The Q&A Archives: potting weeping blue atlas cedar

Question: We have just purchased the weeping blue atlas cedar(ITS BEAUTIFUL) and we noticed that on your tag that it was potted in one picture. The existing plastic pot it came in is 24 in. in diameter and 18 in. deep. The trunk dia. is 1.75 in. The question is how long can it stay in the existing pot root wise without stressing it. If it can stay in the pot what should we look for its being root bound? Does occasional water mean once a week? And finally what time of year is the best to transplant into the ground? Thank you for your time.
Frank Brumley

Answer: Your tree can remain in its nursery pot until you see roots escaping from the drainage holes. At that time it should be bumped up to the next pot size. How often it will need repotting really depends upon its growth rate which will be influenced by weather and by the care it receives. Once these trees are established in the landscape they are considered drought tolerant and will need little water. A tree in a container will need to be watered more frequently - because the roots are confined there will be little room for water to remain in the surrounding soil. So, in a container, water thoroughly when the top inch or two of soil becomes dry. This may be once a week, or once a day, depending upon the weather. Just stick your finger down into the potting soil to check the soil moisture and water when needed. Most trees and shrubs can be planted in the garden at anytime, as long as you give it some TLC. The optimal times are spring and fall when rainfall is abundant and temperatures on the cool side. Dig a hole as deep and a little wider than the root mass and be sure that the final soil level is the same as when the plant was growing in the pot (don't plant too deep or too shallow). After planting, water well and water deeply once each week until the roots are established and you begin to see new growth. Hope this answers all your questions! Best wishes with your new weeping cedar.

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