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10 Best Dwarf Conifers For Containers
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If you are looking for the best conifers for tubs, rest assured you have ample options from which to choose. Conifers don’t necessarily need to be grown in the ground. There are plenty of reasons why you might need to consider container growth.
Dwarf conifers for tubs can be grown in areas where, for example, the soil is rather harsh or inhospitable and trying to change it would require constant efforts and money. In such situations the containers in which the dwarf conifers are grown can simply be placed in the ground or on top of the ground that is otherwise unwelcoming.
Those with smaller gardens who want dwarf conifers to create hedges or privacy fences along the perimeter of a raised porch, a small table and chairs for tea, can benefit from containers that are easily moved around. Similarly, gardens that might be situated in such an area that light moves around throughout the day and never remains present in one area can benefit from the best conifers for tubs such that those tubs can be moved around on a wheeled dolly throughout the day in order to capture optimum sunlight. Finally, conifers make excellent low maintenance plants for placing either side of your door.
Below are the best conifers for tubs if you have a small space starting which Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’ which is perfect for growing in containers to placed either side of a door.
Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’
Otherwise known as the common juniper, this upright dwarf Conifer takes on a very strict cone shape and forms a wonderful specimen plant for any garden. It is rather prickly to the touch but the needles start off as tightly packed bluish-green needles that turn to a copper bronze colour once wintertime approaches.
It is a rather slow growing plant so you won’t have to trim it regularly. It is very low maintenance with no pruning required. It loves full sun and will reach mature growth of 90cm tall and 60 cm wide in some cases in around 10 years.
Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’
Taking on a slightly shorter, more spread out shape, this variety of Conifer stands alone out of those on this list for the mound shape it will assume. The branches, rather than growing upward will grow out to create a colourful contrast do any green foliage plants or purple plants.
The blue foliage that it provides truly sparkles in the springtime and is quite useful in areas where you want mass plantings, borders, or container-based plants along a poolside or interspersed into a rock garden. Once it is established it only requires occasional watering and becomes rather drought-resistant. It does well in full sun and is quite easy to maintain.
Picea glauca Albertina
This is an incredibly popular, cone-shaped Evergreen Conifer and is often seen at Christmas in many gardens centres as it makes a great miniature tree to decorate. It produces perfectly uniform branches with dense clusters of fine needles that start out a light green shade and eventually convert to a blue green shade once the Conifer reaches maturity.
It grows a bit faster than the other dwarf varieties on this list, approximately 10cm per year and it is ideal for topiaries or for mixed borders. It received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society and will perform quite well in full sun and slightly acidic soil. It does need good air circulation around the dense shape so be sure to allow spacing between multiple plants. Moreover, it is fairly easy to grow, requires no pruning, and next to no maintenance and grows very well in pots.
Picea pungens glauca
You can really spruce up your garden with this pyramidal form. This particular dwarf Conifer offers rigid, tiered branches each of which are covered densely with blue and grey coloured needles. It is perfect as a tall screen or a windbreak in your garden and will do well as a specimen plant in a container. It is very deer resistant which is ideal for situations where other plants might not survive against the local wildlife. It is perfect in rock gardens, urban gardens, even woodland gardens and is prized for the beautiful foliage that juxtaposes otherwise richly green foliage.
Chamaecyparis obtusa Aurora
Taking on a slightly different shape and style, this Conifer has dense foliage that offers a yellowish green tint. It will reach up to 60cm tall and 50cm wide growing on average 5 cm per year.
When it is grown in pots it is perfect for specimen plants, small half walls along with porches or borders in an existing open garden. It does require regular watering on a weekly basis and it may need slightly more given the summer weather. Otherwise, it’s quite tolerant of different soils although you are better off using regular potting soil for the containers in which it is grown and placing it somewhere it will receive full to partial sun.
Chamaecyparis pisifera Baby Blue
To add a bit of lightness to your garden, this particular dwarf Conifer brings a silvery blue colour, in the shape of an upright shrub. Quite dense in its structure it offers finely textured blue foliage that stands in contrast to the existing landscape. It takes on a natural conical shape once established which makes it perfect for a container specimen and requires next to no maintenance from you. It does require regular watering especially if you have it in containers and will do well with partial to full sunlight.
Cryptomeria japonica Compressa
This variety is more of a broad, dense dwarf Conifer with a structure comprised of small leaders that produce rosettes of dark green needles. Come wintertime the foliage takes on a very distinct shade of red and brown which means it offers enjoyable colour all year round. It can grow up to 4cm each year in an irregular globe shape until it reaches its maximum maturity at 10 years wherein it will span 40 cm tall and wide so its perfect for containers.
Juniperus conferta All Gold
This Conifer gets its name from the beautiful glow it provides. All season long you will get needle-like foliage that takes on a golden yellow hue and eventually turns to an orange-pink shade during the winter.
This foliage sparkles come springtime and grows in a low, trailing size. It is more of a ground hugger with flexible branches and perfect in containers along retaining walls. It is very tolerant of the sun, will grow up to 15cm and outward up to 240cm although this will be somewhat limited in a pot.
It is tolerant of almost all soil types as long as the soil is not overly wet and once it becomes established the plant will do well with drought. It is very low maintenance, with no pruning required unless you want to control the spread. More importantly, it was the recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society.
Platycladus orientalis Rosedalis
If you want to add some vibrancy to your garden this dwarf conifer gets its name from the yellow tips it provides. This variety is a compactly branched shrub that has a globe shape. The globe shape is naturally occurring such that it rarely requires any pruning on your behalf which makes maintenance significantly easier.
The bright yellow foliage soon develops into a richer bronze shade come winter time. It is perfect in containers especially if you line up those containers in groups or borders. It does require partial to full sunlight with weekly waterings oh, and perhaps extra watering in the container if there is a really hot summer, we can dream in the UK!
This particular variety is an attractive pyramidal shape perfect for patios with its dense, upright branches. It will grow quite large if allowed and regardless of the size it obtains you will benefit from narrow foliage that responds well to shearing efforts. It does require regular watering on a weekly basis and more so if you have it in a container. It responds well to partial or full sun and can be used to create a formal topiary if you so desire. This is a very versatile evergreen tree that is prized for the foliage it provides.