Conifers

There is great variety in the size and shape of conifers although most tend to have a neat natural habit and are ideal for screening. Some conifers, such as the cypresses, can form spectacular dense hedges. Many conifers can be grown in pots and are often used for bonsai or topiary, but ensure that the pots have good drainage and water on a regular basis.

  • Soil: Most conifers prefer slightly acidic soils, though some junipers will do well in slightly alkaline soils. They all require good drainage but should never be allowed to dry out so consistent watering is necessary to prevent unsightly brown foliage appearing.
  • Position: Just about all conifers are suited to an open, sunny position with good ventilation. This will help prevent some of the fungal diseases that can affect the plants.
  • Fertilising: These plants do not require much in the way of fertiliser. A light application of a slow-release fertiliser for trees will suffice.
  • Mulching: Conifers have a shallow root system which needs to be kept cool and moist. Mulch with compost or leaf mould.
  • Pruning: Due to their natural growing habit, most conifers do not need to be pruned. Most conifers cannot be pruned back to old wood and will suffer permanent scarring if this is done. Take great care when pruning mature hedges; a very light pruning is best to ensure you don’t ruin the aesthetic appeal.