Perennial tree in a container


Hello master gardeners, I have a large condo patio that I fill with annuals every spring among a few perennials. I have a few staple perennials planted like lilacs, hostas, and boxwoods. I’m looking to create a Japanese garden look on the patio and to do that I want to to add a dwarf tree species (into a 26″ insulated pot) either an evergreen or a japanese maple. Hoping for recommendations for tree species that would be source-able through a Toronto nursery. Also if there’s anything I can do to help overwinter the plants outside of taking them into a garage (would that stretch the ‘allowable’ limit to how hardy of a plant I would need?) Thanks in advance


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardener.

Congratulations on a bountiful container garden. Your photo shows the variety of annuals and perennials growing in your balcony.

There are many dwarf variety of junipers, cedars at the local garden centres, that would do well in the insulated 26 inch container. You can insulate the container on the outside to keep the roots from freezing in winter.

Our Master Gardener website has information on container gardening scroll down to best evergreens for containers Container gardening  There are links as well to the following information Dwarf conifers in containers.  There is information on both websites on what type of material to use for insulation, watering requirements, how to store the containers.

There are many varieties of dwarf Japanese maples that can be purchased in Ontario and kept in a pot. This website provides information on how to repot an already existing 4 year old maple in a pot. Repotting Japanese Maple List of Japanese Maples; Japanese Maples   more Japanese Maples Japanese Maples .

There is an video on growing dwarf fruit trees if  you are interested in an option on your balcony in a container. Fruit tree Option in a Sheltered Location

April 21, 2023