Evergreens For Pots: Best Evergreen Plants For Containers

Evergreen Plant In Large Container
container evergreen
(Image credit: Siraphol)

Looking outside at your barren or snow-covered garden in the dead of winter can be disheartening. Luckily, evergreens grow very well in containers and are cold hardy in most environments. The placement of a few evergreens in containers on your patio will look good all year and give you a much welcomed boost of winter color. Keep reading to learn more about container grown evergreens.

Care for Evergreen Container Plants

When a plant is grown in a container, its roots are essentially surrounded by air, meaning it’s more susceptible to temperature change than if it were in the ground. Because of this, you should only try to overwinter container grown evergreens that are hardy to winters considerably colder than what your area experiences. If you live in a particularly cold region, you can increase your evergreen’s chances of survival by piling mulch up over the container, wrapping the container in bubble wrap, or planting in an overlarge container. Evergreen death can result not just from cold but from extreme temperature fluctuations. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep your evergreen in at least partial shade where it won’t be warmed by the sun only to be shocked by plunging night temperatures. Keeping a potted evergreen watered in winter is a delicate balance. If you live in an area that experiences a hard frost, keep watering until the root ball is completely frozen. You’ll have to water again during any warm spells and as soon as the ground begins to thaw in the spring to keep your plants roots from drying out. Equally important is the soil for your evergreen container plants. Suitable soil will not only provide appropriate nutrient and water needs but also keep the evergreen from blowing over in windy conditions.

Best Evergreen Plants for Containers

So which evergreen for pots are best suited for this year-round environment? Here are a few evergreens that are especially good at growing in containers and overwintering.

  • Boxwood – Boxwoods are hardy to USDA zone 5 and thrive in containers.
  • Yew – Hicks yew is hardy to zone 4 and can reach heights of 20-30 feet (6-9 m.). It grows slowly in containers though, so it’s a good option if you want to plant it permanently in the ground after a few years.
  • Juniper – Skyrocket juniper is also hardy to zone 4 and, while it can reach heights of 15 feet (4.5 m.), it never gets more than 2 feet (.5 m.) wide. Greenmound juniper is a traditional zone 4 hardy groundcover that can also be trained as a bonsai in a container.
  • Pine – The Bosnian pine is another zone 4 hardy tree that grows slowly and produces attractive blue/purple cones.
Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.