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Potted plant care:

As part of my on going efforts to try and improve the garden for next year, I've now turned to thinking about what could be done with the pots we have scattered around.

In the past (many, many years ago) we only ever bunged some annual bedding plants in them and essentially just kept them watered and that was it.

However if I'm having another crack at this I'd like to try and do it 'properly'. The problem is I know nothing about properly caring for a potted plant beyond keeping it watered. I know they need nutrients, but that topic itself seems rather massive and confusing coming in fresh.

So I wanted to ask some advice as to how people would go about preparing and on-going caring for potted plants? Are there any particular pitfalls to avoid etc

(For the sake of argument, I'm thinking in terms of Scabious, Calendula, some of the smaller Phlox's or things like Cornflowers and Heartsease). The pots in question are not massive, so for the larger ones it would most likely be 1, maybe 2 plants per pot.



  • Scabious, Cornflowers and Heartsease are basically native wild flowers so thrive on poor soil. Keep the compost light by mixing in some grit or coarse sand (not the builder's sort) and don't fertilise.
    The phlox and calendula won't mind a bit more generous soil to grow in, but often feeding too much leads to more green growth and fewer flowers so don't go mad with the fertiliser there either.
    All are annuals or treated as such and don't have quite the same problems as plants that have to live in pots for years.
    Water according to rainfall and how dry the soil feels to the touch. Even heavy rain may not make it to the soil surface once the plant leaf cover develops or if the pots are in a rainshadow by a wall.
  • AstroAstro Posts: 380
    edited October 2019
    I'm no expert but going off growing cornflowers, calendula and scabious they do well without rich soils and without loads of watering, so I'd think they are well suited to pots ( I've grown calendula in pots and found them undemanding).

    The only problem with scabious and cornflower is they can get tall/leggy and flop. This is helped by having them in as much sun as possible to stop them seeking light.

     I'd think of using the calendula with both cornflowers and scabious as their robustness would offer support and their colours contrast well.

  • ElothirElothir Posts: 94
    Thanks for the replies, I hadn't considered that aspect of it. I was mostly thinking of them in terms of being 'easy to grow' (supposedly...) but if that means I perhaps have a little more leeway in terms of having a go at some potted ones then that's probably a good idea for an entry point.
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