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outside ceramic planter - is it killing my plants?

11 years ago

Hello all,

last year I tried planting two varieties of small trees in a couple of ceramic planters that flanked my garage. The first were a pair of emerald greens, and the second a pair of dwarf alberta spruce. Before the summer was done, both died.

The planters are of the larger variety, so I don't think it was a matter of them being too small. The emerald greens would have eventually gotten too large for the planters, I realize that,... but they didn't even last long enough for that problem.

For drainage, I drilled 3 equal distant small holes (approx.1/4") in the bottom of the planters. I then placed a screen over the bottom, and then layered some small pea gravel over that. When I water, it seems to drain very well, maybe even too well,... in that I can start to see the water came out the bottom after a few minutes.

What I can't figure out is why did both tree varieties die? Yes, they are in full sun all day,.. but both are supposed to tolerate that.

For instance, after a couple of weeks of planting the alberta spruce, they started putting out new growth, and all looked great. Then, as time went on,... they simply started to wilt, and die. I was trying to pay close attention to NOT over watering, but, since they were newly planted, I watered whenever the soil seemed dry.

Could I have been over watering? I don't see how, especially since the water was draining so quickly.

Any thoughts on what is going on? My wife seems to think that it is just too hot for the plants inside the ceramic planters in full sun all day.

Thanks for any advice, as it is time once again to try and plant "something" to flank my garage.


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