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Trees for Containers – Noted for Colour

We’re often asked what trees can be grown in containers, and recognise that individuals are interested in a huge variety of trees, depending on the personal goals they want to see their garden achieve. In this part of our blog series we’ll be taking a quick look at three container grown trees noted for the invigorating and striking colours they display. For anyone who wants a smaller, transportable tree that will inject interest and colour into their garden then these trees may be a perfect fit for you.

Japanese Maple - Acer Palmatum

This genus is highly sought after for its distinctive red and purple foliage. The leaves commonly feature a palmate leaf shape, though some feature finely dissected foliage. Colouring ranges from light to dark green, burgundy and even variegated in the summer. Some varieties are most desired for the deep, regal shade of red they acquire in autumn. One of the most aesthetically striking trees available, it’s a worthy centrepiece or background to any garden.

The tree thrives in loam-based compost with good drainage and organic components, our recommendation being John Innes Number 3. It will require re-potting every few years until it reaches maturity, and be sure to wrap the pot in bubble wrap over winter to protect the roots from frost. The leaves scorch easily, so a partially shaded and sheltered site is preferred.

Weeping Cherry - Prunus kiku-shidare zakura

This small, deciduous specimen features intense pink blossoms blooming in late spring. While young the leaves appear bronze, though they take on a glossed green upon maturity and during the summer. The heavily blossomed branches are pendulous, and the tree is often employed as an exotic focal point in architectural work and city parks, as well as for use in an informal private garden.

Not only is the Weeping Cherry easy to cultivate, it also proves fairly hardy. With John Innes No. 3 compost the plant will thrive when placed in full sun. Under normal conditions there’s no need to prune the plant as upkeep or to stimulate growth, making the Weeping Cherry fairly low maintenance, making it an ideal specimen to be kept in a container.

Red Robin - Photinia Fraseri

Due to its vigorous growth this evergreen shrub is often used for hedging, though it serves just as well being grown in a container. The plant possesses white flowers and glossy green foliage, though it is best recognised by the deep red of its new growth. At times of new growth the shrub can outwardly appear entirely red, standing out among most shrubs for the consistency and strength of its colour.

Growth can be up to 30cm annually so the plant will require pruning to retain the shape and size desired. This can be carried out after the initial spring growth and again in summer to keep trained specimens tidy. Pruning the plant will encourage the desirable new red growth to continue. Red Robin tolerates most soils and if kept in a container John Innes No 3 loam based compost is again recommended. Photinia thrives best in a sunny or partially shaded site.

Any of these genera would create a splash of colour into an informal garden, while featuring all the conveniences that container-grown plants bring. If you have any queries about the topic then please contact us today, and we’d be happy to help out any way we can.

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