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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:11 pm
Location: CT

Planting Evergreens in Containers

Hello Everyone,

I'm wanting to add some excitement to our front entry next Spring. We were thinking about artificial topiaries, but love the idea of real evergreens for year-round beauty without worrying of fading. My question is: Can Spiral or Tiered Junipers/Alberta Spruce be planted in urns year-round? If so, how should I go about doing this...I would like there to to be one on each side of our front door, so two total.

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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Yes, trees work fine in urns and other containers. Be sure to choose urns that have drainage holes, so excess water can escape. If the urns you choose have a central drainage hole in the bottom, I recommend covering it with a piece of non-metal window screening. That will keep the dirt from sifting through and blocking it.

Do not use garden soil in the urns. Buy a good potting mix designed especially for container-grown plants. Look for words such as "potting mix" or "for potted plants" on the label. Of course, you can mix your own, but you would have to be somewhat experienced at growing plants in containers in order to understand what components to include in your mix and how to make sure it will drain rapidly enough. You may well have that experience, but since you didn't mention it, I thought I'd better touch on the subject.

I think I would select a dwarf variety of the evergreen you decide to plant. Being grown in a container will cause some additional dwarfing, which will help keep the plants to a manageable size.

Since you're located in CT, you might have to provide some protection for the plants during the winter. The roots of container-grown plants are more subject to damage from freezing weather, since they aren't surrounded by a large volume of soil the way the roots of in-ground plants are. I recommend that you check with a local independent nursery, perhaps the place where you buy your trees, for advice on whether winter protection will be needed.

Welcome to the forum! :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Greener Thumb
Posts: 735
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:40 am
Location: Ohio, Zone 5

I'm in north-central Ohio where we get freezing and sub-zero weather each winter. Last winter I left two planters that contained boxwood outside on a covered, but not enclosed porch. They didn't look too bad during the winter,but when spring came, were obviousely dead. :( A local nursery said I should have taken them into a locations protected from freezing, so this winter my two new boxwoods are inside my garden house(not greenhouse) where it is cool, but not freezing.
They said some people put the planters in the garage but surround them with large bags of soil/mulch/etc. for protection.
Will let you know what happens. :)

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Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: NJ

I grow gold colored junipers in pots by the front door. I started doing this years ago because I liked the year round look. I pot them in the fake ceramic looking pots and keep them out all year. Every couple of years I plant them in the ground and replace the pot with new junipers. I've never lost any, but I do have to water them a lot in summer when they start getting too large.

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