Noteworthy Books on Conifers and Containers
Conifers as Container Plants
Choose a container that is at least 4 to 6 inches wider than the container or root ball the conifer came in.
People generally place pieces of broken terracotta pots over and around the drainage hole to prevent the holes from clogging. If you want to increase the weight of the container, you can fill approximately a tenth of the planter with small stones. Weight at the bottom of the container is important as conifers can become top heavy and blow over in strong winds.
Add a small amount of soil-based mix to the container. Use a combination of soil-based mix and sharp sand (3:1½ or 3:2 ratio) for good drainage.
Gently loosen the roots of the conifer with a hand fork or your fingers.
Place the conifer in the container making sure that there is a space of at least 1 inch between the rim of the container and the soil surrounding the roots
Add the rest of the soil mix to the container and water the plant well.
Add a layer of fine gravel or mulch to prevent water evaporation.
Most dwarf conifers can remain in the same container for several years. Conifers can be planted as a specimen in a container or you can create a miniature landscape with a variety of containers. For city dwellers, pines and junipers fare well in more exposed sites. Choose a heavy container, such as terracotta or a wooden barrel, to give the plant stability.
When choosing a conifer at a garden center, remember that container-grown conifers tend to do better than conifers bought as root-balled plants. The latter was grown in the ground and contains soil organisms that may lead to problems in the confines of a small container.
Feed conifers during the summer with an all-purpose fertilizer; slow-release fertilizers tend to be the most efficient. Remember to water your container regularly so that it does not dry out.
Suitable Container Conifers:
|BOTANICAL NAME||COMMON NAME|
|Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Golden Sprite’||dwarf golden Hinoki-cypress|
|Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Mariesii’||variegated Hinoki-cypress|
|Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’||dwarf Hinoki-cypress|
|Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Tsatsumi Gold’||golden Hinoki-cypress|
|Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea Nana’||dwarf threadleaf Sawara-cypress|
|Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Tama-himuro’||miniature Sawara-cypress|
|Picea pungens ‘R.H. Montgomery’||dwarf blue Colorado spruce|
|Pinus mugo ‘Honeycomb’||dwarf mountain pine|
|Pinus mugo ‘Paul’s Dwarf’||dwarf mountain pine|
|Pinus mugo ‘Pot o’ Gold’||dwarf mountain pine|
|Pinus strobus ‘Coney Island’||dwarf eastern white pine|
|Pinus strobus ‘Sea Urchin’||miniature eastern white pine|
|Thuja occidentalis ‘Hetz Midget’||dwarf American arborvitae|
|Thuja occidentalis ‘Teddy’||miniature American arborvitae|
|Tsuga canadensis ‘Jervis’||dwarf eastern hemlock|
Suitable Companion Plants for Containers:
|BOTANICAL NAME||COMMON NAME|
|Acer palmatum ‘Kamagata’||dwarf Japanese maple|
|Acer palmatum ‘Koto no ito’||semi-dwarf Japanese maple|
|Acer palmatum ‘Shaina’||semi-dwarf Japanese maple|
|Acer palmatum ‘Sharp’s Pygmy’||dwarf Japanese maple|
|Cotoneaster apiculatus ‘Tom Thumb’||cotoneaster|
|Cotoneaster buxifolius ‘Nana’||cotoneaster|
|Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Strieb’s Findling’||cotoneaster|
|Daphne x burkwoodi ‘Carol Mackie’||Carol Mackie daphne|
|Corylopsis pauciflora||buttercup winterhazel|
|Buxus microphylla ‘Koreana’||boxwood|
|Buxus sempervirens ‘Vardar Valley’||boxwood|
|Ilex crenata ‘Soft Touch’||Japanese holly|
|Kalmia latifolia ‘Elf’||dwarf mountain laurel|
|Kalmia latifolia ‘Little Linda’||dwarf mountain laurel|
|Kalmia latifolia ‘Sarah’||dwarf eastern hemlock|
|Kalmia latifolia ‘Tiddlywinks’||dwarf mountain laurel|