Overwintering Potted Cedars on an 6th floor East-facing balcony in Toronto


There are 3 of these, recently planted. The outermost one has some browning. The other 2 are good. There is on drainage hole in the pots and they’ve been watered weekly. Also, looking for the best fertilizer for potted cedars as now is the time to fertilize. And burlap-wrap for the winter or not? They face East as I mentioned and are also in a courtyard.


Thank you for asking this very timely question on winter protection for potted cedars. This kind of question has been asked of the Master Gardeners in the past. Going through their answers and checking the web, it seems that covering the cedars in burlap is a good idea, but consider creating a little teepee around them so that the burlap does not touch the pines.

In addition, since there are three of them creating a nice little grouping, you may want to create a little hedge around them, and fill the space with fallen leaves or a nice mulch. This will provide extra warmth and protection for the delicate roots, which seem to need the protection maybe even more than the green tree.

Also, giving your potted cedars a very slow-release fertilizer could be appropriate at this time of year, but not a strong fertilizer. You do not want them to start sprouting new leaves as they go into dormancy.

In addition, while you are doing your best to winterize your cedars, don’t forget to water them until the soil freezes so that they can have enough moisture retention to withstand the winter.

You may also want to read this answer that is posted on our website: