Potted 4f Emerald Cedars


Hello, I planted 4f emerald cedars in pots 2weeks who and top is getting brown. I water them 2x. Wow am getting concerned and I do not know what to do. I used potting soil, loosen roots, pat the solid that there are no air bubbles. Please let me know what can I do to keep them alive and healthy.


Thanks for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about the Emerald cedars that you recently planted in pots.

What size pots did you use to plant the 4-ft. cedars? How often have you watered them? You mention ‘2x’–does that mean on a daily basis or since you planted them? Are they on a balcony?

Emerald cedars are beautiful trees when given the conditions in which they will thrive.  Most are grown in British Columbia, where they are native and grow in the B.C. climate with ample water and cooler temperatures; they are then shipped across the country to places like Ontario and sold for reasonable prices in the big box stores like Canadian Tire or Home Depot. Unfortunately, it is difficult to replicate these conditions in Toronto. Emerald cedars that are grown in Ontario nurseries will have a better chance of surviving in Ontario than those from B.C.

Growing Emerald cedars in containers present challenges–even if one provides optimum conditions and plants them properly in containers. You mention that you planted yours two weeks ago–the weather conditions in Toronto since then have ranged from below freezing to the plus 30’C. that we are experiencing this week. Plants, especially trees in containers, need time to adjust to stable conditions. The browning tops of your Emerald cedars indicate that they are not doing well for any of these reasons; sometimes over-watering can cause browning foliage if drainage is insufficient. Even though you may have planted them correctly, there are too many variables to identify a specific reason as to why they are browning.

Here are some questions and answers about planting Emerald Cedars in containers that the Toronto Master Gardeners have received. It’s clear that you are not the only one who has  concerns about the challenges of growing Emerald cedars in containers. This information may help you deal with your Emerald cedars; unfortunately, they may not survive.