The Greatest Dwarf Evergreens for Winter Containers

No backyard is full with out a minimum of just a few containers for seasonal coloration. I at all times specify places for planters after I create a brand new panorama design, with the intention of maintaining them stuffed in each season. Though many gardeners hold their containers full of annuals in summer season and reduce greenery in winter, there’s another choice. Planting a dwarf evergreen that may stay in its pot for a number of seasons will present construction and texture each month of the yr.

When selecting an evergreen shrub or tree for an out of doors planter, search for cultivars which are hardy one zone colder than your space. In different phrases, in the event you reside in Zone 5, your choice must be hardy to Zone 4 or beneath. Rising circumstances for vegetation in a container are harsher than they’re for vegetation within the floor, so extra resilience is critical.

Your subsequent choices are aesthetic: Are you in search of one thing tall and formal, low and spreading, or one thing solely totally different? Listed here are just a few choices to get your search began.

Boxwoods look formal and tidy

Green Mountain boxwood
With its dense, even behavior and enticing foliage, a boxwood like ‘Inexperienced Mountain’ would give any planter a contact of sophistication. Picture: Michelle Gervais

If you happen to want a plant that’s simple to handle and has a traditional look, a boxwood (Buxus spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9) is an ideal selection. My two favorites are ‘Inexperienced Velvet’, which has a globe kind, and ‘Inexperienced Mountain’ (pictured), which has a loosely pyramidal kind. Having used these nearly solely for over 20 years, I can attest to their hardiness and resilience in containers. Among the many mostly used evergreens for containers, boxwoods lend themselves to being pruned to nearly any form or measurement, or they are often left of their pure kind. A coat of anti-desiccant spray utilized in early winter will assist cut back foliar harm and dehydration.

For cool, silvery coloration, select a dwarf blue spruce

Globosa blue spruce
‘Globosa’ blue spruce has a compact behavior that works completely in a container. Picture: Kerry Ann Moore

If you happen to’d prefer to so as to add some cool silvery-blue coloration to your containers, dwarf spruces provide many enticing choices. ‘Glauca Globosa’ blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Glauca Globosa’, Zones 2–8) makes a daring assertion in a big container, maybe much more dramatic than when it’s planted within the floor. Elevated by a pot, the blue foliage turns into a sculptural assertion, and the tree’s capability to be moved round your backyard areas is a bonus. Reasonable to gradual rising, it may possibly stay pleased in the identical pot for a few years.

A dwarf Mugo pine delivers huge texture in a small package deal

Mugo pine
The lengthy, darkish needles of mugo pine are daring and dramatic. Picture: courtesy of David J. Stang by way of Wikimedia Commons

Placing and decorative, pines can be found in a various number of types. ‘Sherwood Compact’ mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Sherwood Compact’, Zones 2–7) is a dwarf selection that stays below 3 toes tall and vast, making it good for anchoring a container design. This exceptionally hardy and compact mugo pine is ideal for a container in full solar. Strategic spring candle pruning can be utilized in the event you desire to maintain its compact kind much more condensed.

Whichever choice you make, including evergreens to your containers will rework your backyard by extending its magnificence into each season.


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Marti Neely, FAPLD, owns and operates Marti Neely Design and Associates in Omaha, Nebraska.

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