A cheery winter trio
Colourful winter annuals and perennials are not scarce at this time of the year. We went shopping and found lots of punnets of annuals in flower, plus instant colour pots on special. We used our selection to fill three medium-sized terracotta pots with a blaze of colour.
PANSY ‘Treasure Rainbow Colour’
VIOLA ‘Mystic Orange’
DIASCIA ‘Genta White’
MARIGOLD ‘Lemon Drop’
ANTIRRHINUM ‘Snappy Red & Yellow’
CHRYSANTHEMUM paludosum ‘Pure White’
In Colour Pots
COLEUS ‘Kong Rose’
There is no right or wrong way to plant up winter annuals into colour pots like these. To get the look that you want you simply choose and mix what you like, and the brighter, the better! When removing seedlings from a punnet always loosen them from the base of the punnet; never pull them out from above by their stems.
The blunt side of a pencil or a small stick is ideal to push them out. If the roots of a little seedling are thickly matted and have started to grow in a circle in its punnet then gently remove the matted layer – new roots will soon sprout and the seedling will start growing much faster. As small pots dry out quite fast, it is a good idea to mix a water retention product into the potting soil before filling the pots (these products are usually in the form of granules or crystals.)
It is essential to deadhead spent flowers regularly. This encourages the plant to develop more flowers, and it keeps the pots looking neat. Feeding the plants will keep them happy and healthy and looking good. You can either push slow-release nutrient sticks into the pots after planting, or feed the plants with a water-soluble fertiliser every two weeks.