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Planting new trees/shrubs in pots

Shelley20Shelley20 Posts: 36
Hi everyone, hoping for a wee bit of advice re growing in pots (PICTURES TO FOLLOW) 
We don't have anywhere in are garden to plant into the ground so we need to do everything in pots. 
Yesterday we bought 2 acers, 1 dogwood, 1 spotted laurel and a blue fescue (I think 😄) also bought another thing but I cant for the life of me remember what it's called. They're all very small so I assume they're young and look forward to seeing them grow. Looking for advice on which pots are best, how often I need to re pot and what food is best for each plant.
Im looking for lots of height so would like them to grow quite tall eventually. One of my acers looks a bit worse for wear at the top, I'm not sure if that's just general wear and tear with people touching it, do I need to prune it back and by how far if I do? I also hate the fescue and the tree in those pots, thinking taller narrower pots would be better! But dont have any right now 😆
Any advice would be great 😁 
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  • Shelley20Shelley20 Posts: 36
    Pictures of the plants 

  • Spudface33Spudface33 Posts: 26
    I'm not much help as new to here and to gardening but I am in similar situation with a few shrubs currently in pots so ill be interested to hear what advice you get.  I love the shiny leaf plant with the yellow spots. I wish you luck
    Enthusiastic but impatient describes my level of gardening thus far
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,139
    Hi, I grow lots in pots and my personal rule is the bigger the better! You will need to be diligent with feeding and watering and for shrubs I would recommend a specific compost as multi purpose won’t do the job. Check your care labels for requirements before placing them in the final position as the closer you can get to what they want the better, regarding levels of light and sunshine. 
    To sum up you can grow most things very successfully in a pot but you need to take extra care to keep them healthy and happy. 
  • Shelley20Shelley20 Posts: 36
    debs64 said:
    Hi, I grow lots in pots and my personal rule is the bigger the better! You will need to be diligent with feeding and watering and for shrubs I would recommend a specific compost as multi purpose won’t do the job. Check your care labels for requirements before placing them in the final position as the closer you can get to what they want the better, regarding levels of light and sunshine. 
    To sum up you can grow most things very successfully in a pot but you need to take extra care to keep them healthy and happy. 
    Hey thanks for the reply! 
    I have just put them in a multi purpose compost just now 🙈😄 I'll do a bit of research and see which ones are best then. Think they'll be ok for a couple weeks in multi purpose until we get new stuff? Living off my fiances wage just now as I'm out of work cos of this flipping virus so just grabbed the cheapest one we could get 🙈 but I can gradually pick new bags up (I work in a salon and hopefully we'll be opening back up in a couple weeks 🤞) I have put them in bigger pots than I bought them in but do appreciate that they'll need re potted as they grow. Do you think maybe next year? I just have no idea how long these things take to grow! I'm just used to flowers in pots coming up every year 😄 my fiance wanted to just buy them fully grown but I liked the idea of looking after them and watching them grow, a bit more satisfying I think 😊 he's not liking the look of them just now as they're all twiggy but I want to assure him theyll get there! 

    Appreciate the reply 😁
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,429
    Hello Shelley, welcome to the forum. Most of your plants will be fine for now as long as you keep them watered (but not over-watered). Rule of thumb is that when you think they need watering, push your finger into the compost to check, if it comes out with compost on it, it's fine, if your finger's bone dry and clean, they need water. Repeat for each pot, as plants differ in how much they 'drink'.

    In the autumn buy some compost labelled John Innes No.3, (J.I. 3) and mix that half and half with multi purpose compost (MPC) and replant the acers, the green  ball head bush, the dogwood and maybe the cherry laurel. I say maybe because the cherry laurel can get huge and is unlikely to do well in a pot, however big it is, because the roots simply won't have room. The same might apply to the dogwood as well, I'm afraid. The cherry laurel and dogwood will need much bigger pots (plastic ones will be fine) as soon as you can get them.

    The two acers won't grow fast or tall. Leave them as they are for a few months to see if new growth appears on the top but if the wood still appears dead, then just prune it off carefully. They will need to stand in the shade because their leaves will scorch in hot sunshine. The fescue grass will be fine in MPC and does need to be in the sunshine. In about 6 weeks time when the nutrients in the MPC have run out, get some slow release fertiliser pellets (Miracle-Gro is one), read the instructions and mix the right amount into each pot in the top inch or two of the compost and water it in. The grass won't need feeding.

    Good luck.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,714
    edited May 2020
      I love the shiny leaf plant with the yellow spots. I wish you luck
    It is Aucuba...common name spotted laurel
    You must be too young ......but years ago it was the shrub that local councils planted round public toilets to hid them from view.
    In the right place it can look good...especially if you get the berries
    It loves shaded area.
    It does grow large and needs space.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=aucuba+large+shrubs&client=firefox-b-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiAh5Ol6JnpAhWQY8AKHUD8B2oQ_AUoAnoECA4QBA&biw=1920&bih=944#imgrc=vvNDLjzFiXdJbM


    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,894
    edited May 2020
    The spotted laurel won't be happy in a pot for very long. Not a pot that size anyway.
    The one you've bought @Treeface will be little more than a cutting from last year. They're shrubs - they don't grow instantly, but once established they grow rapidly - in the right place.
    That standard conifer won't be happy for long either @Shelley20, or the Cornus. The Cornus in particular. Like the laurel, it needs to be in the ground - or a huge container. They have big root systems, and need room, and enough access to moisture, to help support the top growth. 
    Acers need careful potting on too - they shouldn't be put into much bigger pots each time - the fine roots won't cope with that. I take it these glazed pots all have good drainage too? They need virtually no feeding other than a suitable one for foliage, like seaweed. 
    @debs64 is right - compost alone is no use. It isn't substantial enough for plants which are in pots long term. 
    Watering is key - especially in long dry spells, but proper drainage is also vital - even for shrubs which like damper soil. All those containers need to be on feet - raised off the ground.  :)

    I just noticed you asked about pruning the Acer - no, leave that until later on  autumn/winter, or early next year, while it's dormant. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Shelley20Shelley20 Posts: 36
    The pots have a hole in the middle of the bottom and I'll be putting them on top of stones as opposed to solid ground, if this isnt enough I can get my fiance to put another few holes in them and maybe whip up some wee feet for them then (he's very handy 😄) 
    I'll see if I can source some large plastic pots for now then if they need to be put into something bigger until I'm back at work. If I think theyll be a disaster they'll be a nice gift for the in-laws and I can re think what we can plant. 
    Any recommendations? We have a black fence and white chips down each side of the garden so we want lots of green to stand out, lots of height and we'll plant some flowers in the middle to make it colourful during the summer 😄 

    Thanks so much for the advice everyone 😁😁😁 
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,139
    Plastic pots are fine as even big ones are not too pricey I started with all plastic and am slowly replacing with other pots. If your OH is handy could he maybe build you some planters? My fiancé made me some lovely ones from old decking and they are perfect for plants that need more root space. 
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,139

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