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Spiral Boxwood
or Arborvita on porch?

Q: I recently purchased a spiral 'boxwood' or 'arborvitae' in an auction (the tag was removed, so that is why I don't know which one it is), but my question is can I grow my new spiral in a container on my front porch in Huron, OH?

A: Yes, you should be able to grow your spiral plant in a container. Be sure the container is plenty large so that you have a lot of soil volume for the roots to grow into, and also be protected from winter's cold.

Plants in a container are more vulnerable to the cold "seeping in" from the sides, not just the top, so the more soil volume you have the slower it will take to freeze in. If the roots freeze they'll die, and you'll end up with a dead containerized plant in the spring.

You can tell the difference between an arborvita and boxwood this way -- the boxwood will have small roundish leaves, probably about the size of your fingernail.

The arborvita will have scale-like foliage that is abruptly pointed, and it emits a tangy aroma when broken.

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