Conifer plants for containers
Conifers are popular and dependable container plants, perfect for providing year-round interest in a range of shapes, sizes and colours. Small and dwarf conifers help build in texture and bring an architectural look to confined spaces such as terraces and patios, while remaining low maintenance once established. They’re an excellent source of evergreen colour in shades of rich golden greens and yellows through to bright steely blues. Small and dwarf conifers are particularly effective as a foil for flowering perennials and annuals. Heathers also work well with conifers for floral interest in containers from late summer to autumn. Alternatively, a display almost entirely of small conifers may be created, perhaps with some annuals and trailing ivy dotted around the edge. Many conifers have long, thin leaves, often with a needle-like appearance, whereas others have broad, flat, strap-shaped foliage. Choose a mix of varieties with contrasting forms and colours for the best effect. Most conifers prefer full sun in a moist yet well-drained soil – they should not be allowed to sit with wet feet. Some gardeners like to put crocks - pieces of broken terracotta pots – around the drainage holes of the container to prevent the holes from clogging, and if you want to increase the weight of a container to make it more stable, you can add a 5-10cm (2-3 inch) layer of gravel or stone at the bottom.