Specialty Conifers for Containers

Plant these small-but-mighty conifers in containers for the ultimate all-season, low-maintenance accent plant.



Part of creating a great garden and landscape design is ensuring the space will look beautiful at any time of year. Conifers are a fabulous option for adding color and texture that stays put all year. These evergreens are as tough as they are attractive, so they're great for gardeners short on time. If you love the look of evergreen needles, you'll adore them in containers!

Planting conifers in containers allows you to play with the placement of your plants and gives you the freedom to rearrange them at will. You can also play with container colors and textures to create even more contrast in your landscape design. These dwarf conifers are our favorites for container gardening.

Juniper "Blue Star"

Did we say "evergreen"? Well, in this case, we meant "everblue." Blue Star boasts bright steel-blue, star-shaped foliage. While this evergreen is good and hardy to zone 4, it's a sun lover at heart. Blue Star is drought-tolerant and loves a location in full sun. It reaches a height of approximately 2' and spreads to around 4', but it grows slowly.

Mugho Pine

This dwarf pine has zippy, eye-catching green foliage with a nice mounded habit. If left alone, it can grow to about 5' tall with a 6' spread, so regular pruning will be needed to maintain its shape. Its new growth in the early summer looks like an attractive mass of upright candles. This pine is exceptionally tolerant of the cold, tolerant up to zone 2, but it does prefer a full-sun location. If necessary, it can tolerate partial shade.

Globe Blue Spruce

The gorgeous blue color on the Globe Blue Spruce is exceptional, with silvery-blue needles that almost seem to glow. It has an attractive mounding habit and dense branching that make it a fabulous accent plant. While it does grow very slowly, the Globe Blue Spruce is capable of reaching up to 5' in height and a 6' spread. A low-maintenance conifer that tolerates partial or full sun, and thrives through our North Dakota winters.

Bird's Nest Spruce

The unique nodding tips of the Bird's Nest Spruce are what sets it apart in the garden. Along with the mounding habit, the branch tips are what give this spruce its "bird's nest" shape. However, this spruce will grow at a steady rate and needs to be pruned regularly to continue looking neat. While it prefers a variety of soils, it does best on sandy, acidic soil that retains good moisture. Afternoon shade and a layer of attractive mulch will help to keep your container in the right moisture range. Bird's Nest will grow to about 3' tall with a 3' spread.

Arborvitae Hetz Midget

A truly low-maintenance plant! Hetz Midget has such a neat natural mounding habit, it doesn't require pruning to keep its shape. It grows to a dainty 2' tall and 2-3' spread, but it will look its best when kept in full sun. While Hetz Midget can survive with a little shade, more sun means denser foliage and better color. An awesome plant for winter interest.


These pint-sized conifers are the perfect fit for larger containers and look positively elegant when arranged in multiples. With rich color that doesn't quit in the cold, your landscape will look just as welcoming in January as it does in June!

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