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Feeding Plants in Containers.

Discussion in 'Container Gardening' started by trogre, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. trogre

    trogre Gardener

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    Hi All. I have ordered a few plants for containers this year. Buddeja Buzz ,
    Hakonechloa macra Aureola
    RH30000749 Stipa tenuissima
    RH30001015 Geranium clarkei Kashmir White
    RH30003965 Alstroemeria Indian Summer

    I will be planting in John Innes No3 with if applicable agricultural sand for drainage.What I am not quite sure about is feeding especially once planted in container for 1st time. I have read to feed with Osmacote slow release fertilizer 8/9 month once a year in spring and that is all the feed they will need the rest of growing year!!??

    Other sites say Vitax Q4 which I also have never used and again once a year in spring.
    Just wondering what you use to feed container plants and if you do so only once a year.

    I normally use either tomato feed for annuals, fuchsia & pelargoniums but then again they are repotted at end of every season. Besides that I may either fork into the top of soil either fish blood & bone or growmore.

    Thanks for any help
     
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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      Hi trogre
      Nice plants. Glad you are using john innes....ideal :)
      The hackonechloa needs good moisture holding soil.....so dont add sand. I add some chicken pellets or dried manure to the mix. Dont let this one dry out. I have several hakon grasses, different varieties, and they are superb in pots or in the garden. Impressive, classy grasses.
      Buzz, unlike the bigger buddleias, need some feeding and better conditions. A good slow release fertiliser, dont worry too much about brand, is ideal. Buzz still makes a sizeable plant and will need repotting in a couple of years
      Kashmir White is better in the ground but similar treatment to Buzz. Can you plant this one in the ground?
      The alstromeria? I grow a different variety but not in containers. It likes feeding and good drainage so, again, a slow release fertiliser but with added grit, sand or perlite.
      You can use liquid products like tomato feed, phostrogen etc instead of the slow release products but keep feeding during summer.
      I grow lots of pelargoniums and these are fed once a fortnight with tomato food incl seaweed.
      I apply a mulch in spring on hackonechloa, Buzz and Kashmir.....I use a mix of ji and chicken pellets.
       
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      • trogre

        trogre Gardener

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        Hi Verdun
        Thanks for your valuable info on plants., I have printed your answer out and got it pinned to notice board. I am trying to get away from the annual repotting of fuchsia & pelargoniums at end of each season and the same come the start of a new season. Do not get me wrong I love my fuchsias & pelargoniums but with around 40 containers of various sizes it can take a long time + I would like now to have a more varied collection.
        Apart from the above plants ordered and being delivered Thursday:smile: I am going to get when the season allows a Tom Thumb hardy fuchsia and probably a not so hardy lady thumb. Verbena Claret + a Agastache Kudos Mandarin.
        That will be 7 perennials & 1 shrub so far and I am hoping eventually get number to 15. The problem as always is what to buy to make up the other 6 plants? Generally shrubs grow too big for containers as I am looking at roughly 24" 600mm tall and there are so many perennials to chose from. Grasses have got to be hardy which they so looking at Hakonechloa macra `nicolas`
        to add to collection.Perennials have also got to be hardy & if possible summer flowering but so many to choose from and you get varied advice on size & hardiness in different catalogues & web sites. I always prefer to go on what members grow as you know you are onto a safe bet.
         
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        • Mark56

          Mark56 Super Gardener

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          Agastache Kudos Mandarin is a very good choice indeed, I grow mine in pots because of the heavy clay soil here. Sharp drainage is paramount. Verdun is your man for Agastaches too. :blue thumb:
           
        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          Hi trogre
          H. nicolas is nice for its autumn foliage....turns good red. Check out All Gold too. An excellent all yellow variety.
          You mentioned grasses ....consider a sedge Carex Comans Bronze. Very tactile, bronzy foxy red evergreen foliage providing lovely movement in the slightest breeze. Grow in well drained soil so add plenty of grit or perlite.
          A favourite plant of mine for a container is Diosma Sunset Gold. Another tactile, feathery aromatic evergreen with white/pink flowers right now and into summer. Another plant for free draining soils requiring no maintenance at all except for the odd bit of pruning
          A good hardy fuchsia here is Genii.....lovely yellow foliage and red flowers. Not too big either; makes a shrub 120 cm high from being cut back to the ground every spring.
          Have you considered convolvulous cneorum for a pot? Fantastic velvety silver foliage and white flowers in spring and summer. Reasonably hardy. Makes a mound as well as cascades. Lovely.
          How about a thyme in a pot? Not the usual prostrate form but check out Pink Posie. This makes a small evergreen shrub, silver green aromatic foliage and pink flowers in summer. Give it sharp drainage and it will be as hardy and satisfying as you want :)
          If you can cover your pots....a sheet of glass, for example.....check out echevarias. Hardy in cold but not liking it wet, they are attractive succulent plants with fascinating flowers too. Sharp drainage, a mulch of grit or gravel and you have an easy all year round beauty
           
          Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
        • Matt-tropical

          Matt-tropical Gardener

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          Until this year nearly everything I’ve ever grown has been in large pots, I’ve always took a simple approach of good compost like you already mentioned,chicken manure pellets for my foiliage plants and a mix of chicken manure pellets and tomato feed for anything with flowers. I’ve always had great success with my plants this way plus I like the idea that with a manure type feed your feeding the soil as well as the plant which to me seems even more important in a pot.
           
        • trogre

          trogre Gardener

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          Thanks for the advice and more ideas for plants. Never even thought of looking at Thyme.Tried looking for Pink Posie but as yet cannot find it for sale.Plenty of other uThymes so no problems. I have got plenty of plants recommended to keep me on the computer for a while.

          Had my Alstroemeria Indian Summer delivered today in a 11cm pot
          Stipa tenuissima in a 9cm pot
          Hakonechloa macra Aureola in a 9cm pot.

          I made the mistake once of planting some small triphylla fuchsia plants in a 9cm pot directly into a much larger pot within a few days of hardening them off and they all died. I was told the pot was too big for such a small plant or at least too soon.
          Do not want to make the same mistake again although the plants above are much more hardy. Would you advice slowly going up in pot size of after a week or so plant directly into 30 cm wide pots or similar.
          Thanks for any advice
           
        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          All those plants need to be potted on into 1 litre pots now.....if the roots are showing. Have a look at the roots, tease them out a little, soak for 20mins or so then pot on. :)
           
          Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
        • trogre

          trogre Gardener

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          Hi. All the roots were showing through bottom of pots. 3 planted up into 1 L pots and the other 2 which came in slightly larger pots also potted up. Thanks for the tip about given them a soak for 20 mins. Surprising but I watered them when they arrived but once out of the pots the roots at bottom and even sides of pot were dry.
           
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