10 easy care evergreen pots for year round impact
Evergreen pots will give you year-round structure and impact.
And they need very little care, compared to seasonal pots. I find they put up with a great deal of neglect. They are also very long lasting.
I originally wrote this post three years ago. Updating it in 2022, all the plants I’ve recommended are still looking good. Most are even in the same pots!
10 top plants for evergreen pots
Read more about each plant in the post below, too.
- Dwarf mountain pine (Pinus mugo ‘Pumilio’ group)
- Korean blue fir ( Abies koreana – check that it is a dwarf variety)
- Yucca (eg Yucca gloriosa Aureovariegata)
- Phormium (all kinds)
- Fatsia, especially variegated Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’
- Hart’s Tongue Fern (any fern whose name begins with Asplenium will be evergreen)
- Ornamental grasses. Not all are evergreen but keep their shape in winter.
- Evergreen climbers to grow in pots include Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
- Ivy (Hedera helix) A great trailing plant
- Barbed wire plant for an unusual texture (Calocephalus)
You can also buy very young, very small evergreen shrubs and perennials for pot displays. If you plant them in winter pots, they will hardly grow until the spring comes. And even then, they may not outgrow the pot for a year or two. But when they do outgrow their planters, you’ll be able to plant them out in the garden instead of throwing them away. See this post for more about evergreens for a brilliant winter container display.
So for year round interest here are my 10 best evergreens for pots:
Evergreen trees in pots
The classic choices of evergreen trees for pots are bay and olive trees. Both can be slightly tender, so if you have harsh winters, plant them in a sheltered spot or close to the house wall. The walls of houses in winter often retain some heat and can be good places for protecting plants.
All trees can be planted in pots. This will help keep them small as the roots are restricted. It’s a good way to grow larger tree varieties in smaller gardens. See this post for more about trees for smaller gardens.
Dwarf conifers in pots
Conifers make a surprisingly good plant for a pot. They are structural and have some wonderful shapes and shades of leaves.
The pot constricts the root growth so they won’t turn into monsters.
Sculptural evergreens for pots
Look for strong shapes and colours. Phormiums and yuccas are back, and are increasingly popular. Very trouble-free plants!
Evergreen pots for shade
You can grow evergreen ferns in shade in pots. Harts’ Tongue Fern (any fern starting with ‘Asplenium’) is evergreen. Asplenium scolopendrium is the native wild version so likely to be a survivor. It also has an Award of Garden Merit from the RHS.
Fatsias area also very shade tolerant. In fact, the fatsias I know have tolerated almost anything. And if you thought fatsia was a bit boring, check out the variegated versions.
Evergreen climbers for pots
You can grow ivy in a pot. It’s an evergreen climber. But I don’t think that’s necessarily what you were thinking of?
But you can also grow the beautiful evergreen Star Jasmine (Trachelosperum jasminoides) in a pot. And you can also grow Clematis armandii (the evergreen clematis) in pot, too.
But choose big deep pots because they have a large root system. They will need a stable trellis or frame to climb up. And you will need to feed them a liquid feed fortnightly in the summer.
Evergreen grasses for pots
I do love grasses in pots. Choose grasses that are good for winter interest, such as Miscanthus, Calamagrostis or Panicum. I have Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ in four pots and they have been there for over three years. I must re-pot them at some point but I think they quite like it.
Mixed evergreen pots collection
The all-green, no-flowers look for pots is stylish and easy to look after. The effect comes from contrasting shapes. And if you have lots of different styles of pot, it pulls them all together.
Covering the soil with a fine grit gives a good finish.
Evergreen plants for window boxes
Ivy is probably the number one choice for an evergreen in a window box. But holly and small conifers can work well too. See how to plant a beautiful winter window box, which will last through spring.
And evergreen pots for Christmas
You can get all sizes of Christmas tree for pots. I love the chance to bring in some unusual conifers. There are some brilliant ideas for winter pots and how to plant them here.
Many Christmas decorations are fine outdoors and you can decorate small pots of conifers to be seen from the kitchen window.
How to look after your evergreen pots
Evergreens are often very easy-care, but all plants in pots need feeding and watering. They can’t get their nutrition from the ground. For container garden care tips, see Your Best Garden Pots Ever.
The important thing to remember is that pots will need watering several times a week – or even daily in hot weather – during the summer. To feed them, add a slow release granular fertiliser, such as Gro-Sure, in spring. Or feed weekly with a liquid seaweed feed, such as Maxicrop organic liquid feed.
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Shop my favourite gardening tools, books and products
I’m often asked for recommendations so I’ve put together some useful lists of my favourite gardening books, tools and products on the Middlesized Garden Amazon store. For example, there are some tools which I use over and over again, so they are in my list of essential gardening tools.
My favourite gardening saying is ‘Gardeners Learn by Trowel and Error’, so I’ve put that on a mug, t-shirt and tote bag. I hope it’ll remind you not to worry about your garden. Just give it a go – enjoy the unexpected successes and treat any failures as a learning experience. They’re available from the Middlesized Garden Spring Store.
More useful posts about garden pots
If you’d like ideas on displaying indoor plants, there’s advice and ideas here from three top experts who were each asked to decorate a studio flat with house plants.
And for ideas on how to display pots in your garden, here is an inspiring video from Diane and Robbie Perry’s beautiful garden:
Pin to remember evergreen pots
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