How to Grow Apple Trees in a Greenhouse

How to Grow Apple Trees in a Greenhouse

Apple trees are not only delightful for their juicy fruits but also for their aesthetic appeal. Imagine having your own mini orchard right in your backyard or even within the confines of a greenhouse! Growing apple trees in a greenhouse provides a controlled environment that ensures optimal growth, protection from external factors, and a bountiful harvest. In this article, we’ll delve into the art of cultivating apple trees under glass and explore the nuances that lead to success.

Selecting the Right Apple Varieties

Grow Apple Trees in a Greenhouse
Image from Pixabay

Before embarking on your greenhouse apple-growing journey, choose apple varieties that thrive in a protected environment. Some popular choices include:

1). Dwarf Varieties:

These compact trees are ideal for greenhouses due to their smaller size. They yield full-sized fruits while fitting snugly within limited space.

2). Columnar Varieties:

These vertical growers are perfect for tight spaces. Their upright growth habit allows for efficient use of greenhouse real estate.

3). Early-Season Varieties:

Opt for apple varieties that mature early. This way, you can enjoy fresh apples sooner in the season.

Preparing the Greenhouse

1). Location and Orientation

Position your greenhouse to receive maximum sunlight. South-facing orientation is preferable for consistent light exposure.

Ensure proper ventilation to prevent excessive humidity and maintain airflow.

2). Soil and Drainage

Use well-draining soil with good moisture retention. Mix in organic matter to enhance fertility.

Install a drainage system to prevent waterlogging, especially during heavy rains.

Planting Apple Trees

Grow Apple Trees In A Greenhouse

1). Spacing:

Maintain adequate spacing between trees. Dwarf varieties need about 6 to 8 feet apart, while columnar trees can be closer (around 3 to 4 feet).

2). Depth:

Plant the tree at the same depth as it was in the nursery container.

3). Staking:

Provide support to young trees using stakes to prevent wind damage.

Watering and Fertilization

1). Consistent Moisture:

Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Drip irrigation works well in greenhouses.

2). Balanced Fertilization:

Apply a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. Adjust based on soil tests.

Temperature and Pollination

1). Temperature Control:

Maintain a temperature range of 60°F to 70°F (15°C to 21°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night.

2). Hand Pollination:

Since bees may not venture into the greenhouse, hand-pollinate the flowers using a soft brush.

Formative Pruning

1). Remove Weak Shoots:

Encourage strong branches by pruning weak or crowded shoots.

2). Shape the Canopy:

Train the tree into an open center or modified central leader shape.

Maintenance Pruning

1). Remove Suckers:

Eliminate suckers growing from the base of the tree.

2). Thin Fruits:

Thin excess fruits to ensure larger, high-quality apples.

3). Pest and Disease Management

Regularly inspect your apple trees for pests like aphids, mites, and scale insects. Use organic insecticides if needed.

Prevent fungal diseases by maintaining proper air circulation and avoiding excess humidity.

4). Harvesting

Harvest apples when they are fully ripe. Twist gently to detach from the branch.

Also, you can visit our guide for starting an Organic Greenhouse Gardening.

FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)

1). Can I grow apple trees in a small greenhouse?

Absolutely! Dwarf apple tree varieties are well-suited for smaller greenhouses. Their compact size allows you to enjoy fresh apples even in limited space.

2). How do I ensure proper pollination in a greenhouse?

Since bees might not venture indoors, consider hand-pollinating apple blossoms using a soft brush. Gently transfer pollen from one flower to another to encourage fruit development.

3). What temperature range is ideal for greenhouse apple trees?

Aim for a daytime temperature of 60°F to 70°F (15°C to 21°C) and slightly cooler nights. Consistent warmth promotes healthy growth and fruit production.

4). How do I prevent pests and diseases in my greenhouse orchard?

Regularly inspect your apple trees for pests like aphids and mites. Maintain good air circulation, avoid excess humidity, and consider using organic insecticides when necessary.


Growing apple trees in a greenhouse is a rewarding endeavor that combines science, art, and patience. With the right care, you’ll soon be savoring crisp, homegrown apples while enjoying the beauty of your thriving orchard under glass. Happy apple growing!