Discover with our practial guides how to plant in pots for patios and how to take care of those plantings:
- Don't use curved pots (wider on the bottom than on the top) or with inner borders. Otherwise, when the plant's roots have well grown, you won't be able to take off the plant without blowing up the pot.
- Before you begin, verify if your pot has a hole on its bottom. All unnecessary water must be drained (from watering or rainfalls!). If there's no hole create one. Be careful with saucers, water can stagnate and the plant starts to rot.
- Put a thin layer of pebbles on the bottom of your pot to drain the water.
- Choose well the spot where you will put your plant. Keep in mind that pot plants suffer easier from sun than plants in full ground.
- Prepare a mixture of 50 % of compost and 50 % of garden soil. The garden soil will ensure a more stable humidity during hot days. NEVER use peat. Peat dries out too easily and is then difficult to moisten again. As a result: your plants will suffer from lack of water.
- Put a part of your mixture in the pot on top of the pebbles. The height of the layer has to be in relation to the height of the root clod of your plant. You MUST NOT put any compost/garden soil on top of the root clod. If you do so plant growth can slow down, disappear or the plant can even die.
- Put now the plant into the pot and fill up the remaining space around the root clod with your compost/garden soil mixture.
- Water well and add eventually some compost/garden soil mixture if everything has gone down a bit.
- Be aware of animal urine, especially cats and dogs. This kind of "watering" can be fatal for plants. Urine on evergreens, especially TAXUS baccata, BUXUS and conifers can have the result as systemic herbicides : it destroys the plant by starting where the first contact happened and continues through the rest of the plant. Urine of foxes and badgers can be as dangerous.
- If it's a tree that you are planting, it can be useful to install a post (depending on the size of the plant). This makes your planting more stable and improves the development of new roots.
If you have followed our above planting instructions, the care of your plants will be much easier:
- Water well especially during dry periods. ATTENTION!! Rainfalls can't ensure the right watering of your pot plants as the pot surface is very small. Verify regularly (eventually with your fingers) if the pot soil is wet enough or simply lift the pot to control its weight. These are the only means to stay informed about humidity in your pots. The right humidity is even more important for evergreens as they often show too late that they lack water. When they start loosing their leaves it's oftentimes too late to rescue them.
- Use fertilizer the following years as the pot soil will lack nutrition with time.
- Take off wilted flowers. They take energy from the plants by producing seed. Your plant will be even stronger and nicer next year.
- If you leave your plants for several days or weeks, take care that they will be correctly watered. If you don't have any help from neighbours or friends, fill up plastic bottles with water (they should be very narrow on the top (last 20 cm)). Then turn them around very quickly to push them into the pot soil. This way, water will leave the bottles very slowly and ensure humidity over weeks. Depending on the pot size you have to use more or less bottles. During your absence put your patio plants into shade.