Types of Shrubs
There are many kinds of shrubs that grow well in containers. These include false cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana minima aurea), lavender (Lavandula officinalis), Mexican orange (Choisya ternata), and rhododendron 'Mary Fleming'.
There are many benefits to growing shrubs in containers and large planters. My favorite reason, not listed below, is that it gives me an excuse to buy the huge, beautiful planters that garden supply store sell. Those huge planters look kind of silly when planted with small flowers. Throw a shrub in one, and it is a stunning work of art.
1. Looks Great on Patios and Balconies
I love the look of shrubs in containers. Just the fact that they can quickly dress up a patio or balcony is one of the great benefits of potted shrubs. Another thing to consider is the amount of privacy they can give you. Instead of constructing a wall, grow potted shrubs to give yourself and your neighbors a bit of privacy when sitting outdoors.
2. Easy to Prune
I remember when I was young and being sent out with the pruning shears every year to trim the hedges and shrubs. I hated that job. Without fail, I would walk through spider webs, maybe get a spider or two on me, and I would have to weave myself in and out of the yard, hoping the neighbor's little dogs would spot me and come nipping at my heels.
All of that is gone when you grow shrubs in containers. It is easy to work around the shrubs and prune them. Since the shrubs are planted higher than at ground level, I can stand or sit on a chair to prune them and remove and dead stems. Care for potted shrubs is so much easier than those planted in the ground.
3. Can Easily Be Moved
If the shrub isn't doing well in one location, it is easy enough to move it or have someone else help you move it to a different location. I had a problem with a ground planted shrub a few years ago. Twice I dug it up and moved it to a new location in the yard. Finally, I dig it up a third time and planted it in a large container. I was able to control the soil content and watering so that the shrub finally began to flourish.
4. You Can Take Them With You
Yes, I do take my plants and shrubs with me when I move. I love my plants and I have moved often enough to know that most people move into a new place and rip out what the previous owner planted. So why not take it all with you and give the new homeowners a chance to create their own garden with their own plants?
Moving potted shrubs takes a bit of strength. I use my teenage son for all the heavy lifting because he would get upset with me if I tried to do it myself. Loading them into a pickup truck is an adventure I would rather not repeat, but I have had success loading them into a moving truck with a ramp.
5. Adds an Air of Sophistication
Finally, just having shrubs planted in decorative containers on your patio, balcony, or positioned around your yard adds an air of sophistication and aristocracy to your home. There is something about potted shrubs and well kept flower gardens that tells the world that someone wonderful lives here.
Every winter I dream of gardening. I have my container plants, some rock gardening, my herb garden, and now I plan to work on making some raised beds for the vegetable garden.
I have moved a lot over the past 6 years, making a permanent garden almost impossible because I have to leave so much work behind when I leave. Now that I am working on getting my forever home, my gardening dreams are huge.
Still, container gardening will always be a part of my life. I enjoy the beauty of plants and shrubs grown in a container. I love to shop for new containers and buy old, cement planters from yard sales and antique shops. I have even been researching how to make my own cement containers that, once they are in place in my yard, they will never be moved again. Not in my lifetime.