March is an important time to get the perennial pots in order (by ‘perennial pots’ I mean large planters that you have the same plant in from year to year ).
So if you have the classical pyramid shaped box either side of the front door, or perhaps a Camelia you grow in a pot, or maybe even some nice Rosemary plants by the patio doors then this is a job you should definitely do.
When I’m teaching classes a saying I often use is ‘growth follows the secretors’ , by this I mean that whenever you cut or chop something then this stimulates growth in the plants and this doesn’t only apply to shoots of plants, the same happens with the roots, and our job this week involves chopping them roots!
It’s good practice to ‘pot plants up’ in the spring time, by moving plants up a size in pots they are allowed to continue to grow and develop. But what happens when you can’t move the plants into bigger pots – maybe the size of pot you have is perfect for the location, or perhaps the pot you have is just the perfect colour? If you leave the plant in the same compost after a few growing seasons the compost in the container becomes soured, spent and unaerobic….all will hinder the development and growth of your plant. So to combat this you need to do some root pruning and replace some of the compost.
Step 1: Remove the entire plant with root ball from the container
Step 2: Prune 50% of the root ball from the plant
Step 3: Fill the original container 50% full with a mix of multi-purpose compost and controlled release plant food
Step 4: Reinstall the plant back into the container
Step 5: Topdress container with a light dressing of compost
Step 6: Apply a general splash of water to rehydrate the compost and give the plant a good settling in (I’d also add some concentrated seaweed to the water at this stage as it helps to de-stress the plant after this trauma)
The plant will now start to produce new roots into the fresh compost with new growth and a greater lustre to the foliage as a result!
It is less than two weeks till the first of the Spring Gardening Workshops with Gareth Austin kick off!
This exciting gardener event runs from the 5 th to 7 th of April in the walled garden of Rathmullan House.
Lots of practical garden sessions on Plant Propagation, Plant Selection, Making great compost, Growing Fruit & Vegetables, Container planting and more will be held over these exciting 3 days, all within the sumptuous gardens of the award winning hotel. For booking visit rathmullanhouse.com.Tags: