Patios are ideal spaces for sitting outside to eat, read or to simply enjoy some fresh air. Being quite barren, empty spaces by nature, it’s always a good idea to bring them to life with some greenery. A potted tree or two will add color, height, and visual interest to your patio surroundings, making it a giving it a more comfortable and friendly feel. But which trees are the best patio trees for your needs?
Trees may be quite an intimidating item to grow in your backyard, especially in a small space like a patio. Depending on which type of tree you choose, you can control how big or small your perfect patio additions grow, depending on the pot they grow in.
Best Patio Trees
In this article, we’ll be giving a comprehensive run-down of the best ideas for adding some fantastic foliage to your backyard. Scroll on to check out all our favorites!
Be sure to view our information on patio plants for more ideas, as well. And if you do want to plant some of these, you may want to implement a garden irrigation system or throw on a Treegator watering system to ensure that they all stay healthy!
Italian cypress trees (Cupressus sempervirens)
These little shrubs are a timeless classic, having graced patios and posh mansion grounds for decades. Naturally growing into a long, slender shape, Italian cypress trees are one of the easier varieties for sculpting into whatever shape you fancy. This feature makes them a fabulous way to make a statement with the foliage on your patio.
Maintenance-wise, they require a lot of water – much more so in a pot than in the ground. Different times of year require different amounts of water. Their size is relatively easy to control, as it is principally determined by the size of the pot used.
They also need to be pruned every few months to ensure that they’re growing healthily.
While fairly high-maintenance, it’s worth investing the effort in a tree as elegant as this one. If you’re looking for a species of potted tree to exude style and sophistication, this is the perfect candidate. You can get Italian Cypress seeds on Amazon if you want to try growing from seed, or you can find the tree in your local nursery.
Potted Olive (Olea Europaea)
Here’s your cue to turn your patio into a continental-style olive grove. These gorgeous trees are sure to make sitting out on the patio feel like a trip to Tuscany – a much cheaper alternative to the flight fare!
These shrubs are used to growing in dry soil, meaning that they don’t have to be watered very often. however, this also means that they are used to sunnier conditions, and need to be kept in the brightest corner of the patio.
Ideally, the potted olive tree will get at least six hours of sun per day.
It’s best to get a dwarf variety of olive tree for the garden, as these will grow best in pots (as pictured).
Typically used as a symbol of peace and exoticism, these are an elegant addition to any patio. You can get Potted Olive trees on Amazon, or find them at your local nursery.
Dwarf Lilac Tree (Syringa Meyeri)
Looking for something floral to jazz up the patio? This one’s for you. Not only do lilac trees look gorgeous, but they are also incredibly fragrant. Putting one of these on the patio is a sure-fire way to make your garden one of the best smelling in the neighborhood.
This fabulous shrub is perfect for containers, due to the slow rate at which it grows. It flowers in May and June, just in time to perfume the patio for sunny summer afternoons in the garden.
It needs a lot of watering and an alkaline soil-based compost but is definitely worth the effort of upkeep. They do, however, require little pruning as they age – only a light trim of old buds and shoots.
This tree is ideal for sunny patios in need of a splash of color.
You can find Dwarf Lilac trees on Amazon, or from your local nursery.
Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis)
Bay laurels are one of the most low-maintenance patio trees out there, with the biggest payoff. They look very beautiful and are often found guarding the grand front doors of London townhouses. But they can also be equally as elegant placed on a patio.
Easy to shape, Bay laurel can be trained to grow in a pyramid, ball, or lollipop formation. If you’re looking for a uniform, neat, and tidy backyard addition, this is the one for you.
Bay laurels are known to be fairly hardy plants, withstanding impressively low temperatures. While they are hardiest when planted in the ground, they will also thrive in a container. Bay laurels grown in containers require regular yet moderate watering and want to be kept in whole or partial shade.
Female bay laurels can produce black-colored berries in springtime which are aesthetically pleasing but may cause a bit of a mess on the patio floor when squished.
Bay Laurel is available on Amazon, or from your local garden center.
Japanese maple tree (Acer Palmatum)
The ruby tones of this tree make it a gorgeous contribution to the patio. It exudes the tranquility of a Japanese garden and is a subtle means of adding a dash of color to your outdoor space. These are elegant plants that won’t take up too much of your patio if pruned properly.
Their slow growth rate makes them ideal for a container. They require annual pruning and frequent application of a water-based fertilizer and need protection from the elements in the colder winter months. They’re as delicate as they look, but are definitely worth the up-keep.
You can find Japanese Maple, like these Coral Bark Japanese Maples on Amazon, as well as your local garden center and home goods store.
Lemon-tree (Citrus X Limon)
Nothing says ‘playfully exotic’ like a lemon tree. Not only will the fruit add some lighter tones to the patio ensemble, but the leaves and stem alone are dainty enough to add an understated classiness to the backyard.
There’s something about a lemon tree that radiates brightness and optimism, being able to brighten up patios that quickly get shady in the afternoon. After all, life is giving you lemons…
With sufficient watering an upkeep, lemon trees can actually bear fruit in your backyard. If you’re looking for fruit, then make sure you water the plant every day. Keeping it in a glazed container like the one pictured can help retain moisture, meaning that it’s more likely to produce fruit.
Sun is good for a lemon tree’s growth, but too much can put it in danger of drying out.
Fruit trees are always interesting and productive plants to have in the garden and lemon trees are the perfect patio candidate.
You can find Lemon Trees like these 3-4-year-old potted Meyer lemon trees on Amazon, as well as at your local nursery.