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conifers going brown

East Sussex, United Kingdom Gb

I have constructed a wooden plant pot approx 9" x 52" and attached it to the side of a breezeblock wall, filled the base of the pot with concrete and put soil/compost on top; I've planted 3 tall conifers inside the pot and would like to know the likelihood of the conifers surviving bearing in mind that I have filled the base with concrete and the narrowness of the pot - they are already starting to go very brown from the base upwards. The wooden plant pot is at the bottom of the garden, sheltered against the side of the wall, doesnt get much sun. I live in Brighton, East Sussex



unfortunatly in my experience once conifers start going brown its a sure sign they are dying off

unfortunatly I found there is little can be done to revive.

x x x

24 Aug, 2009


Well they're not great conditions for anything to grow in - there should be drainage, for one thing. You also don't say how deep the pot is, but it sounds as if its fairly shallow. Conifers hate to dry out, but don't like to sit in water either - getting the watering right in something without drainage is very difficult.

24 Aug, 2009


I suspect the pot too is shallow and small so that it dries out too fast and the soil maybe not to the conifer liking, they prefer a moist fertile soil, they are hungry and thirsty. They have a large root ball and need a good size container to grow in.
Shade is not normally a problem, but yellow and light green ones need a bit of sun, but dogs peeing up them is a big problem, it will turn all it hits brown.
Move the trees now and plant up shady plants that don't mind being a little dry now and then and can live in a small amount of soil.
Winter pansies would do well there in few weeks when they come on sale

24 Aug, 2009


Not without drainage they won't, Tillia

24 Aug, 2009


I have many types of conifers inherited when we moved in, and dont know that much about them. I placed a small one in a pot last autumn and it stayed green until spring, then it turned brown, but it's still alive. I looked into the middle of it and it is green and now the heat is less it is starting to turn green again. So check into the middle you never know it maybe was just too hot and thirsty but maybe you can survive it. Good luck

24 Aug, 2009


If you are determined to keep conifers in an area where their roots are very restricted, it can be done by following the way people keep bonsai trees.

As Bamboo has mentioned good drainage is essential. Keeping them like this will also mean watering them at least once a day and sometimes twice in hot dry weather. If it is dry in winter they will still need to be watered. They will lack access to nutrients and should be fed and they will need their roots trimmed every couple of years in Spring. I have a tiny garden and have healthy conifers that have their roots in pots, that are then sunk into the ground. It helps to maintain their small size. Conifers in containers can be done, but it is easier if you set up a timer and self watering system which is what I have for some of mine.

As far as the damage that has already occurred, I have not had much success in regaining the same shape of a conifer that has started to go brown. Usually their appearance will be permanently affected. I have a blue spruce that I failed to keep a proper eye on when I thought it was wet enough outside and it lost a lot of lower brances that turned brown. . However while it is healthy now it will never be as bushy and as nice a shape as it once was.

24 Aug, 2009


Quite often, conifers in pots will still need to be watered even if it has been raining.
To see if your conifers need watering, push a wooden bbq skewer into the potting compost and leave it for five mins. When you remove the skewer, if it's dry/nearly dry water your tree until water flows from the drainage holes, then water it again 10 mins later.

8 Sep, 2009


when is it best to trim conifers to form a hedge down the garden before they get too tall.

19 Sep, 2009


Which conifers are they? Name?

19 Sep, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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