Spring is around the corner, but if you live in the Midwest, the weather and temperature can change on a dime. This makes it very difficult to keep a nice looking porch for that curb appeal! Many plants are finicky when it comes to temperature, so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing your additions.
Plants in containers require different care than those in the ground. Being in a pot, there’s less soil around roots to hold moisture, so container plants require more frequent watering. Those roots are also less insulated, and receive more exposure to the cold. For best results, use plants that are cold hardy two zones colder than your own. And use containers that can withstand freezing temperatures, like wood, stone, concrete, or fiberglass. Come mid-winter, you’ll be grateful for the time spent, and will enjoy a lush view, even while sitting inside, sipping something warm.
The evergreen Skyrocket Juniper, reaches a narrow 12–15 feet when fully grown. Planted in a large container, it can make an impressive and formal statement flanking a front entryway. It’s very easy to care for once established and requires little maintenance.
Hens and Chicks
Hens and Chicks is an alpine succulent, and therefore sustains both drought and cold well. Both easy and interesting as a container plant, it will add color and texture to your winter view. It requires little soil, and little water once established. So pick your favorite container large or small, plant it, and leave it be.
This dwarf, slow-growing Norway Spruce, is a show-stopper, producing loads of bright red cones in spring. The tiny cones brown as they age, and provide interest throughout the whole year. It takes 10 years to reach its mature size of 3–4 feet tall and 2–3 feet wide, making it ideal for featuring in a container.
Little Giant Dwarf Arborvitae
Little Giant’s small, globe-shaped habit, make it ideal for use as in containers. Slow-growing with rich, green leaves, this evergreen needs very little pruning to keep its shape. It grows easily in full to part shade, and overall, is very easy to maintain.