The Q&A Archives: Good container plants for winter on townhouse upper deck

Question: We want to grow one or two evergreen shrubs in a container on the upper deck of our townhouse, but aren't sure which ones to choose.

We want one that is hardy to our zone, and can withstand a direct northern exposure, with minimal sunlight during the winter (and other months). Preferably it wouldn't require too much maintenance (minimal pruning and deadheading. We live in Maryland, near the Chesapeake Bay, in Zone 7a (although areas just a few miles from us are zone 6b). Advice and suggestions, please! Thank you.

Answer: Korean Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla koreana) is recommended by the University of Minnesota as the best boxwood for your growing region. This shrub grows 3-5' tall and can be sheared into a formal shape or allowed to grow naturally. You might also consider one of the dwarf hollies. Neither of these suggested plants has any maintenance requirements, aside from watering regularly and fertilizing each spring. Best wishes with your new plants!

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