Plants for good Autumn foliage
May 1, 2022
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May 1, 2022

Balcony besties: poppies and petunias

As the sun sets to welcome the evening sky in all its colourful glory, sit back and relax on the balcony with some potted poppies and petunias for company. These lovelies are the perfect choice for all-year-round charm and vibrance. Here is Life is a Garden’s guide on how to successfully grow and care for your new patio and balcony besties.

Cute petunias in containers

Petunias are available in a range of colours, each as bright as the next. Position them in a mostly sunny spot and ensure they are never completely dry. Perform the finger test to see when to water petunias as you would rather want to underwater than overwater these babes.

Soil: Petunias require well-draining, aerated and slightly acidic soil. Potting soil mix works well, especially if you combine it with a little peat moss to lower pH levels.

Fertiliser: These ladies love lots of food. Most potting mixes have the right amount of nutrients but to be sure, use a slow-release fertiliser, like Bio Ocean after planting. Alternatively, compost will give Petunias the feeding they need, just remember to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the soil’s drainage abilities.

Deadheading: This encourages plants to direct their energy into creating more flowers, rather than wasting it on already fading blooms. Deadheading also keeps your plant looking neat and tidy. Simply remove flowers that are beyond their prime by pinching them off from just below their base.

Perfecting potted poppies

Poppies are a timeless classic. They might not be the easiest flower to grow but their vibrant colour and sweetness is certainly worth the extra care. Poppy varieties that grow well in pots include oriental poppies, Iceland poppies, California poppies, and Shirley poppies. Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) provide an incredible, colourful show during winter.

Planting: Poppies dislike being transplanted. As such, we recommend purchasing poppy seedling trays along with a little booster food to help with the transplant shock. You can get all these from your GCA Garden Centre. Place containers in a full sun position and be sure to water the seedlings gently as they have very delicate roots. Once in flower, poppies need to be deadheaded to increase the number of blooms.

Soil: Poppies enjoy a neutral to slightly acidic pH. They require excellent drainage but rich soil. A loamy, well-draining potting mix will be perfect.

Water: Poppies enjoy minimal water during and before their flowering season. They can be watered every day but ensure not to overwater each time you do. When they’re about to flower, and throughout their flowering period, water moderately, maintaining excellent drainage.

Fertiliser: Fertiliser should only be applied during the growing season. It is best to apply a slow-release fertiliser, like All Purpose or Bio Ocean when you first plant them. If you didn’t, a balanced feed, every two weeks will provide potted Poppies with the nutrients they need.

Pests: Be on the lookout for aphids and water regularly to avoid red spider mite damage. Ensure you choose a good-quality potting mix to avoid root rot.

If you’re looking to enjoy sunsets in the city, you simply can’t go wrong with these balcony besties. A wide selection of pots and hanging baskets will further help to highlight your new additions, so be sure to consider the style of your chosen containers when planning your new living décor.

Source: Life is a Garden

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