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Container Gardening: Conifers in pots

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Forum: Container GardeningReplies: 8, Views: 61
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CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

March 23, 2011
1:08 PM

Post #8445512

If I wanted to grow small conifers in pots, what pot would be the best for standing up to year-round weather? I'm assuming that even in the winter, conifers should remain outdoors but protected. I know clay pots won't hold up here during the freeze/thaw cycles.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 23, 2011
1:53 PM

Post #8445600

Only a few conifers will tolerate a zone 5 winter in containers w/o protection.

Look to any container that is weatherproof, and preferably one with gas-permeable walls. I understand the consideration for possible (pot) breakage, but beyond that, your choice of soils will play the largest part in determining to what degree you'll be rewarded by your efforts.

Al
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

March 23, 2011
5:11 PM

Post #8445956

I did see some threads about different soil types for containers. I guess my first concern is a container that will hold up and then tailoring the soil to the plant and drainage. By "gas-permeable", is there a type I should look for? I don't think I've ever seen that on pot labeling.
Thanks for your input.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 23, 2011
5:22 PM

Post #8445981

Clay is gas-permeable because it allows air & water vapor to pass through the walls & noxious gasses to escape. There are other containers made of mesh, wood, cellulose fiber ... and various other perforated root-trapper type containers that all work well for conifers and other woody plants. I'm borderline 5b-6a and I grow dozens of conifers in clay containers, but I bring them into the garage in the winter. Most plants suffer root death at ACTUAL root temperatures much below 25*, so even though the trees might tolerate it, it's best to protect them from those temps whenever possible.

Al
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

March 24, 2011
7:01 AM

Post #8446996

Ah - good to know. My garage is heated in the winter. I may need to give this idea more thought before blindly rushing forward. Thanks for the info.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 24, 2011
8:27 AM

Post #8447168

I think you'll find this post interesting. I have about 300 trees in containers, a large fraction of them conifers.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1055230/

Al

CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

March 24, 2011
9:41 AM

Post #8447289

Al - thanks so much for referencing that thread. Looks like it's full of very useful information. Will definitely study it!
I would have thought it'd be colder than 6a in Bay City.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 24, 2011
11:06 AM

Post #8447403

I live on the Bay & there's a little microclimate that extends inland for a few miles from the big lake (Huron). If you look at the more detailed maps you can see it. ;o)

Al
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

March 24, 2011
5:25 PM

Post #8448133

Lucky you! Lake Michigan doesn't afford us such a climate break unfortunately.

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