Container-grown evergreen shrubs allow gardeners to add colour and texture to the landscape throughout the year. Place columnar evergreens in formal pots next to an entryway or garage. Creating boxwood topiaries adds charm to a patio or garden setting. Select sturdy, well-draining pots and use plants that are very cold hardy.
Selecting a Pot
Choose a large pot holding at least 10 gallons of soil for most evergreen shrubs. These pots make a more dramatic visual statement than small containers and allow the plant to grow deep roots. Large containers also regulate winter temperatures and moisture levels better than do small ones, aiding the shrub's survival during harsh weather. Select ceramic, wood, brick or cement containers with several drainage holes. Use rot-resistant redwood or cedar for wooden containers.
Choose shrubs with a small, compact form. Select shrubs that are hardy even further north than your region because container plants endure colder temperatures than those insulated by the earth. Some varieties include mugo pine, blue star juniper, dense yew, pyramid Japanese yew, green mound juniper, cherry laurel and holly.
Planting and Growing Evergreen Container Shrubs
Use high-quality soilless planting mix. Moisten it before filling the pots by adding 2 qts. of water to the bag of potting mix and kneading it thoroughly. Fill the pot with the mix and make a hole for the plant. Firm the mix around the plant and water it thoroughly. Place the plant in sun or shade, depending on the plant's needs. Water it frequently to keep the soil evenly moist and fertilise it with slow-release fertiliser pellets.
Sink pots containing evergreens into the ground during the winter and mulch the soil with 2 to 3 inches of wood chips. If the pots are too heavy or big to sink, store them in a partially shaded location away from drying winds. Mulch the soil and water it occasionally so the plants don't dry out.