Caring For Ornamental Plants

Growing Tips By Variety

Growing Tips By Variety

Perennial and shrub plants

Alstroemeria Superb garden and patio plants, providing colour in the garden from late spring through autumn, ideal for cut flowers. Plant 60cm (24in) apart in sun or part shade.

Alcea (Hollyhock) Classified as a biennial, however fully hardy and treat as a perennial. Grow in full sun. Stake on exposed sites.

Arctotis, Cosmos and Dahlia Ideal plants for borders or containers in full sun. Any reasonable, well-drained soil will suit, and a sheltered position is preferred. Plant Dahlias 45cm (18in) and Arctotis and Cosmos 30cm (12in) apart. Dead-head to prolong flowering.

Argyranthemum Long-flowering plants for borders, pots and other containers. In the garden they require a well-drained soil and should be planted about 30cm (12in) apart.

Begonia Grow in sun or partial shade for best results, taking care not to water in sunny and bright conditions as the leaves can be prone to scorching. Plant in well-drained soil and water and feed regularly. Remove faded blooms to help prolong flowering. Plant 20-30cm (8-12in) apart.

Begonia, Euphorbia and Plectranthus prefer drier conditions and are very drought tolerant. All flowering plants will flower for longer if dead headed. Prefer full sun and will tolerate dry conditions well.

Buddleja Compact and therefore ideal for patio pots, preferably in a soil-based compost in a full sun or partial shade position.

Clematis Grow in a sunny or partially shaded position and plant the rootball 5-8cm (2-3in) below the soil surface. This will encourage shoots to grow from below soil level and promote strong and healthy growth. Clematis can also be grown in containers and trained against an obelisk. The container should be at least 45cm (18in) deep and use a soil-based compost, such as John Innes No.2. Keep well-watered and fed, a general purpose fertiliser is ideal, throughout the growing season.

Cleome Grow in a moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Plant 30-45cm (12-18in) apart. This tender perennial will need frost free protection to survive the winter.

Fuchsia Free-flowering plants for beds, borders and containers. They will be happy in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. You will probably find that the tips of your plants have been pinched out. Side shoots will then grow out, and for a really bushy plant, take off the tips of these also after two or three pairs of leaves have developed.

Heliotrope Great for containers or a sunny border. Plant 45cm (18in) apart.

Hosta Perfect in moist soil in a shaded area. Plant 30cm-40cm (12-16in) apart.

Lantana Small, drought-tolerant, half-hardy plants for sunny beds and containers. Plant 30cm (12in) apart. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Lavender Wonderfully fragrant, small, evergreen shrubs for containers or any well-drained position in full sun. Plant 30cm (12in) apart. Trim back after flowering.

Nemesia Very versatile plants suitable for bright and sunny spots. Most varieties are fragrant and look good in pots and baskets. Best in free-draining soils. Plant 30-35cm (12-14in) apart.

Osteospermum (half hardy) – Plant in a bright and sunny position in free-draining soil for best results. Plant 25-35cm (10-14in) apart.

Passiflora Snow Queen is a hardy semi evergreen variety. Plant in a sunny position with good drainage. Provide some support for its tendrils to cling to. Can be grown in a large pot as long as water and feeding are plentiful.

Petunia (Calibrachoa, Petchoa, Surfinia and Tumbelina) – Ideal for all manner of baskets and containers, plant in a sunny spot and pinch out growing tips to encourage lateral growth. Dead-heading will help to prolong flowering. Feed and water regularly.

Sweet Peas Plant in well-drained hummus-rich soil against trellis work, obelisks or arches and position so that plants are around 5cm (2in) away from the support and around 25-30cm (10-12in) apart between each plug of 3 plants. Tie the plants in to the support and continue to do so as the plants grow. If the soil is poor, feed regularly with a rich potash feed, tomato feed is ideal, once every 10 days or should suffice. Once they start to flower, pick often to encourage further flowers and remove seed pods.

Trachelospermum This glossy evergreen likes a warm, sunny, sheltered spot. Young growth will need some guiding and tying-in to supports until it is able to twine and climb. Keep well-watered and fed, a general purpose fertiliser is ideal, throughout the growing season.

Verbena Great container and basket plants for a bright and sunny spot. Plants will benefit from the growing tips being pinched out around two weeks after potting up. Plant 15cm (6in) apart.

Wildflowers – Campanula, Centaurea, Daucus, Digitalis, Dipsacus, Knautia, Leucanthemum, Lotus, Lychnis, Prunella, Sanguisorba, Silene and Trifolium. All are easy to grow plants and will attract many beneficial insects to your garden. Some are perennials and will live for many years, although the annual and biennials will naturally self-seed providing colour for years to come. Emulate natural wildflowers by planting in drifts and clumps. If planting into grass, success is improved by removing a small patch to reduce competition while the plants establish themselves.

Zaluzianskya ovata Plant in moist but well drained soil or pots. Protect from winter wet and cold. Cut back after flowering to promote new growth.

Hardy/Half-hardy Summer Annuals - Ammi, Calendula, Centaurea, Cerinthe, Cosmos, Lupin, Nicotiana, Orlaya, Rudbeckia, Ridolfia, Salvia and Zinnia. All these summer annuals thrive in a bright, sunny position and do best on light soils. They are fast growing plants that provide an easy and cost-effective way to give naturalistic planting, plug gaps and fill the border with a summer of colour and all are perfect for cutting and enjoying indoors.

Dead-head all regularly to prolong flowering. Taller varieties may need staking especially in exposed areas.

Recommended planting distances are: Ammi, Calendula, Lupin, Orlaya and Ridolfia 30cm (12in) apart.

Cerinthe, Centaurea, Cosmos, Nicotiana, Salvia and Zinnia 40cm (16in) apart.

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