2817 - 47th Street • Moline, IL 61265 (309) 762-6226

Potted evergreen shrubs can make excellent long-lasting outdoor décor to dress up your porch and accent your front door during the drab, cold months. We especially love potted evergreens because they’re easy to care for, and their flashy needle-laden boughs last all year long, providing a splash of green against a snowy backdrop.


While Mother Nature does an excellent job of providing a liveable environment for evergreens during the winter, you can plant them in containers—and keep them thriving with a little TLC. As we move into the winter months here in the Quad Cities metro area, your plant care regime will need to mimic Mother Nature to ensure your potted evergreens survive the season. If you want to give potted evergreens a try this year but are unsure how to care for them, we’ve got you covered!


meyer landscape types of evergreens

Types of Evergreen Trees Ideal for Pots

Our Illinois climate can be unforgiving, but there are plenty of stunning — and fragrant! — evergreen varieties to choose from. The following are some that are suitable for our region:

  • Arborvitae:  USDA zones 3-8.
  • Boxwood: USDA zones 4-9.
  • Juniper: USDA zones 2-7.
  • Dwarf Mugo Pine: USDA zones 3-7.

A good rule of thumb is to choose an evergreen that tolerates growing zones colder than your own because container planting does not provide the same insulation as planting in the ground does. That way, you know the likelihood of your tree surviving the winter is high. In our case, the growing zone for Moline, Illinois is 5b meaning any evergreen that’s hardy in zones colder than that should do just fine.


meyer landscape potted evergreen burlap

How to Care for Potted Evergreens

Maintaining a regular watering schedule for potted evergreens is an essential step in proper winter care. While the growth rate of evergreens slows significantly during the winter, they don’t go dormant like their deciduous counterparts, so they still require consistent moisture to keep their needles green. An easy way to lock in soil moisture is to add a layer of mulch on top; this will also provide your evergreen with more insulation and help protect the roots. Make sure you only plant your evergreens in containers that have drainage holes to prevent overwatering.

During the winter, evergreens need just the right kind of sun exposure. For best exposure, position your potted evergreens where they will receive partial sunlight. Otherwise, if exposed to direct sun, the delicate needles will become dry and brittle at a fast rate, thus leading to dehydration and your tree will appear stressed.


meyer landscape potted porch evergreens

It’s common for evergreens to suffer some damage during the winter. Dry winds, freezing temperatures, and heavy snow can result in broken branches and yellow or brown needles. If your tree is getting buffeted by a fierce wind, looks dehydrated, or was freshly potted in its container before the winter, try an anti-desiccant spray to help seal in moisture and add an extra layer of protection. Also, be sure to choose a pot at least two times wider than the root ball, and use nutrient-rich, well-draining potting soil. 

Many evergreens can last years in the same container but be prepared to replant in a larger container or transplant into your landscape as it grows.

For more care tips on overwintering potted evergreens, visit Meyer Landscaping & Design — our knowledgeable staff are happy to serve you! Plus, shop our festive holiday décor items and make your own winter porch pots as a fun winter project.


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