
Dwarf mulberry trees need very minimal pruning so they are an ideal garden addition for those with busy lives.
When to Prune Dwarf Mulberry Tree
You should aim to prune your dwarf mulberry tree during its dormant season, so between November and March. Any other time can cause the stems to bleed which can damage the tree’s growth.
How to Prune Dwarf Mulberry Trees
Aside from removing any signs of disease, the only pruning that needs to be done is to keep the desired shape. It’s also wise to remove any branches that cross so that air can circulate well. Any cutting should be minimal as this does increase its risk of infection.
Many people choose to grow their mulberry trees in containers because it’s convenient and compact. With regular watering and some feeding, your potted mulberry tree can do very well.
Dwarf mulberry trees grow no bigger than 1.5 metres, meaning you don’t have to worry about running out of space.
A multi-purpose compost will be just fine for your dwarf mulberry tree. Be careful not to overwater the tree as it won’t like sitting in excess water.
Dwarf mulberry trees lose their leaves annually which makes them a deciduous species.
Some varieties of mulberry trees, such as Charlotte Russe, can produce mulberries on year-old wood.