Can You Grow Conifers In Containers?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:26 pm

Can conifers grow in the tub at all? This question can be answered with an unequivocal yes. To help you know how to proceed, we have summarized the most important information. As long as the container meets a number of conditions, all plants can be planted in a pot or tub.

What kind of pot is suitable?

The most important thing, of course, that the pot or planter is not too small for the plant. A minimum diameter and width of about 50 to 60 centimeters should be sufficient. The conifer needs enough space for its roots to absorb enough water and nutrients from the soil. Of course, a conifer in a container grows more slowly and will not reach its full size as quickly. However, you can repot the plant every year to avoid slow growth. If your conifers should grow too tall, learn how to prune conifers that are too tall here.

What kind of conifers I can plant?

Can You Grow Conifers In Containers?

All hedge plants, including all types of conifers, are suitable for growing in pots or tubs. It all depends on how much work you want to do. A fast-growing conifer will have more demands than a slow-growing conifer. If the plant is growing in a pot, it is entirely dependent on your care, as the roots cannot spread any further to provide themselves with water and nutrients. Whether the conifer develops well also depends to some extent on your green thumb.

Can you plant hedges in boxes?

Even this is not a problem. Simply plant your conifers in a planter box as described above. This way you have a privacy screen on your balcony or a mobile hedge in your garden that you can move around as needed. Match the care of a conifer in a container to its location. Daily watering is required if the plant is in full sunlight. If you do not place the tub or planter box directly in the sun, watering is not required daily. Then, of course, after planting comes the care of conifers.

The pot must have several holes so that excess water can easily drain away, for example after a heavy downpour. To prevent these holes from becoming overgrown or clogged, place a piece of fleece or gauze over them and then add a layer of clay pellets or hydro granules to the bottom of the pot. The piece of fleece will prevent the pellets or granules from falling out. In a pot prepared in this way, waterlogging cannot form, which the plant tolerates even less than drought! Choose suitable conifers for your garden, such as yew, Japanese larch or wonderful primeval sequoia.

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Conifers are hedge plants that are particularly popular as garden boundaries. The conifer hedge has now become a fixture in gardens. Many conifers are evergreen, well hardy and robust. Because they are densely branched, they can also provide a great deal of privacy in your garden. In addition, conifers are also regularly used as stand-alone plants in the garden, and they usually get a wonderful topiary trim. But can I also use conifers as container plants? This question is asked more and more often by garden lovers these days. Therefore, we are happy to inform you about this topic, because many garden lovers have a balcony or terrace with tiles.

Can You Grow Conifers In Containers?
Indeed, conifers as potted plants should be better cared for than conifers planted in a garden.

Conifers as pot plants

In principle, you can also use conifers as pot plants. This can be a good solution if you have a small garden in the city or a balcony, but still want to get a lot of pleasure from the wonderful conifers. Therefore, it is important to know that this pot should meet certain requirements. So, first of all, of course, this pot should be large enough to fit the conifers well. In fact, the pot should give the plant enough space so that the roots can develop well. It is the roots that draw moisture, minerals and nutrients from the plant soil. But that’s not all…

Indeed, conifers as potted plants should be better cared for than conifers planted in a garden. Always keep a close eye on the plant soil in the pot when it comes to quality, permeability and nutrients. If your conifers are growing normally in the garden, then this is not necessary. Therefore, the plant soil in the pot should be just as optimal as normal garden soil. Conifers as potted plants should therefore be fertilized and watered to keep them healthy and strong. If you keep this in mind and feel like it, in order to take care of your potted plants, then conifers as potted plants are a good option for you.

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Can You Grow Conifers In Containers?
However, conifers as potted plants never grow as large as conifers planted normally in the garden.

Conifers as pot plants: how to do it?

If you want to use conifers as pot plants, then it is also good to know how to do it and how to start. After all, it’s not quite that simple. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind a few points so that your conifers as potted plants can grow into full-grown plants. However, conifers as potted plants will never grow as tall as conifers planted normally in the garden. This will only work with potted plants if you repot them every year. Should you not do this, then your potted plants will always have a growth lag. However, this does not detract from the vitality of your potted plants.

It is also important that your pot has holes at the bottom. This gives the plant roots enough air and excess water can then also drain away more easily through the holes. Therefore, it is important that these holes always remain open, because only then can the moisture seep away well. Otherwise, the conifer is surrounded by waterlogging, which leads to suffocation. In addition, conifers are then also much more sensitive when it comes to mold diseases or other diseases. Therefore, use a piece of wire mesh, for example, and place it at the very bottom of your pot, then pour a layer of clay granules on top of the wire mesh.

Can You Grow Conifers In Containers?
For example, Thuja ‘Emerald’ can be planted in a pot much better than Leyland cypress.

Which conifers are suitable as pot plants?

Not every conifer is equally suitable as a pot plant. Theoretically, of course, you can use all conifers as pot plants. Of course, that is entirely up to you as to how you want to design your garden, patio or balcony. Nevertheless, it is recommended to select plants that do not grow too fast. After all, a fast-growing conifer has greater requirements than a somewhat slower-growing variety. Therefore, it is more difficult with fast-growing varieties to care for them optimally as potted plants. For example, Thuja ‘Emerald’ can be planted in a pot much better than Leyland cypress, which has an annual growth of several meters.

Also, we recommend you to select around evergreen conifers. This is not for practical reasons, but rather for aesthetic reasons: after all, deciduous conifers as potted plants look rather unsightly in winter. Moreover, they can hardly provide privacy on your balcony or in your garden in winter, although as a garden owner you usually attach a lot of importance to privacy. So always select a slightly slower growing conifer that is evergreen in winter. Therefore, yew can also be counted among the conifers that can grow well in a pot. Of course, you can also choose mock cypress: these plants are also not fast-growing.

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Can You Grow Conifers In Containers?

What do I do with conifers as pot plants?

There are, of course, several reasons to choose conifers as pot plants. If you have a balcony, then of course your options are somewhat limited. But even then you can plant conifers in wonderful planters, thus creating a small hedge on your balcony, which can then also give you a lot of privacy when you sit on your balcony. In addition, you will then also ensure that your surroundings become greener, even if you live in a high-rise building. It is also possible that you will find conifers in pots or tubs particularly pretty, for example as decoration for your terrace.

Of course, you can also cut the conifers that grow in a pot at your place into wonderful, creative shapes. This will give your balcony or garden a rather elegant and formal look. The yew, Thuja ‘Emerald’ and Thuja ‘Brabant’ are particularly suitable in this case. After pruning, always make sure to fertilize your potted plants with a particularly good organic conifer fertilizer. This will allow the conifer to recover much faster after pruning. Don’t want to do any pruning? Even then, conifers should always have enough nutrients in their pots. This will keep your potted plants healthy and strong for a long time to come.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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