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admin | Category: Living Container | 06.07.2015
From the bucks you’ll save to the boundless array of container ideas you can choose from, benefits abound when you plant perennials in pots. If you plant containers every year, you probably have a list of go-to annuals at the ready. With literally hundreds of gorgeous varieties available for the planting, your options for creating the prettiest pots on the block are endless. Container Ideas: A few things you need to know before you pot up your first perennial beauty! More ArticlesGardening With ColorPlant the right hues to create a warm and inviting backyard space.
Gardening Basics to Keep Plants HealthyStack the odds in your favor by learning the gardening basics of these disease-resistant plants.
Don't forget that Containers dry out more quickly than ground plantings,  Since containers need to be watered more frequently, nutrients are likely to be leached from the containers faster. Keep Annuals well-fed and don't let them dry out between waterings,  Apply a liquid fertilizer oncea week or use a combination of liquid and slow-release fertilizers, following the rates recommended on the labels.
A garden of white can be enjoyed throughout the daylight hours and adds a unique charm at night.
Foliage texture can add as much excitement as color so don't shy away from using plants with lots of texture and little color.
Warm colors (orange, yellow, red) are attention grabbers and can help give large spaces a more intimate feel.
Cool colors (blue, purple, green) are more likely to relax a viewer and can make small spaces appear larger. Use perennials for a pretty container now and then transfer them into the ground at the end of the season. In the world of rock gardening, containers play an important role in growing petite perennial plants.  Plants such as dwarf or miniature conifers can be grown as specimens in pots.
Traditional hard-fired pots such as terra cotta and glazed pots can also be used.  But it is recommended that you actually plant in plastic pots and drop them into it into a slightly larger hard-fired using small bark chips to fill the sides and bottom between the two pots. Kirk Fieseler of Laporte Avenue Nursery helped us create this wonderful video on trough gardening – check it out!
The right soil mix is essential for a rock gardener to have long term success with their containers.
Planted pots and hypertufa containers need regular fertilization to keep the plants healthy. For cacti and succulents, it is important to regularly use an acidified fertilizer mix for both the above cacti and succulents potting mixes. Plant Select® Petites  debuts well-adapted, smaller plants that have not yet been readily available to gardeners. Many people are very comfortable planting up containers with annual planting, such as summer bedding, but how about planting up a container with perennials? Given the variety of containers available, you really need to start with the container, as this will dictate how many plants, and what type, you will be able to grow.
Your location will also dictate which plants you will be able to grow, for example, those that will tolerate shade, or those that like full sun.
You want your container to look good, so pick plants whose flower and leaf colours will complement each other and your chosen container. You can buy compost, topsoil and such a wide variety of growing media from compost suppliers that there really is no excuse for getting it wrong.
We strive to be the UK's leading compost suppliers, we offer a huge range of growing media and soil improvers, from organic compost & manures to Multi Purpose, Potting and Specialist composts. As more gardeners experiment with overwintering tubs and other containers with perennials in them, new information is becoming available on which plants will survive with minimal winter care, and which methods give the best results. If you plan to try overwintering perennials in your pots, avoid clay (also called terra cotta) pots, since these can easily crack and break from the action of water expanding in the soil when it freezes.  Gardeners in very mild winter regions have less of a problem with this. By including perennials in your container displays, it throws the windows wide open to experimentation with endless flower and foliage color, texture, blooming times, perhaps even winter interest. Next, select a plant with attractive foliage as an accent, such as a Hosta, or something with silver, burgundy, gold or variegated foliage. Then choose another plant with a different foliage texture from the first two, but perhaps with either a complimentary (i.e. Finally, choose a selection or filler plants.  These could be several trailing plants to spill over the sides, or perhaps something with a delicate, airy sort of habit.

