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9 Plants For An Urn (Quick Read)


If the majority of the plants appreciate being planted in full ground, many of them accept perfectly the culture in urn. There are even some that flourish more easily when grown out of the ground. The plants for urns are plants with small or medium development, appreciated for their ornamental qualities, we present 9 of them to you.


9 plants to put in an urn

1. Canada thuja ‘Smaragd’ (Canada thuja)

This dwarf conifer keeps a reasonable size, to install it in a bin. Its size will not exceed 35 inches in height. Ideal to create a continuous hedge and a windbreak in a large raised bed adapted. Its growth habit is compact and pyramidal, bright green in all seasons. It will take golden shades in winter. Beware of pollen for allergy sufferers!


Cultivation & maintenance

It is resistant to low temperatures, which is not negligible in cold regions, and grows, watered frequently, in all types of soil. However, avoid too wet soil, even in XXL flower urns. It will enjoy the sun. Trim if necessary, but avoid severe pruning.


2. The olive tree, Olea europaea

This beautiful Mediterranean tree, a reflection of Provence, needs a container that corresponds to its size. Its beautiful ashy green foliage will shine in spring on your terrace.


Cultivation & maintenance

Install it in full sun, sheltered from the wind. Water it regularly as the soil dries out faster in the flower urn, but moderately so as not to flood it for too long and cause the roots to rot. Don’t forget to prune it gently once a year, in the fall or spring. A natural fertilizer will not be negligible during its growth and afterwards. Before frost comes, cover it and its container with a protective veil to protect the roots. As your tree grows, don’t forget to change its urn.


3. The pittospore, Pittosporum tobira ‘Nana’

It is a dwarf shrub, native to China and Japan. Its small rounded size makes it a perfect subject for containers. Its oval leaves are shiny green and are accompanied, in late spring and summer, by beautiful fragrant white flowers.


Cultivation & care

Favour a mild climate, sunny or semi-shady exposure and rich soil. Don’t neglect watering it in summer for attractive foliage. Protect it if you live in a cold region.


4. Myrtle, Myrtus communis

This Mediterranean evergreen shrub, about 3 m high, has small, pointed, dark green leaves and in the spring reveals pretty, fragrant, star-shaped white flowers. Black to violet berries will appear later on.


Cultivation & Care

Expose your large urn to the sun or half-shade. This shrub will thrive in cool, well-drained soil. Prune it in the spring to keep its compact, ball or pyramid shape. In cold regions, remember to protect it or bring in your XXL urns if you can.


5. The palm tree, Chamaerops humilis

This dwarf palm has the particularity of being a native European species. It grows spontaneously in calcareous soils and frequently in scrub. The adult size of the trunks of older subjects can reach 10 feets in height and 1 foot in diameter. The steep-sectioned leaves are 12 to 20 inches long and grow in a crown around a stalk of the same size, with a border filled with sharp spines.


The color of the fronds (leaves), ranging from green-grey to grey-blue, will depend on the species. At the end of spring, fragrant male flowers will bloom in the garden. A delight! A plant to be advised in large urn of flower for any type of outside, because it will take a few years before reaching its adult size.


Cultivation & maintenance

It is easy to grow in mild temperate climates. It will grow in sun or shade in all types of soil. There is no pruning necessary. Clean it regularly. Annually, add a natural fertilizer.


6. Cycas or Japanese sago, Cycas revoluta

The cycas kind looks like a palm tree, but it is not! Make no mistake, it is a prehistoric plant that belongs to the cycadaceae family. The Cycas revoluta is the only one of its species to live outdoors and the most cultivated in the world. Endemic to Japan, its development is slow. Its pinnate, crown-shaped leaves originate at the top of its short, thick trunk, which may be numerous or isolated. Its life expectancy is long. You can keep it between 50 and 100 years.


Cultivation & maintenance

The cycas require very little care. It likes well drained and deep soil. When watering it, do not gorge it with water. Bring soil once a year to make up for the lack of soil in the urn. It is easy to transplant.


7. Bird of paradise, Strelitzia reginae

This splendid exotic plant will enchant your terrace or your garden of its flowers in bright orange colors all summer long. The Strelitzia reginae ‘Humilis’ is a dwarf species that will fit perfectly in outdoor urns. It does not exceed 35 inches.


Cultivation & Care

During the winter, reduce watering. Tuck in your urns if you can during the winter or cover them. Remove dry parts only.


8. Bamboo

This plant is ideal in urn. You will be certain not to be invaded whatever the species which you will choose. Its high foliage always green and bushy, in winter like in summer, will make of it a companion of terrace or balcony very appreciated. Its culms, or stems, streaked with green, yellow and even black will be very decorative and will participate in the tranquility of your spaces by protecting you from prying eyes.


Cultivation & maintenance

Leave its leaves in the urn, which will keep moisture at its feet. Water throughout the year and copiously in summer. Bring a natural fertilizer every year. No pruning is necessary. Define the size of the plant you need and choose the species accordingly.


9. Succulents and cacti

Succulents, such as agaves but also cacti, will grow easily in different sized containers. Thanks to their slow growth, you will be able to keep these plants for a long time in the same urns. Be careful of the thorns, if you have children.


Cultivation & maintenance

Prefer sunny exposure and dry or rocky soils. These plants do not require any maintenance or pruning. Bring a little new soil every year.



The urn is a decorative object very popular among gardeners. Original and full of charm, it enhances the plants it shelters. The particular conditions of culture (humidity, limited space, rare substrate) however imply some precautions.


We present 9 plants to be planted in an urn.

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