Winter Container Gardens

Winter Container

The containers by your front door and other highly visible places do not need to be empty during the winter months. While it's true that you cannot fill them with flowers, winter container gardens are anything but boring!

Evergreens are ideal plants for winter interest. Their colors vary from vibrant golds to soft blues to dark greens and many of the needle textures are quite interesting. If you're lucky you'll find plants that have cones or berries on them. Some of our favorite evergreens for winter containers include:

blue ice cypress     sea green juniper
china girl holly gold mop cypress
arborvitae steeds holly
black dragon cryptomeria grey owl juniper
blue princess holly  


There are some deciduous plants which also work quite well because of their architectural interest or bark color or berries. You might want to try:

red twig dogwood yellow twig dogwood winterberry holly
Harry Lauder's walking stick Japanese maple


Since there are not many choices for filler plants during the colder months, it is important to select a shrub that will fill your container nicely - do not select something that is too small, expecting it to fill out. Use fresh, moistened potting soil. Add a top layer of mulch to help insulate the plant roots and to provide a nice soil cover.

Water the container weekly until the soil freezes. Then only water on the occasional warm winter days. You do not need to water if there was rain or snow during the week. It is not necessary to fertilize the plant. In the spring, either keep the shrub in the container to enjoy all year or plant it in your yard and design a new container garden.

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