Plants to Use in Containers All Year (Part One)

Most of us automatically start pulling plants from their pots when the calendar turns to fall, we discard them or try to find a place to put them in the ground.  However this might be wasted effort as there are quite a few plants and shrubs which are happy to stay in a pot for a few years.  This would save some money and time along with giving you some year round interest in your pots.

The potted plants have differences than plants in the ground, they depend on you for water and nutrients, most shrubs and perennials will stay a bit smaller, and the root zone is usually cooler as the pot doesn’t insulate the roots in the winter. Generally the rule for keeping plants in pots through cold weather is that they be two zones colder than your USDA Hardiness zone, but you may be able to overwinter some that don’t match that standard.  Here at Nature’s Friends Landscaping we can pick out some winter worthy pots and plants to help you get started.

One plant that is great for overwintering is the Green Mountain Boxwood, it’s a slow grower which maintains its deep green color through the winter. It grows into a nice pyramid shape which looks lovely.  Keep it out of strong winter winds and rotate it every once in a while. 

Another is Japanese Pieris, a wonderful small shrub with wonderful evergreen foliage, some varieties such as Dorothy Wyckoff have a very compact and dense growth pattern.  In spring it has lovely pink long stalks of blooms which drape gracefully within the plant, it can be quite stunning with the new blush of leaf growth which show up in varying colors from a reddish to salmon to white depending on the variety. Again, protect it from strong winds and rotate occasionally.

Some flowering plants such as Bergenia do really well in pots, probably because the drainage is so much better than in the ground.  This plant has big, bold and beautiful glossy green leaves which can grow to 10-20 inches long and turn a beautiful burgundy in the fall, it flowers in spring with blooms resembling hyacinths.

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