Loma Vista Nursery News

Go Ahead – Plant a Tree in a Container!

With height and a small canopy, a containerized tree can add a bit of drama to a space. You can also get quite creative with containers, choosing from an array of materials, colors, shapes, and sizes that complement or lift an existing aesthetic.

For those who live in an apartment or condominium, a tree planted in a container and placed on a balcony or small patio is a way to connect with nature and evoke a traditional backyard look and feel.

Our crop of Proven Winner® Hibiscus Lavender Chiffon.

As with all aspects of landscaping and gardening, success depends on certain factors. Here are some of our pro tips:

The container: Look for a wide container than can accommodate the girth and height of the tree, taking into consideration the average mature measurements. To prevent cracking or breakage, use a sturdy container that can handle the weight of the soil and tree, and make sure the container has holes for proper drainage.

The container type also varies based on the tree type: if you’re bringing in a smaller tropical or fruit plant in the colder months, put it in a lighter container. If the tree will be outside all year, opt for a heavier container that can withstand the temperatures in your area.

From a decorative standpoint, have fun and be creative with the color and look of a container and tie it in with the style of your surroundings. As the tree grows, keep in mind that you might have to replant the tree in a larger container in a couple of years.

A great container plant, Taxus Hicksii.

The soil: Fill vessels with healthy, nutrient-rich soil, leaving room for roots to grow and “breathe.” It’s best to use potting soil designed for good drainage and for nourishing potted plants.

Top off the soil with a layer of nutrient-rich compost or fertilizer. Remember, trees dry out faster in containers than in the ground, so test the moisture level of the soil with a finger check a couple of inches below the surface. If it’s dry and crumbly, gently water the soil and base of the tree until some of the water trickles out the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.

The tree:  If you want to plant a tree in a container, invest in a variety that can withstand temperatures in your region and that can grow roots in a smaller space. Generally, smaller or dwarf trees are best for containers, such as dwarf conifers, Japanese maples, star magnolias and topiary-style yews.

We particularly like these varieties:

  • Maple Japanese Tamukeyma (ACER palmatum Tamukeyama)
  • Birch River Dwarf (BETULA nigra Fox Valley)
  • Althea Ardens Tree Form Hibiscus (HIBISCUS syriacus Ardens TF)
  • Royal Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’)

One of our Royal Star Magnolia plants.

You can also grow some fruit trees in containers, including peach and pear. Place them outside in the summer and bring them indoors for care in colder months.

To learn more, please visit the Loma Visa Nursery online catalog.

Learn More About Plants From Us!

Our staff members are experts in the field! We love helping people learn and understand more about healthy plants that perform well in Midwest landscapes. Feel free to email us at sales@lomavistanursery.com or call us at (785) 229-7200 to get help with your plant-related questions.

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