Proper Soil Mix For Evergreen Container Plants And Trees

Container Grown Evergreen Plants
(Image credit: dmf87)

Container gardening has become a very popular form of gardening in the past few years. It only stands to reason that people would want to plant evergreen trees and shrubs in pots as well. Using evergreen container plants is an excellent way to add winter interest to your container garden or to add formality and structure to your year-round container garden. One of the most crucial parts of growing evergreen container plants is the soil. Your evergreen tree pots need to be filled with soil that will not only meet the nutrient and water needs of your evergreen container plants, but provide stabilization for your container tree as well.

Soil Mix for Evergreen Plantings

The first thing to consider is the weight and size of your container. If your tree container is very heavy and very wide, than you probably do not have to worry too much about the possibility of the tree and the container falling over in the wind. In this case using only a soilless mix is acceptable. If the tree container is not heavy enough or wide enough, than the container tree stabilization is at risk. This can be combated in two different ways. One is to fill the bottom 1/3 of the pot with gravel or pebbles. This will help the container tree stabilization. Fill the rest of the container with a soilless mix. Many times some people will recommend that topsoil be mixed in with soilless mix, but this would not be a wise idea due to the fact that evergreen container plants need excellent drainage in order to grow as it should. Topsoil in a container can become compacted and hard, even when mixed with other soils. The topsoil will eventually impede proper drainage. Evergreen tree pots that do not have good drainage can develop root rot and die. In order to improve the drainage for your evergreen container plants, you may want to add grit or pumice to the soilless mix. Also, make sure that you add plenty of slow release fertilizer to your soilless mix for your evergreen container plants. This will help with making sure that your evergreen tree has plenty of nutrients to keep it growing well. The addition of some mulch to the top of the soilless mix in the container will not only help retain appropriate levels of moisture, but the mulch will help to slightly acidify the soil as well, which most evergreens like. Growing evergreen container plants and trees can be a fun and interesting addition to your container garden. With proper care, your evergreen trees will live happily in their containers for many years.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.