10 easy care evergreen pots for year round impact

October 6th, 2019 Posted In: Container gardening

For the next six months, the evergreen pots in my garden will create almost all the structure and impact.

But they need very little care and put up with a great deal of neglect.

Pots for winter interest

In the depths of winter, evergreen pots – spiral box topiary, box cones and grasses – create structure and interest in my garden. Frost-proof pots essential – these are stoneware, not terracotta.

For year-round impact, you just can’t beat evergreens in pots. Here are ten plus easy ideas for plants for evergreen pots.

Evergreen trees 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.

Dwarf pine conifer in pot

This dwarf Pinus mugo (left) has been in this pot for two years. I feed it in the summer and water it, but it’s very easy care. However I have been warned that if I ever want to take it out of this pot, its roots will have grown into the curve and it will be difficult to get out without a major root prune or breaking the pot. A vase-shaped pot wouldn’t have that problem.

Juniper evergreen tree for pots

The plant on the left is Juniper (Juniperus communis) and arrived as a tiny plug plant three years ago. It has been entirely happy in a pot since then and has grown to this size.

Pots at Great Dixter

For the past few years, the ever-changing display of pots outside the front door at Great Dixter has always included several conifers.

Sculptural evergreens for pots

Look for strong shapes and colours. Phormiums and yuccas are back, and are increasingly popular. Very trouble-free plants!

Variegated evergreen yucca in a pot

This variegated yucca (Yucca gloriosa ‘Aureovariegata’) in garden designer Posy Gentles’ garden adds light to a shady corner. Yuccas are easy care, but do occasionally need a bit of a wipe.

Phormium Joker in pots

This is Phormium ‘Joker’ in a pot wedged into a border where it adds sculptural interest in summer. In the autumn it adds to the colours and in winter and spring it is almost the only presence in this part of the border. It seems to need very little feeding or watering – even in the driest weather I have only watered it once or twice a week, while most of my pots need daily watering.

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.

Fatsia in pots

Variegated fatsia (Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’) in a pot in garden designer Posy Gentles’ garden. Fatsias really do just get on with the business of surviving whatever life throws at them.

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 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.

Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'

This Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ looks great from around August to the following March, with good autumn colour and winter shape. I cut it down in March and it grows up to take over from the lavender when we cut that back in early August.

Winter grasses in pots near Kings Cross station

Winter grasses in pots near Kings Cross station.

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.

Mixed collection of evergreen pots

A mixed collection of evergreen only pots in Posy’s garden.

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.

evergreen plants for pots and window boxes

Ivy (top) makes a good trailing plant for pots and window boxes. The plant above is Ilex aquifolium ‘Myrtifolia’, a holly.

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.

Many Christmas decorations are fine outdoors and you can decorate small pots of conifers to be seen from the kitchen window.

Blue spruce in a pot for Christmas

I bought this little blue spruce in the local market. It’s survived quite a bit of neglect and has even grown.

A simple Christmas tree in a bucket

Great Dixter proving how stylish a simple un-decorated old-fashioned Christmas tree in a bucket can be. A Christmas tree can be a spruce, pine or a fir.

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. Please note that links to Amazon are affiliate, see disclosure. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Other links are not affiliate.

More useful posts about garden pots

Find out more about low maintenance garden pots here. And this post has tips on how to plant a winter window box.

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 there are 15 stunning ideas for garden pots in this video:

Pin to remember evergreen pots

And do join us every Sunday morning for garden tips, ideas and inspiration – see ‘follow by email’ below.

Evergreen pots for year round wow factor

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