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Hi Everyone,

I want to train a bush or shrub to a ball tree shape to go on my front porch. What would be the best candidates for training? And I want it to be an evergreen, so it will keep its leaves in winter. Also I want them to be able to survive cold winter and hot summer, and strong heat and full sun in Madison, Alabama. Please help! Thank You!!!



In the Madison area, probably Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria 'Pride of Houston'), Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla 'Winter Gem'), or Wax-Leaf Privet (Ligustrum japonicum 'Texanum'). Be sure to mulch the soil to keep the roots cool, and to avoid extreme freezing of the soil in the winter.

4 Apr, 2011


I love my clipped Bay leaf tree (Laurel), it stays green throughout the relatively slow growing so does not need loads of attention...just the odd clip here and there.

The best bit is you can use the dried leaves as a spice in your stews & curries to flavour them! It is a natural insecticide and can keep moths away from clothing. It is beneficial for high blood sugar, headaches & ulcers etc too!

Good Luck! :-)

4 Apr, 2011


Sorry, Sunrose, but Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) probably won't be cold hardy in the Madison area. They're in USDA Zone 7, which normally gets colder than -12.2ยบ C. Only small parts of northeast Scotland normally get that cold in the UK.

5 Apr, 2011


Thank You, Guys, so much for your help!!! I want to try Wax-Leaf Privet. Is mulching going to be enough? Because I plan to keep it on my porch in winter. How old should the plant be for me to start training it? Thanks!!!

5 Apr, 2011


Whoa! It's in a container? Maybe wrap the pot in bubble wrap through the winter. Or put it in an outer pot, and fill the space between with styrofoam "peanuts"--that looks better, and can keep the heat off in the summer, too.

5 Apr, 2011


Hey Tug,

I like the styrofoam idea! I never knew that you can do this! Definitely going to do it. Thank You very much!

6 Apr, 2011


Hi Guys,

I bought my Privets!

I need your help,
should I replant it in a bigger pot and tie it to a stake this year? Or should I wait and let it grow? Thanks so much for your input!

10 Apr, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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