Patio Medlar Trees – Growing Fruit in Pots

Patio medlar trees offer something a little bit different to the average UK garden.  They are a great choice for smaller gardens as they can remain well managed in pots. Making the finest jams and jellies, medlar fruit is a satisfying food to have growing at your fingertips.

Patio Medlar Trees

One of their main features are their luscious green leaves and white blossoms in the summer months. They can grow up to 150cm tall when grown in a container which is a great size for a modest space.

Medlar trees in containers make an attractive addition to the garden and are easy to maintain. Medlar Fruit is ready to harvest in the autumn and you can expect fruit to grow after 3 years of planting your patio medlar tree. This traditional and somewhat overlooked, English fruit will bring you a successful and fruitful harvest.

Best Patio Medlar Tree Varieties

Below we have selected the best and most popular medlar varieties to grow on patios. Medlar trees in pots can soon be growing with purpose in your garden, whatever the size you have available.

Here’s some suggested Medlar varieties which are suitable for growing in pots. If you have a little more space, you might consider trying a dwarf medlar tree. These are suitable for smaller plots.


An ideal variety of medlar for jam, Westerveld medlars can also be enjoyed fresh off the tree.

They are best eaten when they’ve bletted (gone very soft) and you can be the envy of your neighbours with the pretty blossom and leaves it will display. This dark brown fruit, together with orange leaves in the autumn, makes it a wonderful tree to grow on your patio.

  • Best Feature: Best variety for making medlar jelly
  • When To Plant Out: November to March
  • Harvest Fruit: October and November
  • Best Growing Position: Full Sun & Part Shade


Will Sibley is the breeder of the Sibley variety of medlar and it is a delight to grow on a patio in a pot.

As well as producing fruit perfect for jams and jellies, it’s also a decorative tree ideal for modest sized gardens. This variety will stay small so you don’t have to worry about it getting too big or becoming hard to prune. You will be rewarded with pretty blossom and summery foliage before the fruit emerges 3 years after planting.

  • Best Feature: Hardy and self-fertile
  • When To Plant Out: November to March
  • Harvest Fruit: October and November
  • Best Growing Position: Full sun & part shade

Growing Medlar Trees in Pots – Patio Care Guide

Every garden space or patio area deserves some colour and by growing a medlar tree in a pot you will be treated to a hard-to-source fruit too.

Having them in a container also means it can be moved if and when necessary. The potted variety is easy to take care of and as long as they are watered, you will harvest a successful crop.

  • What Size Pot for a Medlar Tree? Diameter of 30cm
  • Compost: Well-drained soil with a high PH
  • Watering: Daily watering during growing season, should be moist at all times
  • Feeding: High potash feed during spring and summer
  • Rootstock: Quince A Semi-dwarfing

Common Patio Medlar Tree Problems

  • Winter Moth Caterpillars – the best way to get on top of this is to encourage wildlife such as birds into the garden. You can also pick them off by hand if you spot them.
  • Aphids – insects such as flies can damage plants and become a little troublesome. Again, attracting wildlife such as ladybirds will keep these at bay and will offer a natural solution. You can also spray with a hose if you notice an infestation.

Pruning Patio Medlar Trees

To encourage a successful fruit growth year after year, some gentle pruning will be required. As it’s in a pot, any pruning will be minimal and won’t be a difficult task.

When to Prune Patio Medlar Trees

The best time to prune your patio medlar tree is during the winter when it’s dormant and the fruit season has finished. This will encourage healthy flowering and a good growth of fruit too. Pruning should begin from the first winter and you will find it needs less pruning the more established it becomes. This means the hard work put in at the beginning will be rewarded in later years.

How to Prune Patio Medlar Trees

Start pruning your patio medlar tree from a young age to encourage a nice shape to continue and to avoid overcrowding within the branches. By cutting the longest branches back by a third, you will encourage new growth to develop. Snips should be made back to the outward-facing buds to avoid damaging the tree. Medlar trees are hardy and can withstand harsh temperatures but they do need some care. Over the years, pruning will become essentially about removing crowded or damaged branches.


Can you grow medlar trees in containers?

Growing medlar trees in containers is ideal for small patios and gardens and they do well as a potted fruit tree. It means they can be moved if necessary – for example during a very cold snap. Just make sure the pot you choose is the right size and you’ll likely need to repot it a few times over the first few years as it grows. Good drainage is essential so make sure your pot has holes on the bottom so it never sits in trapped water.

How tall do patio medlar trees grow?

A patio medlar tree will grow no taller than 1.2m due to being drafted onto dwarfing rootstock. This is perfect for that small garden area you were looking to fill and the colours in both summer and autumn will reward you. Medlar trees have a unique shape with twisted branches making it a wonderful garden feature.

What is the best compost for patio medlar trees?

Any soil that is well-drained suits medlar trees but you must not allow the tree to sit in water as this will destroy the roots. They don’t take too kindly to chalky soil or soil that is very wet so keep this in mind. They will appreciate a layer of mulch around the trunk where possible as this will encourage extra nutrients.

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