Evergreens in pots--thru winter?

zenaiApril 25, 2006

I'd like to add some greenery to the area in front of my coffee shop (all sidewalk). But I want something taller than most flowers. Could I plant some type of evergreen--an arborvitae or a juniper, perhaps--and just haul it in for winter? I have two large (2 feet tall, 18 inches wide) galvanized aluminum pots that I was hoping to use. My shop faces north and is just off the Mississippi River, which brings some mighty cold winds. If I have to leave them outside, is there a way to insulate the pots either before or after potting them? Thanks!

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ianna(Z5b)

Roots do not survive well in very thin pottery which is why I don't really use galvanized pots - however I can see why it looks so attractive. Aluminum (and most metals pots) are very thin and it's difficult to maintain plants because of temperature fluctations. It can get too cold during cold and windy days and it can get too hot during hot summer days... It's always good to add foam insulation inside to protect the roots of plants (whatever these plants are) to at least control that temperature fluctuation. I would suggest an alternative which is to simply create a planter out of alumninum, but to have the plants kept in separate container so you can easily remove the plant when cold season approaches and to replace it with other plants suitable for the occasion.

You hadn't mentioned planter size and for large plants, it's necessary to have large planters. -- For many reason. For instance a smaller pot requires more frequent watering. - The size of the plant is limited by the size of the pot.

One more thing, evergreens need to be overwintered outdoors. They cannot be left in pots where winter and kill them off. The roots need protection. To guard against this, you can dig a hole in your yard and to place to potted plant in that hole (up to its base) and that should provide enough insulation during winte. This is a technique also used for some bonsai that require being overwintered outdoors.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 9:43AM
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wendycurry

We have a large rosemary bush that we take in over the winter. It's about 2 feet tall right now, looks like an evergreen, and smells great. plus, it's useful when cooking

In the summer time, it's in a plastic pot, on the top of a south facing hill.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 4:03PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I have overwintered conifers in pots two ways. The first being sinking the pot into the ground for winter, the second, just throwing the conifer into an unheated shed. It gets cold in the shed, but the temperature doesnÂt fluctuate as widely nor get quite as cold as outside, at least in theory.

I have had arborvitae, thuja occidentalis Âteddy in a pot which I just sink the pot into the ground up to the rim for winter. Fill in around the pot with loose dry soil. This works well, but ensure the roots are lightly moist before freeze up and you may even want to pile light fluffy snow around the plant during winter.

Another method I tried is to bring the potted conifer into an unheated shed for winter. This works okay, depending on the plant. My arborvitae thuja occidentalis Âbrandon survived winter fine, but died the following summer when I planted it in a too wet area. I am still trying to decide if this was a delayed reaction from winter, or just that the roots were planted too deep. I had a small baby spruce that I just threw the pot into the shed and it survived fine. I also had success with a daylily and mini cattails pond plant, not so good luck with delphinium.

This year, I bought an emerald arborvitae which I am growing in a pot on the deck for the summer. Still debating on whether I will dig the pot into the ground this fall, or just throw into the shed for winter. It was only $8, however, so I may just throw into the shed and if it doesnÂt make it, well, people spend more on annual flower baskets that only last one season.

Another ideal storage spot might be a cold room, or a heated garage that is kept around 30-34F in winter.

Glen

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 1:13PM
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ianna(Z5b)

Hi Glen, Does your shed have windows to allow for sunlight? Ianna

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 11:20AM
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