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Which soil/compost needed for growing Thuja Smaragd Emerald in planters?

I am planning to buy 4 Thuja Smaragd Emarald root ball trees to grow in planters on my patio as a privacy screen.  What type of soil or compost do I need to use in the planters?  I am a novice gardener and all help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.



  • You'll need to use large planters of at least 90 litre capacity (eg 60cm dia. pots) if you want them to last for many years, and best to use use a John Innes #3 loam-based compost mixed with about 20% grit to help drainage.  As you mention that you're a novice, don't forget to feed them with a general purpose liquid feed every 3-4 weeks during spring and summer.  Regular and deep watering is essential (don't overdo it though - a bucketful per tree once a week should be sufficient but if the soil feels dry 2" down, give more.)  They don't like drying out at all and generally don't grow back from sections which have gone brown because of drought conditions.  For the same reason, never trim them back into brown wood and you should be good to go.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hi Bob, thanks for your quick and detailed reply.  Is Westland John Innes #3 Mature Plant compost OK?
  • Hi Jerry, that happens to be the brand I also use and is fine. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I am also thinking that maybe bamboo would be a better choice.  I would prefer Thuja's but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I have 2 planters with external measurements of 100cm width x 50cm depth x 39cm height.  I was planning to plant 2 Thuja emerald root ball 160/180cm in each.  Are these big enough for 2 Thuja's or would it be best to plant bamboo in them?  I want to make a privacy screen on my patio to restrict the view of my neighbours new extension window.  I am not worried if they do not grow much in height but need them to grow outwards a little only as the top of the fence from the top of the planter is about 150cm.

    If bamboo is the best option which type is the best for a patio planter?  Thanks.

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