Just like trees, the best varieties of shrubs in container gardens are those that are slow growing and compact. Many shrubs come in dwarf varieties and have the work "nana" in their botanical names.
Using shrubs in container gardens provides lots of options to home gardeners. They can be moved around from season to season – perhaps acting as a background for flowering plants in the summer and then taking the spotlight with fall color in the autumn.
A row of shrubs in containers can create a wall or boundary. They can provide privacy or hide “eyesores” from the garden area – air conditioning units, garbage cans, etc.
Group an evergreen with other containers of flowers or foliage, or group several of those evergreens together to create a corner or define a space.
How you use them is entirely up to you.
Shrubs come in several forms - conical and columnar, to rounded or arching. Choose the shape that best fits your placement of the container.
Columnar or conical types may accent contemporary homes or apartments, and more traditional plants that round or arch may be better for a Victorian home. All of them are good for accents or barriers.
Healthy plants should be transplanted from nursery pots to containers that are a few inches wider and deeper. The best shrubs in container gardens are species that are slow-growing or naturally dwarfed.
Plan to re-pot them every other year, allowing for a
gradual increase in pot size to accommodate root growth. In most climates, the best time to plant is spring, although in mild-winter areas they can also be
potted in fall or even midwinter to reach their peak in spring and summer.
Most materials - concrete, plastic, stone, terracotta and wood - are all good planter options for shrubs in container gardens.
If you live in a cold-winter climate, you should use containers that can withstand freezing temperatures, like high-quality wood or thick stone planters.
You can also try fiberglass or polyethylene pots. They are lightweight so you may need to weight your pots with some gravel in the bottom if you live in a windy area.
When planting, use a high-quality potting soil made specifically for container plants. For bushes, use a soil based potting mix - it is better than soil-free mixes because it is heavier and will help anchor a bigger plant and it's root system. It also helps provide a sturdier base for the container in wind.
Acid loving shrubs like camellias or rhododendrons will need special potting mixes with the right pH for their best growth and lovelier blooms.
Most shrubs in container gardens grow well in sheltered locations that get good sun but little wind. For tall plants, like bamboo, locate against a wall of other sheltered area.
To plant, follow these easy steps.
Here are some of the recommendations from experts for varieties to plant in containers. You can also search for shrubs at garden.org. Enter your hardiness zone, select plant type "shrub" and then special feature "containers". You will get a list of recommendations for your area.
To find other recommendations for shrubs in container gardens visit The National Gardening Association's website. You can select your growing region, plant type "shrub", special feature "containers" and any other parameters you wish to use. You'll get your own personalized recommendations. It's a great resource.
If you are interested in shrubs that are drought resistant, visit this site's Drought Resistant Plants.
Return Home enjoycontainergardening.com