Top Tips for Growing in Pots

Sedum bootimus-Don’t judge the results by the crop you harvest but by the seeds you sow

Ten Tips for Growing in Pots and Containers

  1. Terracotta is a sympathetic choice for containers in your garden. They are also porous and let in air and allow plant roots to cool through evaporation.
  2. Try several pots of the same size and or shape in a group (I like ‘long tom’ pots). Planted with Agrostis Cloud grass will create a real impact.
  3. Exotics like Banana plants look shapely and they can be moved, pot and all into shelter or wrapped for winter protection.
  4. Keep a sense of balance between the needs of your container plants. They need water, food and light but not an excess of any one feature. The pot is a micro environment that needs regular care such as watering / drainage, fertilizer and shelter.
  5. Trailing plants will benefit from a bit of training in  the right direction.  Pinch out rampant plants and those you want to branch. Pick off faded flowers.
  6. Constant watering can wash out nutrients so give a weekly liquid feed.
  7. Mix plants of different colours, textures, habits and heights. Variegated plants and scented plants often work well.
  8. Locate the pot carefully as the aesthetic of the base and pot combination can be important. A gravel or coloured chipping base can be very effective.
  9. Do not be too conventional with the container. In addition to the old gardeners boot (above) I have seen a wheel barrow planted with courgettes and fire buckets (with holes) used for displays. Use your artistic skills like many container on the top of barges that are brightly painted.
  10. Choose appropriate plants. Below is a second top ten of plants you may want to try in pots.

Top Ten Plants for Outdoor Pots

    1. Clematis cartmanii ‘Joe’ is a white, spring flowering trailer that can be tied to an upright. Try it with blue Crocus or Muscari.

    1. Helichrysum are grown for their small coloured leaf and trailing habit. Choose from  Helichrysum petiolare Limelight or Helichrysum microphyllum small grey leaves.
    2. Petunia used to be a favourite but now I grow Million Bells sold under the genus name Calibrachoa. Exceptionally colourful and easy to maintain.
    3. Skimmia japonica Rubella can give year round interest and a pot makes it easier to provide the right soil conditions.
    4. Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’ is another plant to provide year round interest.
    5. Hostas make good pot plants because we think the pot protects them from slugs and snails but beware they can climb!
    6. Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum  or Purple Fountain Grass can be a show stopper  but there are also many others grasses to chose from.
    7. Impatiens can be too sugary for my taste but Fiesta White is a gorgeous Busy Lizzie lighting up a shady area.
    8. Agave americana variegata in a deep red pot can bring an exotic and  sunny feel to your patio.
    9. The last choice is ‘What ever works for you’ but why grow in pots what grows well in the garden  so I advocate something, exciting, experimental, exotic or entertaining.

Pots for potting


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