Growing Trees and Shrubs in Containers

You can make almost any space more interesting with a tree or shrub planted in a container.

A lot of people don't have rolling acres or an abundance of property for their gardening needs. Fortunately, not all trees and shrubs require lots of outdoor space. A porch, patio or balcony are all perfect places for you to grow a tree or shrub in a large container. Follow these steps to learn how.

1. Select the Right Plant

Do a little homework to find the right tree or shrub for your area. Choose trees that are hardy enough to withstand extremes in temperature and can establish roots in a limited amount of soil. Make sure you pick a tree that stays small and can grow in limited space. Azaleas, holly and Japanese maples are good choices.

2. Choose a Big Enough Container

A container should be big enough to give your plant ample room for its roots. A container that is 14 to 16 inches in diameter should do just fine for a small tree or shrub. Make sure your container has drainage holes; drill a few if it doesn't. Containers should be as wide as they are high in order to provide the best possible insulation to the roots.

3. Plant Your Tree or Shrub

Put some quality potting soil in your container. Do not use soil directly from the garden or surrounding landscape, because regular soil will not drain well in containers and could be more prone to weeds, insects and diseases.Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix improves drainage and airflow, and contains a continuous-release plant food that feeds for up to six months.

4. Care for Your Tree or Shrub

Container plants tend to dry out faster than plants in the ground, so water your tree or shrub regularly, testing the moisture of the soil a few inches below the surface with your finger. Make sure you water until you see some seeping out of the drainage holes. Feed your container tree or shrub with a slow-release plant food, such as Miracle-Gro® Shake 'n Feed® All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food.