Patio Pear Trees – Growing Fruit in Pots

Patio pear trees are an ideal size for those short on garden space. They are grafted onto dwarfing rootstock which means they will never grow too big for your patio.

Perhaps you are one of the many people who have always discounted the idea of a fruit tree as they are just too big? Fortunately, many more compact varieties have become available in recent years. Growing fruit in pots is a great way to grow your own.

Patio Pear Trees

Having juicy pears growing on your very own doorstep is a definite plus and these trees usually provide plentiful fruit.

Whether you plan to cook with them or eat them as a tasty Autumn snack, pear trees in pots are not at all difficult to care for. Springtime will bring a scented white blossom to the pear tree before the pears grow in Autumn. It is best to pick these firm and then store them indoors until nice and ripe.

Best Patio Pear Tree Varieties

There are different varieties of patio pear trees so to help you make an informed decision, we share some of the the most popular compact pear varieties which can be grown here in UK gardens. We also list their key features which are important to consider when purchasing one for your garden.


Conference pears are the most well-known pear in the UK and are the easiest to grow too.

Producing a good supply of fruit each year, conference pears are a very reliable patio fruit tree. They are flavoursome, juicy, and are lovely as an Autumn treat.

  • Best Feature: Most widely grown pear tree in the UK
  • When To Plant Out: November to March
  • Harvest Fruit: Late Autumn and then soften indoors
  • Best Growing Position: Sunny and sheltered location


Suitable for both cooking and eating, Williams pears are a good, reliable grower in the UK.

They have a great flavour and are a larger size than the average pear. They also don’t have the typical pear shape, instead, they are quite round and when ripe they turn golden. They make a perfect pear tree for your outside space and handle the UK climate well.

  • Best Feature: Very nice flavour
  • When To Plant Out: November to March
  • Harvest Fruit: Late Autumn and then soften indoors
  • Best Growing Position: Sunny and sheltered location

Growing Pear Trees in Pots – Patio Care Guide

There are many advantages to growing pear trees in pots, not least that they do not need much pruning and are a reliable grower. Be sure to give your patio pear tree everything it needs by following our top tip guide below.

  • What Size Pot for a Pear Tree? 45cm in diameter
  • Compost: Clay, loamy, fertile soil with organic matter
  • Watering: Irregularly until growing season
  • Feeding: Granular plant food and rotten manure
  • Rootstock: Dwarfing rootstock

Common Patio Pear Tree Problems

  • Pear rust: This fungal disease can cause damage to the branches and leaves of pear trees. You might see orange spots on the tops of the leaves or lesions on the bark itself. By practising good garden hygiene and maintaining a good pruning routine, you should be able to control this. You can remove any damaged branches to make way for new growth.
  • Pear Tree Scab:  Again a fungal disease, scab may become noticeable in the spring. Symptoms include yellow marks on leaves which turn brown and will also fall off prematurely. Scab can also affect the pears themselves but they will still be edible. When leaves fall off early, it’s best to clear the surrounding area of them to prevent reinfection. Extreme cases can hinder, or even stop, fruit growth. Prune regularly and check the tree’s overall health.
  • Pear Slug Sawfly: These creatures look black in appearance as they are covered in a slimy substance to deter birds. Once eggs hatch and the slugs emerge they can prove problematic on fruit trees. The leaves become their food source, which causes damage to them. It is the second generation that does more damage so the sooner you notice them the better. You can try removing by hand or spraying the tree with a hose.

Pruning Patio Pear Trees

Pruning is minimal when it comes to patio pear trees which is a big plus with busy or less confident gardeners. A little pruning will keep your pear tree healthy and productive.

When to Prune Patio Pear Trees

You should ideally prune your patio pear tree during the dormant season which is November to March before it flowers.

How to Prune Patio Pear Trees

Observe your potted pear tree for any signs of disease or overcrowding within the branches. You can cut the spur-bearing branches by around a third and be sure to make the cut slanted away from the bud. Over the years, you may need to thin out the fruit spurs to prevent too many trying to grow on one branch.


Can you grow pear trees in containers?

Pear trees grow well in containers and are a hardy tree against the UK climate. Just be sure it gets enough water during the growing season and you pick a sunny, but sheltered spot on your patio or balcony.

How tall do patio pear trees grow?

Patio pear trees grow to a modest height of around 1.2 metres meaning you don’t need to worry about running out of space.

What is the best compost for patio pear trees?

Pick a loam-based compost for your patio pear tree for good results. The container can have some broken bits of clay pots at the bottom and they like organic matter too.

How do I stop my patio pear tree getting taller?                

Your patio pear tree will stay a small height as it is grafted onto dwarfing rootstock. However, should you want to lower the height, pruning it is your best option.

Can you keep a patio pear tree indoors?              

It is not necessary to bring your patio pear tree indoors as they can withstand the UK winter temperatures. However, you can pop it undercover during its dormant season – a garage will be ideal.

How and when should you fertilise pear trees in pots?       

It’s not a must, however, feeding your patio pear tree will keep it receiving any nutrients it loses through the soil. You should feed it twice per year – once in the spring and again in the autumn. You can use a spade to add it into the container and then provide some water.

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