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Potted Trees for a Beautiful Porch

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Learn how trees and shrubs in decorative planters transformed three outdoor spaces -- a suburban entry, brownstone landing, and backyard terrace.

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Move over, flowerpots. Potted trees and shrubs offer big style but are small enough to move with ease. No matter where you live, they allow you to bring the beauty of nature close to home. Check out how their leafy loveliness livened up three different settings.

Suburban Entry
Trees and shrubs are a great way to add character to a suburban entry. The clean lines of a dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca albertiana 'Conica') (#91852) in the large container work wonderfully with the home's modern design. Meanwhile, its companion, 'Sungold' golden threadleaf cypress (Chamaecyparis spp.) (#10525), adds a fun, whimsical touch and a contrasting shape. The two pebble stone planters (#248870, #124617) contribute texture and eye-catching design elements.

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Plant-Care Tips: Both of these dwarf cultivars will do well in containers for several years if you provide winter protection. 'Sungold' can take partial shade but will have more color in full sun.

Tip: Virtually any tree or shrub can be grown in a container for one growing season. Longer than that, and you'll need to do some annual maintenance: snip roots to keep them from circling the pot, replant in fresh potting mix, and prune to desired size and shape.

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Brownstone Landing
Pretty meets city with this potted hibiscus (#104959) on a downtown apartment landing. This gorgeous thriller and complementary spiller -- a gold moneywort (#93114) -- reside in a sturdy ceramic planter (#281212). Both varieties can take the heat of the concrete jungle.

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Plant-Care Tips: Hibiscus like plenty of warmth and moisture. Consider using a saucer under the pot to hold extra moisture for those times when you're not able to water daily. Water-absorbing crystals can also be added to the potting mix. It's a tropical plant, so bring indoors when temperatures are expected to drop below 50 degrees F.

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Setting #3: Backyard Terrace
Style is at the forefront of this backyard terrace, thanks to boxwood shrubs (#97203) in large mosaic planters (#208107). The planters' colorful pattern makes them stunning focal points, while the shrubs' vivid green foliage and boisterous branching add season-long natural focal points.

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Plant-Care Tips: Boxwood (Buxus spp.) are slow growing so they're well suited to containers. With tiny leaves, they also respond well to shearing and shaping, so you can create topiaries.

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Potted trees and shrubs can help define an outdoor space -- especially when you line up multiple planters. These five terra cotta pots (#94453) feature a classic look and contain 'Little Giant' dwarf arborvitae (#91853). 

Tip: When staging multiple planters, go with odd numbers (as we did with the five terra cotta pots) to create maximum visual interest.

Plant-Care Tips: Arborvitae (Thuja spp.) prefer full sun but can take partial shade. Treat them to a balanced, slow-release fertilizer once a year and keep them watered. Containerized plants will need winter protection in cold climates.