09 Jul Seasonal Potted Plantings
Through the grey days of winter I always love to have a selection of pots out on the deck or at the front door with some flowering colour – I have a soft spot for the flowers of Pansies or Violas so they will always be included in my potted flowering displays for winter.
Whilst I adore planting out Pansy for winter, I also like to incorporate a few different plant species to mix up the planting, to give interesting foliage combinations and a variety of heights and flower colour. Don’t be limited to just annuals you can always mix flowering perennial plants or foliage plants into your potted display that once the pansy finish flowering they can be dug out and used in the garden. The potted displays can be slightly over planted in the way you see many northern hemisphere gardeners do in their window boxes and hanging basket displays.
I don’t normally worry about planting out anything during the warmer months. I’m not sure why, maybe because of the heat it is harder to keep things alive in pots or things are higher maintenance in summer or maybe because there is so much more colour in the garden during the summer I don’t feel the need to create some colourful display or pop of colour for your day. I normally have a selection of pots in a variety of sizes both width and height grouped together in a corner somewhere. It’s nice to have a variety of heights to give different levels for the display. I will select a mixture of annuals and perennials that will work well together. I normally only use bloomer pots for the annuals rather than seedlings so you get the instant gratification of their blooms.
When selecting your plants choose a range of plants to give different height foliage, contrasting colours and textures. The Pansy is always the feature of the winter display but I add in a few other plants to give interest. Ideally when you plant out a potted display it is good to have three levels of planting – a filler plant, a spill over plant and then something as a stand out taller plant for height. In this year’s seasonal planting the combination to give this effect was the Pansy as the filler, the Myoporum as the spill over plant and the Dusty Miller and Diascia as the height. I love using the silver Dusty Miller with annuals display as it has a wonderful contrasting colour and shape with its silver foliage and fern like leaf shape. This plant is always used in my potted annual display.
Here is a link to a REEL that I filmed when planting my potted display for this winter.
Tips for a winter display
- Use a good size pot so that they aren’t going to dry out too quick and as I do tend to over plant (to give you an instant effect) a larger pot will give you the space to create the effect that you want.
- Always use good quality premium potting mixture.
- Select flower colour combinations that you like. I love to use yellow and white together or purple with shades of orange or any tones of blue with white or a pale lemony yellow.
- When it comes to planting unlike most other plants, annuals don’t need to have their roots teased out too much, if at all. Teasing out the roots can do more damage than good to them. The roots are so fine and delicate you can easily damage them.
- Water all new plantings in well after planting. You will need to monitor watering depending on location. If you use saucers under your pots ensure that they aren’t left standing in saucers of water for long periods of time especially if you have long periods of continued rain.
- Always ensure that your pot location will get enough sun for the flowering to continue.
- Fertilise any annuals with a fertiliser higher in potassium every two weeks to encourage more flowering.
- Continue to dead head flowering annuals regularly to encourage more flowers.