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When the air turns chilly in fall, gardeners often discard, propagate, or find a home in the ground for their outdoor potted plants. One pot, four seasonsYucca and bergenia are the core plants in this container, shining in summer and fall. Golden creeping Jenny ( Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zones 4–8) is truly a reliable performer in a container. This deer-resistant shrub ( Pieris japonica and cvs., Zones 6–8) is an excellent candidate for containers.
With its green, glossy, oval leaves, bergenia ( Bergenia cordifolia and cvs., Zones 3–8) is one of my favorite plants because it is a strong grower that provides a bold element in a container design. Another shrub that performs nicely in a container is variegated redtwig dogwood ( Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’, Zones 2–8).
I particularly like this cultivar because it grows into a graceful pyramid rather than turning into a meatballshaped shrub.It’s tough, but living in a container will keep it smaller than its normal 5-foot height and 3-foot width. Though its evergreen foliage provides interest in all seasons, the spring growth on Japanese pieris is especially striking, varying in color from glossy red to salmon pink to creamy white, depending on the cultivar.In winter, the flower buds are showy—usually dark red, with some opening to shades of pink. Its leaves have white margins and grayish green centers, and the bright red stems shine in winter, particularly if given an evergreen backdrop.

In spring, before the yucca and bergenia have returned to form, pansies and lamium steal the show.I hightly recommend 'Golden Sword' yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’, Zones 4–11) because it combines easily with so many plants. The upright, narrow habit of this cultivar of our native arborvitae fits the bill as the vertical accent that many containers need.The shape and texture of its foliage make it easy to combine with other plants.
A single ‘Elegantissima’ growing in a 24-inchwide, blue ceramic pot has worked for three years as a focal point in one of our borders.The shrub’s variegated leaves are a handsome foil to the hydrangeas in the ground on either side of it, and a mass of variegated Solomon’s seal near the base of the container conceals it most of the year. At only 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide, this sedum dresses up a container’s edge and even makes a good cut flower for small bouquets. There are mixes specifically made for use in containers, which provide the essential drainage that plants living in pots need.Stop feeding in fall.
Heucheras are particularly suited for containers because they like well-drained soil and recover easily from winter. It works well in containers because it easily combines with most colors and the branches arch elegantly over the rim of a pot. Your containers can provide you with year-round interest, depending on the plants you choose, and you can lend consistency to your designs.For a plant, life in a container is much different than one in the ground.
Place this shrub in full sun to half shade, and watch out for an attack by Japanese beetles in summer.

Containers can provide excellent drainage, but the plants depend on you for water and nutrients. Shrubs and larger perennials often stay smaller in a pot, though this depends on the plant, climate, and container.
Also, containers don’t insulate a plant’s roots from winter temperatures.The general rule of thumb for container-plant survival through the winter is that the plant should be hardy to two zones colder than your USDA Hardiness Zone.
Through trial and error, I have found a wide array of plants that can live year after year in a container. Use products such as Wilt-Pruf on broadleaf evergreens and conifers to protect against damage from winter winds.Repot every few years. Though some plants will live longer in a container, repot your plants every three years to be on the safe side.

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  • 26.12.2013, admin

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