Care of Trees and Shrubs Growing in Containers
I have several small trees and evergreens growing in large plastic pots on my patio. What should I do with them for the winter?
Trees and shrubs one zone hardier than your region and growing in big pots can often survive in place. Make sure the pots are well watered whenever the ground is thawed and soil is dry. Smaller containers or less hardy plants need additional protection. Sink the pots (if appropriate) in the ground for winter protection. This insulates the roots and protects them from winter injury. Select a protected spot out of winter wind and sun. I use my vegetable and annual gardens for this purpose. Water the plants as needed until the ground freezes. Or store the plants in an unheated garage. Place the plants in a sheltered corner of the garage. I often place pots on a wooden board in a large box filled with water resistant packing materials or surrounded by other materials for added root insulation. Water the plants whenever the soil is dry and not frozen. You can also move the containers to a sheltered spot on the patio or deck. Cover the containers with woodchip mulch, surround with bales of straw or other materials to insulate the roots. Water thoroughly and whenever the soil is thawed and dry.