Outdoor Decor - Potted Trees and Shrubs

I was reading Crystal Coast Gardener yesterday, and Kyna mentioned she had gotten a Japanese Maple on the cheap and was trying to decide where to plant it.  I suggested keeping it in a pot for a few years.  We've done this with several trees and shrubs. Not only have we had success, but it's also a great (and Cheap!) way to dress up your outdoor spaces.

This is a Contorted Willow on the upper deck.  This was FREE! It started out as a clipping from Ryan's uncle, which was rooted in water and grown by my mom to a good size.  It's been repotted a few times and is close to 20 feet tall. Two good things about raising this one in a pot: 1. we were able to move it when it was in a spot that got too much sun and 2. it requires a lot of water and having it on the deck helps me remember to keep it watered well.

This one is a Maple.  It started out as a stick from the Arbor Day Foundation and was a gift(?) from my MIL. Sadly, out of that bunch, this is the only one that made it.

We have several of these guys.  It's an Emerald Green Arborvitae. Got it at Lowe's two years ago. Regular price $6.98. End of season clearance 50 cents. These grow to be 15 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The plan is to replant into larger pots every 2-3 years.

These are some small "starters". Another Arborvitae, some kind of Cedar and in the third pot, there are three trees--all volunteers--the large maple, a much smaller redbud, and one more, even smaller, maple.  Next spring, I'll move the redbud and tiny maple to their own pots.  

We leave the plants out all winter, and I try to water about every 6 weeks. We are in the Midwest, Hardiness zone 5/6 and will get some temps below 0 degrees Fahrenheit with an annual average snowfall of 20 inches.  If we are having a particularly good cold spell, I'll move the pots so they are right next to the house, but have never brought them in.
So, for very little cash, we have plants for our outdoor spaces.  Plus, it's fun to nurture these little guys.

And while I was out taking pictures, I had to throw in these. 

My Black Magic Elephant Ears! Aren't they doing great?

And my coleus. It was so slow to start, but once it took off, it's been doing great!


  1. Your plants are wonderful! I love the idea of keeping your shrubs and trees in planters! Of course, I would have to remember to water them. I was telling Wayne yesterday that my new mums were looking sad, he suggested water! Yours look healthy! Love the elephant ear plant. You must spend some time working outside in your beds, it shows from your photos.
    Thank you for all your visits and comments, I finally have some free time to return your visit and have just become a follower! Yea!
    Dee Dee

  2. I do the same thing with different types of palm trees in big pots. :) I love how they can really make an area "pop".

  3. Palm Trees! I bet that's so cool! We do have soem tropicals, but have to move them in and out!