The Q&A Archives: Best Shrubs For Patio Containers

Question: What trees or shrubs, preferably evergreen, would you recommend for a large clay patio pot (2 foot diameter). The site is partial to full sun. Zone 7.

Answer: There are many dwarf conifers that will surely fit the bill! I'm glad you said preferably evergreen! As luck would have it this summer, I put together a very nice half whiskey barrel filled with different shapes and sizes of dwarf evergreens for one of my best friends as a birthday present. I chose the following specimens, you could put together a similar grouping (although you would need a larger container than what you describe above), or choose a single variety for your 2' pot. Here they are: Picea abies 'Little Gem', reaches a height of approx. 1 ft. with similar spread; Picea glauca 'Rainbow's End' (also known as Dwarf Gold Tipped Alberta Spruce), grows to 3-4'; and, a variety of "Creeping Juniper" (Juniperus horizontalis) known as 'Mother Lode', it is only about 3" high, has a ground cover habit and should eventually spill over the sides. These should all do well in your zone and lighting conditions. You could also consider Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Lutea', Dwarf Canadian Hemlock, or Pinus peuce 'Arnold's Dwarf'.

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