Since containers are meant to be focal points in the garden, this is a unique opportunity to be daring, and to use colors you might not ordinarily choose. Our online Perennial Search Encyclopedia allows you to pull a list of perennials that are especially suitable for container gardening.  Just search by Containers on the Attributes menu. Most container gardens look best when they are packed with plants, with little or no soil visible. In contrast, alpine troughs (or other containers featuring rock garden plants) look best if the little mounding plants are placed with an inch or two of space in between.  Try mulching the soil with a half inch of washed pea gravel, sand or small stones to give a finished look, and to prevent weeds or moss from flourishing. Terra cotta (clay) and paper fiber containers dry out particularly quickly because they wick water out of the soil through the sides of the pot. As a guideline, large containers in the sun require thorough watering twice a week, minimum.  Containers planted with succulents or drought-tolerant alpines require less frequent watering and can endure several days without the hose. Maintenance consists of removing faded flowers to promote re-bloom and pruning back leggy plants to keep them looking tidy and to encourage fresh, compact growth.  Weeds should be removed as soon as they are noticed.
There are numerous perennials, vines and shrubs which, in milder regions, remain attractive all winter.  Consider planting Winter Heath (Erica carnea) with Bergenia, pansies, flowering kale and English Ivy (Hedera helix).
Many varieties of succulent, drought-resistant perennials are available for this.  A selection of colorful Sedums, Hens-and-Chicks, and Donkey-tail Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) can transform a large clay or concrete container into a spectacle of intriguing year-round color.
By Rachel LiskaProven WinnersSWITCH IT UP If you’re using a container “recipe,” just switch out one of the annuals in the diagram for a perennial instead. And think of all the money you’ll save at the end of the growing season when you can transfer your container plants into the garden instead of throwing them out.
You can definitely plant perennials in the containers you currently have, but if you’re buying new, shoot for something bigger.
As you would with any container planting, make sure the pot you choose has drainage holes and that it has been cleaned thoroughly if used before. It’s true that perennials are tougher than annuals, so one advantage of using them in containers is that you can set out your pots a couple of weeks earlier than usual.
Similar to redoing your home’s interior, exterior decorating lets you express your personality.
For continuous bloom and color, plant a combination of containers that include seasonal showboats. Perhaps the best thing about potting perennials is that you can add them to the landscape instead of tossing them when the growing season ends.
I bought one because it was so pretty but also it looked to me like they were all perennials, which surprised me! Discover some of our favorite Container Gardening Ideas and photos that we've put together just for you! Other petite plants including small conifers can be combined to duplicate, on a miniature scale, a natural grouping of plants. But being perennial, the plants must be grown in containers that are weather proof (not cracking from freezing and thawing soil) over the winter months. This protects the hard-fired pot from cracking by separating the soil mix from the sides of the ceramic pot.
Designed to be wider and longer than they are deep, they are roomy and provide space for multiple plants, ornamental rocks and small pieces of weathered wood to be used together.
As you would expect when you ask three chefs for a recipe for chili, you’d get three slightly variations in their ingredient list. Both scoria and expanded shale have a lot of pore space within them to absorb and hold water while also providing improved drainage.
Even though many of these plants love alkaline limestone soils, the root environment in a pot or hypertufa trough is different. Enjoy these treasures in garden situations where small gem-like but tough plants are best suited: troughs, permanent containers, rock gardens, patio gardens, fairy gardens, green roofs, and smaller gardens.
The considerations for what to put in are rather different, because your plants may well grow more slowly, but eventually reach much larger sizes.
Remember that unglazed terracotta pots lose moisture much quicker than glazed ones, and that plastic pots are lighter and so may be easier to move once the display is no longer so good, in winter.
So decide where your container will be and look carefully at the conditions to decide what plants will suit the location.
As a general guide, mushroom compost, or spent mushroom compost and manure compost, will provide good growing conditions for most containers, although you may want to mix them with some topsoil to improve water retention. In some regions triple mix is available, which has equal parts of coarse sand, soil and either sphagnum peat or compost.  Many gardeners have reported excellent results using triple mix in pots, right out of the bag.

Much closer spacing is usually used in pots than when the same plants are grown directly in the garden.  It is difficult to generalize on this, since each plant grows differently, but aim for your container to look attractive immediately after planting, or with just enough extra space left for plants to fill in within a few weeks. If not, the container might need to be watered repeatedly, or even allowed to soak for a couple of hours in a tub of water.
How about growing drought-resistant Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum) in old work boots filled with sandy soil?  You could pose them permanently plodding up your steps! From stunning succulents to savory herbs, we’re learning that, as container gardening evolves, almost anything will thrive in a pot. For example, when the nodding bells of spring-blooming columbine are on their way out, have a butterfly-welcoming bee balm waiting in the wings.
Hostas offer an almost endless variety of green to blue hues and distinctive shapes, plus they’re tough and easy to care for. We recently moved to a whole different state, and these will be great to plant in the front yard garden – LOVE IT! Some plants have proven to be “intractable” (ungrowable) planted into the ground and yet thrive when grown in containers. The fine hair roots grow around and into these porous materials where they can extract water when the soil is dry. This formula comes from Steve Brack, owner of Mesa Gardens and a world renowned expert on cacti. But the rewards are a display that grows and changes year by year, and much more variety of planting than is possible with an annual display. Horse manure works well too but that is more suited to industrial size operations rather than small pot growings. This is especially important if you plan to overwinter them in their pots or transfer permanently into a garden bed. If you plan to pot up a corydalis, for instance, make sure you have a shady spot for it—a covered porch or under a leafy tree. If you’re planting two varieties, pick a “thriller” and a “spiller.” Craving more color, fun or drama? Planting them then still gives the plants enough time to acclimate to their surroundings before winter sets in. Traditionally, the English and Europeans (who started the art of rock gardening) used farm troughs carved from stone to containerize their rock garden plants.
This is a very effective way to display a diverse collection of potted rock garden plants. Instructions to make your own hypertufa can be found here.
Kelly Grummons, owner of Timberline Gardens, long time rock gardener and container grower recommends the following soil mixes. Add some slow release fertiliser pellets to help your plants to grow nicely, and then you’re ready to plant up your containers. If you face gardening challenges—say, a windy, unprotected patio—planting a wind-resistant perennial like flax, feather reed grass or Russian sage might give you the backyard beauty you’ve been longing for.
Dwarf varieties and disease-resistant perennials may also offer you the best chance for success.
If you lean toward the modern and edgy, purple fountain grass and Japanese painted fern may be for you. Coralbells is another foliage all-star whose leaves come in a dazzling array of colors and patterns. If you don’t have room in your garden bed or your container plantings don’t fit in with the theme of your landscape, consider creating a holding bed to overwinter plants until you can dig them back up and repot.
The best thing of potting perennials is that you can add them to the landscape instead of tossing them when the growing season ends.
Many accomplished rock gardeners grow their plants in both rock gardens and containers to make their plantings more diverse and interesting. As a rough guide, yellow-leaved plants will be better in shade, grey-leaved plants will enjoy full sun. I also use this same idea for the flower pots at the cemetery and they withstand the summer heat better than just having all annuals.
This combination of Portland cement, sand and peat moss proved to be very durable and could be molded into a variety of different shapes .

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Comments »

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