Whether you shop online (and we hope you do) or visit your local garden center, finding the perfect garden planter, plant materials, soil etc to create lovely flowerpots to decorate your home or garden area is easy to do. Lot's of choices, colors, textures that when put together can make a look that adds color, beauty and life to your garden decor.
However, keeping those potted containers looking nice all summer long when the heat and windy weather can beat them up pretty good, is another thing. We want to give you some tips that may help you over come the garden planter blues.
Start by selecting the perfect container. Make sure the size is correct for the plants that you are putting in the pot. Too small and roots are crowded, too large and soil stays too moist and you have fungal issues. Make sure the pot has drainage. No plants like to sit in standing water.
Next get a plan on what you are going to plant. Don't go to the local nursery and buy impulsivily. Choose plants that will thrive in your area and add some foliage to pots to fill them out when you are planting flowers. Try to buy a plant to place in the center of the pot for height. This really adds a focal point for deciding what to plant around it.
Get good potting soil. Don't ever use the ground soil and don't use old soil that has been sitting in the garage for a few years. If you choose to reuse soil from a spent container make sure there are no spores, fungus or mites and other unfriendlies can live in long after the plants are gone.
Presoak the plastic nursery pot in a tub of water to loosen and relax the roots before knocking the plant out of the pot. Just fill a shallow basin, or wheelbarrow with water, sit the pots in so the drain holes are covered and let them soak for 30 mins. Then knock the plant out and repot in your decorative garden container. The roots will be pliable and soft and they will thank you for this, presoak. The after the pot is complete make sure to give everything one last drink.
Don't underestimate how important it is to keep up the grooming of the finished planter. Deadhead spent blooms, cut back straggly stems and replace anything that just isn't doing well. This little weekly step makes a big different in how your planters look all season long.
And finally, fertilize. Purchase a slow release fertilizer or better yet every two weeks water with a liquid fertilizer to keep everything looking it's best all season. Every time you water a pot till there is water coming out the drain hole you loose valuable nutrients. These need to be replaced.
Have you ever purchased a beautiful potted succulent at the neighborhood garden center then take it home and kill it before you can even get it transplanted? Well we have. Watering succulents can be the trickiest part of growing and maintaining them.
Everyone struggles with this issue even the most educated gardener. So, here are a few tips to help you master your own issues. And, the next time you visit your garden center looking for a new potted succulent you will know that you now have the tips to keep your plants happy.
Let's start with a few obvious issues. Always use a garden container with drain holes. Succulents don't like sitting in standing water. Next make sure you have well draining soil. Succulents don't like to sit in wet soil for very long. Having well draining soil in your planter with a drain hole is critical. Don't use a spray bottle when watering. Succulents like to be soaked not sprayed. Water in between your plants then on top of them.
When you soak the soil only, this tell the succulents to drink up because a drought is coming. Once you water don't do it again until the soil is completely dry. This takes a few days. As a general rule if you are using the correct soil mix is to water every 4 days or so. If you live in a arid climate like Arizona, then you will water more often than a humid climate like Oregon. Just look at the roots and see if they are too wet they will rot and die. If too dry they will stop growing.
Hopefully you know have some great tips to help when growing and maintaining your potted succulents. Just keep your eyes on the way the plants look and try your best to make the right adjustments. It may not always work but you are on your way to having a better chance of success.
Of course, the correct place to start is by choosing a container with drain holes. If you find aflowerpot that you can't live without then you will have to drill holes because succulents hate standing or pooling water in the bottom of the planter. It's hard not to get emotional when choosing that special pot to plant in. Here are a few tips. Terracotta is breathable and is very healthy for any root system. Ceramic is water poof and comes in great colors and styles.
Poly Resin is lightweight but not breathable so not such a good idea sometimes and concrete is heavy and not breathable so watch out. Remember when it comes to choosing the right size of planter for your succulents a general rule is a 2" succulent works in a 2" pot. If you are going to group them together make sure they have room to grow. They look nice all bunched together but that doesn't give them any room to grow so beware.
Fill top of pot mostly full with soil. Make sure the leaves of the succulent sit above the soil to prevent rotting. Top off the soil with small rocks or glass beads. Press down into the soil so the succulents stay in place. This is the time to have fun and be creative. Use colored marbles, nuts in the shell, beads, or plastic colorful gems.
Once planted leave the pot alone for 2 days with no water. This gives the roots time to heal. Good luck and keep us posted.