The Q&A Archives: Preserving Evergreens

Question: I am looking for a way to preserve small evergreens to use for ornamental Topiaries. That way I can have the beauty and the smell of a fresh tree without all the worry of taking care of it when I go to my other home in Florida. Can you help me?

Answer: The evergreen topiaries are living plants and as such can't really be ignored completely. Since they are in pots they are a bit fragile and need to be sheltered from the extremes of cold winter weather. This may mean keeping them in a cold frame or in a sheltered yet cool location such as an unheated garage, but they still need to be checked periodically for watering needs. Alternatively you could try sinking the pots into the ground in a sheltered location and allowing them to winter naturally. As long as there is no heavy snow or ice they might be okay unattended. (Do keep in mind however that terra cotta pots will shatter if allowed to freeze.) Another alternative might be to find a cool greenhouse where they would "board" your plants for the winter. Finally, I suppose you could simply replace them each spring.

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