Caring for dwarf Conifers in Containers- Contained conifers do best in a moist, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. Submerge your plant’s root ball in water to eliminate air bubbles, and then gently remove the plant from container without damaging roots. Plant the conifer carefully in a container at the same depth it has been growing. In containers, conifers need a regular watering schedule and protection from winter cold extremes. Water regularly throughout the year, pay special attention to months of active growth and dry weather, even in winter.
Hole and soil preparation- Dig the planting hole a minimum of twice the width of the root ball but no deeper. The depth of the hole should allow solid ground below the root mass resulting in the root flare at the top of the root mass to be slightly higher than the finish grade of the planting. The soil must have good drainage. Amend the soil that is removed from the hole with mulch, compost or good potting soil at a ratio of 1 shovel full of mulch to 3 of soil; blend well. This is especially important when it is clay soil.
Container grown-Before planting, carefully loosen the roots all around the root ball. Place plant in the prepared hole being sure the root flare is slightly above ground. Begin filling in around the plant with the amended soil. Water well before the hole is filled to remove air pockets then water again when the planting is complete. Apply no more than 2″ of mulch on top of the root ball being sure it does not touch the bark of the plant.
Watering- Do not allow your plant to dry out. Adjust your watering to climate. During dry or summer weather, water deeply 1-2 times a week, slowly soaking the area around the plant to a depth of 4″. Do not over water. If the soil is wet, do not add water. It can be beneficial to contain water by creating a slight “well” around the plant so the water can’t run off. Once the plant is established or prior to heavy rains return soil around plant to natural grade so the plant does not drown in a mini pond.
Fertilizing- If you desire to fertilize, make sure to use an organic acid-lovers like G&B Acid Fertilizer and G&B Planting Compost or Acid Planting Mix insuring protection for tender new root growth. In the spring of the following season add fertilizer for mature plants. Never allow fertilizer to contact plant foliage as it may burn the plant and cause severe dieback. www.iselinursery.com/conifers-in-containers/