Hardy outdoor evergreen pot plants

Written by erik devaney
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Hardy outdoor evergreen pot plants
Rosemary is a member of the mint family. (Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Instead of growing landscaping plants directly in the ground, some people opt to grow them in pots or other containers. This strategy, which is known as container gardening, allows you to easily move plants from one side of your garden to the other without having to commit to permanent plant positions. To ensure that your container garden provides colour throughout the year, you can incorporate hardy evergreen plants, which are able to withstand harsh winter weather and other seasonal extremes.

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Holly fern

The holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum) is a Japanese fern that can grow to 45 cm (18 inches) tall. Like all ferns, the holly fern is flowerless, reproduces using spores -- as opposed to seeds -- and has pinnate leaves. Each pinnate leaf consists of a stem with several leaflets running along either side. The leaves of the holly fern are particularly coarse and leathery, which makes them resistant to dry conditions. The holly fern is a very good pot plant and grows best in well-drained, cool-temperature soil.

Dwarf blue spruce

The dwarf blue spruce (Picea pungens 'Globosa') is a specific cultivar, or subspecies, of the Colorado spruce (Picea pungens). This hardy, slow-growing conifer can adapt to a wide array of growing conditions and makes an outstanding addition to any outdoor garden or landscape. A typical dwarf blue spruce grows at a pace of 2.5 to 15 cm (1 to 6 inches) per year and will reach 90 cm to 1.8 m (3 to 6 feet) in height after 10 years of growth. Instead of leaves, the short tree maintains vibrant, bluish-grey needles year-round. For optimal results, put between 5 and 7.5 cm ( and 3 inches) of organic mulch -- such as composted leaves -- around the base of your potted dwarf blue spruce.

Rosemary

If you live in a warm climate where winter temperatures don't usually drop below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), a rosemary plant (Rosmarinus officinalis) can be an aesthetic and functional addition to a container garden. In colder climates, you can still enjoy your potted rosemary most of the year, but will just have to bring it inside during the cold winter months. This small, hardy evergreen produces narrow, spikelike leaves, which have a leathery feel and produce a pungent fragrance. People commonly use these leaves as a spice for flavouring meats, dressings and other foods. For optimal results, grow rosemary in well-drained soil that is rich in lime (the powdery alkaline substance, not the fruit).

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