There’s not really any such thing as ‘no maintenance’ plants in the home garden, but our ears prick every time we hear ‘low maintenance’ so we wanted to share this. Pots are fantastic ways to add structured and isolated plants to your garden, confident that they’re not going to spread or be too at risk from the normal dangers of flowerbeds.
And low maintenance pots are basically the holy grail…
The Bigger The Better
This might sound counterintuitive, but we’ve found that bigger pots are much less maintenance than smaller ones.
Part of the reason for this is watering. Bigger pots have more soil, and larger root systems, and thus they hold onto moisture much better. Little pots will need watering every day, but big pots can handle a big dose once per week. This gets even easier if you mix compost with water-control products, which means less watering and almost no feeding.
Bigger pots will also have a larger and more diverse ecosystem. Every bit of soil is a heady mix of minerals, nutrients, moisture, bacteria and other organisms. The larger the pot, the more chance of a healthy community co-existing. As we all know, fights break out in small and cramped environments.
Ah succulents, the world-famous low maintenance planting option. IKEA jumped on the garden centre bandwagon of the 1990s, and that’s okay. Succulents are fantastic, and they are low maintenance, but you need to bear one big thing in mind.
They don’t like getting their feet wet. And by feet we mean roots. And by wet we mean saturated. Potted succulents need good drainage otherwise they’ll begin to rot during saturation, especially important if you’re keeping them outdoors.
The best solution is a plant stand, one that holds the pot elevated and lets gravity do the rest. Saturation is almost impossible if the soil isn’t too dense, and the pot has a hole in its base. You’ll need to water them every day, because they’ll dry out of course, but that’s much less stressful than hoping you haven’t overwatered.
Feeding and Overfeeding Pots
When the warm weather comes around, it’s hard to keep track of what’s been fed what, and when. Make sure you’re keeping a little note on your phone or in a pad, as overfeeding and overwatering can mean chaos for pots. Get a schedule together for your dailies and weeklies, and stick to it. We’ve seen some people use the same shade pots to indicate frequency, which is a great idea.
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.
To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.