Container Shrubs

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Emerald Arborvitae

Emerald Arborvitae

GC LogoNumerous gardening pundits advocate the ideal time for planting trees and shrubs is in the fall. New plantings, just like people, know that basking in summer’s scorching sun and overbearing temps promotes stress.

One of my favorite ways to admire shrubs is to plant them in urns. This is a traditional and elegant look. Small or miniature shrub varieties can be purchased reasonably and are easy to handle. Frequently, newly-bought shrubs are found to be root bound so it may be necessary to tease the roots apart when planting. When planted in containers, shrubs will usually become root bound the first year. As the roots develop it is necessary to water often, perhaps every other day unless it rains. My experience has been that contained evergreens generally last at least three to five years. Utilizing a large planter may afford room for including annuals encircling a small shrub in the spring and summer. During the winter months we move our shrub-filled urns nearer to the house which offers some protection.

My photograph shows an upright, pyramidal Emerald Arborvitae (Latin name: Thuja occidentalis Smarage) which has been living in its urn for four years. This variety, planted in the ground, may grow 10-15 feet tall by three to four feet wide and makes a good privacy or wind screen. Emerald Arborvitae, a sun lover, ideal for rather narrow spaces, is a mighty evergreen that grows quickly.

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