Tired of changing out your planters three times a year?  Save money and do the work once by planting cedars in planters (or other evergreens).

This post came about because I am a seasonal gardener.

In the Spring I can’t wait to get to the nurseries and fill my planters with bright, beautiful flowers.  I water them every second day and give them fertilizer once a week…

for about a month and a half…

then I’m tired of it.  July/August seem to call for daily watering, and I have so many planters and pots around that it takes me at least 30 minutes to get them all done.

Come September, my petunias are long and leggy, my potato vines have taken over and killed off any weaker plants and my window boxes (one of which I have to climb on a 12′ ladder to water) have all but died.

So I hit the nursery again and pick up my annual Fall mums.  Not because I have a sudden new interest in gardening/watering, but because I love my home and can’t stand to see scruffy, dead and leggy planters.

And the cycle starts again, ending with Christmas urns.

If I were to guesstimate how much I spend on any one particular planter I’d say $30 in the Spring, $15 in the Fall and about $50 for a Christmas urn.  (Cdn prices)  That’s close to $100/year to keep up my curb appeal.

I decided to try something new this Fall.

Emerald cedars in pots, Cedars in planters, planting evergreens in pots, planting cedars in pots, evergreen planters

I picked up three emerald cedars from my favourite nursery – on the advice of a knowledgeable staff member (I wanted to make sure they would live in morning sun and get the low-down on how to plant cedars in planters versus the ground).

It was suggested that I leave the cedars in their pots and actually plant the pots themselves into my planters.  The idea was to give the roots a little extra protection from freezing.

I dug out a hole deep enough for the pot and plopped my cedar in.

Cedars in planters, planting evergreens in pots, planting cedars in pots, evergreen planters

Cedars in planters, planting evergreens in pots, planting cedars in pots, evergreen planters

The extra space around the outside of the pot should be back-filled with sawdust (ideally) or soil (which I used).  This is going to be the buffer between the freezing cold plastic on the outside of the planter and the tender roots of the cedar itself.

The nursery assured me that these cedars can grow in pots for a couple of years without needing transplanting, so I felt confident tucking them in this way.

Cedars in planters, planting evergreens in pots, planting cedars in pots, evergreen planters

Each cedar cost $28 (Cdn) and will remain green year-round.  I can tuck in little trailing annuals to add colour come Spring, add pumpkin picks or Autumn-coloured ribbons for Fall and add a few ornaments for Christmas.

If you try this, there are no guarantees your cedars will survive a harsh winter, but the price tag for these three beauties is already considerably less than if I’d planted my mums and bought my Christmas urns – so I’m about 80% ahead of the game already.  (Many nurseries will guarantee shrubs and trees for 1 year)

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front of house, two tone brick house
(Okay, so I picked up a few mums)

If cedars aren’t your thing, try boxwoods or dwarf pines – just check to make sure of the water and light requirements and water-in thoroughly before the first frost.

Planting evergreens in planters seems to be a simple and inexpensive solution to gardening upkeep, so I thought I’d share in case any of you get the same Seasonal gardening blues as I do.

Have a great one!

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