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