The Q&A Archives: Bosnian pine

Question: I have a 3-4 foot tall bosnian pine, purchased some months ago, and still in the plastic pot. Although this is probably not ideal, I would like to keep it in a container on my deck. Can you give me suggestions for optimizing its container life? At the moment, there is lots of needle browning close to the base, but the ends of the branches look green and healthy. Please include any and all information you can! Thanks!!

Answer: Pinus heldreichii (Pinus leucodermis), the Bosnian Pine is a compact grower. This handsome tree is considered a dwarf for most gardens. It has a dense, oval form and very dark green, rigid needles, 3-3 ?in. long, in 2s. Shoots are white. Beautiful cones are 2-4inches long, cobalt blue the first summer, ripening through purple to orange-brown the second year. The Bosnian Pine is choice for the alpine garden or in other settings where it can be appreciated.

Nearly all evergreens grow great in containers, including those that can get quite large. But thankfully, most evergreens grow so slowly that they can remain in their containers for years. And for those evergreens that ultimately outgrow their containers, you can either re-pot them in a larger container or plant them in the ground.

First, select a pot that is proportionate in size with the plant (about one-third as tall as the plant itself). It's really important to choose a pot with adequate drainage holes on the bottom. When you're ready to plant, fill it part-way with a top-quality potting mix--one that has a fairly coarse texture and drains well. Place the plant in the pot and add more soil around the base of the plant, tamping the soil down as you go. Give the plant a thorough soaking.

Best wishes with your new pine!

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