Planting Cedars in Raised Patio Beds

prariesapphire(z2b SK)May 13, 2005

One of my customers at work would like some winter color on her patio. She has several planters incorporated in the sides of her deck. She would really like to plant some Cedars in them. The problem with this is Cedars are touchy plants in Saskatchewan and in the winter they are usually covered with Burlap. We were thinking about insulating the planters with styrofoam but I don't know how that will affect the plants or if it will even help at all.

Has anyone tried planting Cedars in raised beds without using Burlap over the winter in Central Saskatchewan?

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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

In downtown Calgary (zone 3 with the heat and shelter of the city), various restaurants/businesses have planters out front, in which they often plant cedars - they are usually deader than doornails in the spring.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 12:32AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I've seen businesses with cedars in raised pots and most range from totally dead to quite a bit of winter damage (okay, almost dead). One hotel, however, seemed to have theirs fairly healthy looking after winter. I attribute this to maybe having big enough planters (more soil more insulating value?) as well as having their cedars in total shade because winter sun damages them alot as well. Who knows, maybe they water them really well too.

I think there are many factors involved. Pots may not insulate the roots properly, at least not the same as if the roots were in the ground.

Cedars in planters are usually in a 'hostile' environment: reflected sunlight can reflect off the side of the building, intensifying the damage to the plant.

Usually cedars, at least in planters downtown, don't get much in the way of snowcover on the soil around the trunk.

Most cedars in planters downtown aren't well cared for with regards to watering.

It could be a problem of not choosing the best cultivar as well. For example, 'brandon' or 'rushmore' are known to be winter resistant. 'smargd' is supposedly winter resistant, I just don't believe it is on the prairies. For a smaller round one, hetz midget seems to be pretty winter resistant. Woodwardii for a larger round one.

I would say to just wrap them for winter, and ensure she piles loads of snow around and over the planter, but then that would defeat the purpose that she wants them for.

Still, if she only wants smaller ones (1 to 2 feet)and doesn't care if they get huge, you can get these fairly cheap at the garden center ($5), so maybe think of them as expensive annuals.

I have one cedar growing in a pot on the deck, but I sink the pot into the garden, a shady spot and up to the rim, to insulate the roots for winter. This works well.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 6:23AM
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SueG(5a Canada)

Cedars need lots of water all the time. In my zone I have lost many due to not keeping them well watered! I now wrap my cedars as the sun in winter will dry them out in combination with winter wind. They need to go into winter watered really,really well.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 10:06AM
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dannie(3b NWO Canada)

I have cedars planted in wooden planters that line our patio. They have been there for years and only recently, two have not done well. The other two are growing very nicely. We cut one down and put hostas in the planter. The planters are about 18" x 18" by 24" deep. They are open on the bottom. I don't usually make any special efforts to keep them watered on a regular basis.

You can see the cedar on the left of the picture. By the way, the cedar isn't that wide at the top. It is an optical illusion caused by the cedar that is planted behind it in the neighbour's yard.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2005 at 9:00PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Danni, what's that in the right of your picture. Looks either like a palm tree (in a pot?) or else a very large fern.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 9:33AM
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dannie(3b NWO Canada)

Glenn, that is an Ostrich fern escapee. It is growing between the fence and the planter in a space that is about 2 to 3 inches wide. The fence is 6 feet high to give you an idea of the size of that particular fern. I noticed that there are quite a few growing in that space all along the fence this year. I would move them but I can't get a shovel or even a hand down in that space.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 12:09AM
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