Barry Fugatt: Top picks for perfect container grown shrubs | Home & Garden

Barry Fugatt: Top picks for perfect container grown shrubs | Home & Garden

Like most gardeners, I’m all about expanding flowering annuals in hanging baskets and ornamental pots. In recent years, on the other hand, I have developed ever more fond of container gardening with colorful shrubs.

The proper shrub in the right container will shine as brightly in the back garden as almost any potted once-a-year. Moreover, there are container grown shrubs that supply back garden attractiveness calendar year immediately after calendar year. Three of my all-time favorites are: Loropetalum, Sunshine Ligustrum, and Encore Azalea.

A vital to escalating shrubs in a container boils-down to matching the right shrub with the right container. If I’m planting a somewhat mature nursery developed shrub (a two-to-5-gallon shrub, for occasion) I match it with a huge decorative pot that is fifteen to eighteen inches broad and deep. If, even so, I’m starting with a lesser one-gallon plant, I use a smaller twelve-inch diameter pot and shift it up to a larger sized pot when the plant gets root-sure. As a rule, putting a smaller plant in an more-massive pot may possibly complicate watering and lead to root-rot.

Choosing the very best potting soil is also a significant element when increasing container crops, in particular shrubs. More than my very long horticulture career, I’ve tried dozens of commercial potting soils. I have been most amazed with a potting blend produced and offered at Tulsa’s Southwood Nursery and Garden Center. It is a prolonged-long lasting, about ground bark blend that incorporates a gradual-release fertilizer, additionally other vital ingredients. It does an excellent career of keeping and slowly but surely releasing h2o and nutrition.

The subsequent shrubs, when thoroughly potted, watered and fertilized, provide years of back garden satisfaction:


If you have gardened for yrs, you no question are common with the “botanical alley cat” know as Privet. It is invasive, its flowers stink and it’s unappealing. Technically, Sunshine Ligustrum is a Privet. But this new cultivar is no common Privet. It is sterile, non-invasive and its yellow-gold foliage is attractive. It is also cold hardy, insect and disease resistant and it thrives for yrs in a container. It’s a amazing container plant for a sunny deck or patio. I also delight in setting a pot of Sunshine Ligustrum out in the backyard and relocating it about as wished-for for most effective seasonal have an affect on. A mild shearing in early spring (March) will retain Sunshine in great kind and color.


Loropetalum is my most loved go-to shrub for introducing vivid reddish-purple foliage into a backyard garden. All Lorapetalum cultivars appear good in containers, but I’m specially fond of the small weeping cultivar: Loropetalum Purple Pixie. Match it with a white, tan, or grey container for greatest shade distinction and affect. And for a actually explosive shade effect, position Purple Pixie up coming to Sunshine Ligustrum. The yellow and purple foliage combination is over and above gorgeous!

There was a time, not too very long back, when azaleas bloomed only once each and every yr in the spring. That all altered when Encore Azalea cultivars arrived on the scene. Encore Azaleas bloom spring, mid-summer months and late tumble. A number of potted Encore azaleas in my backyard garden have been in heavy bloom Thanksgiving 7 days! Clearly show me an annual that can match the shear beauty of the Encore pictured with this column.

A term to the smart. When winter temperatures drop underneath 20 levels, pull container developed Encore and Loropetalum cultivars into the garage and leave them there till the extreme weather conditions passes.

Barry Fugatt is a landscape horticulturist and may perhaps be attained by electronic mail: [email protected]

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