Growing Indian Hawthorn in Pots

Growing shrubs in containers is a great way to dress up a deck, patio, or front entry with bold forms and colors. Indian Hawthorn provides four seasons of interest while also being very low maintenance. The compact and smaller overall height of most varieties is perfect for large containers at least 18 inches in diameter. Permanent mixed plantings, in very large planters, are effective for defining an outdoor space and provide nectar and berries for various pollinators and wildlife. 


Planting Indian Hawthorn in Pots

Container-grown Indian Hawthorns can be easily transplanted into a decorative pot anytime during the growing season. Choose a pot that is several inches larger than the rootball if it is to be planted on its own. Ensure that the final location will receive 6 or more hours of full sun exposure and is not in the path of any prevailing winter winds. The container must have drainage holes in the bottom, as Indian Hawthorn needs good drainage year-round. Keep in mind that containers made from terra cotta do not hold up to freezing and thawing cycles during the winter. In the lowest hardiness zone for Indian Hawthorn (zone 8), select a pot made from plastic or composite resin, which is more likely to last many winters without damage. 

Best Soil For Indian Hawthorn in Pots

Always choose a potting mix intended for containers. Bagged garden soil mixes will be too heavy and can become compacted over time with repeated watering and fertilizing. A potting mix will remain light and provide adequate air pore space for the root system. Mixing in extra perlite will lighten the container even more, which is desirable if the pot is on a balcony or deck. Consider mulching the top of the soil with organic compost or finely shredded bark. The mulch helps to keep the soil cool while also suppressing any annual weeds. Top dressing with worm castings or compost will also add nutrients each time the container is watered. 

Caring For Indian Hawthorn in Planters

Growing shrubs in containers is a great way to instantly decorate and define an outdoor area. Two of the most important elements to keeping the shrubs thriving are good watering techniques and consistent feeding. 

Watering Indian Hawthorn in Pots

Watering consistently and correctly will keep your shrubs growing vigorously in a container. Because there is a finite amount of soil in a container, they do dry out faster than soil in a garden bed. Allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry between watering sessions. Water the soil in the pot and try to avoid wetting the foliage. Water long enough that liquid starts to run from the drainage holes. This will let you know that all of the potting mix has been saturated fully. Keep in mind that smaller pots will dry out faster than large planters, and check each pot accordingly. 

Fertilizing Indian Hawthorn in Pots

Typically potting mixes have low amounts of nutrients so that they can be customized to the specific plants you want to grow. As plants are watered, nutrients naturally are leached from containers. Indian Hawthorn does not need high levels of NPK but will need a consistent program of feeding to maintain basic nutrition. Use a granular fertilizer to top-dress the soil early in spring and then again in mid-summer. Choose an NPK ratio of 3-1-1 to provide gentle feeding that does not promote excessive foliage. Shrubs growing in the warmest growing zones (9-10) may need one more feeding early in the fall because they may still be actively growing through the winter.

Winter Care For Indian Hawthorn in Pots

Indian Hawthorn grows best in USDA zones 8-10. Extra protection is rarely required where winter temperatures are routinely above freezing. Extra coverage may be necessary if temperatures are forecasted to fall below 20-15 degrees F. Try wrapping the pot and plant in layers of horticultural fabric, garden frost blankets, or even old sheets to protect from any cold damage in the short term. If possible, move the planter to a more sheltered location or a frost-free spot such as an unheated greenhouse or garage for long-term protection. Do not water the shrubs when temperatures are below 45 degrees F and let the soil dry between waterings.  

Growing Indian Hawthorn Indoors

Indian Hawthorn is a warm climate shrub that is meant to be grown outdoors. Unlike tropical plants that can be grown indoors over the winter in colder climates, Indian Hawthorn does not tolerate growing inside.

Robbin Small Profile Pic

 Author Robbin Small - Published 6-08-2023