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Old 06-02-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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I have given up the fight with weeds, and will be doing all my gardening in pots, fron now on. Do peonies do well in pots? How about Rhododendrons? I read that they do well in pots. What have been your experience with other perennials in pots?

Thanking you in advance,
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:57 PM
 
Location: rain city
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latina7 View Post
Do peonies do well in pots? How about Rhododendrons?
No.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:06 AM
 
588 posts, read 1,241,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latina7 View Post
Do peonies do well in pots?
No. They don't do well in pots at all.

Quote:
How about Rhododendrons?
Nope. They too do best in the ground.


Quote:
What have been your experience with other perennials in pots?
Many other perennials do extremely well in pots. I currently have the following potted and they are HAPPY:

~ Lithodora
~ Aster
~ Dutch iris (bulbs, so not really perennial)
~ Tulips (bulbs, so not really perennial)
~ Daylillies
~ Ice Plant
~ Coreopsis
~ Columbine
~ Pulmonaria
~ Butterfly Weed
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:35 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
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If you thought gardening in the ground was hard just wait until you start gardening in pots.

And weeds show up in pots too, only it's harder to get them out because the roots are so intertwined in a compact space with the plant's roots.

What kind of weeds do you have and if you describe the site conditions maybe we can determine how to improve the site to make conditions less desirable to weeds. Weeds are opportunists. They're usually looking for poorly drained or moist soils in full sun and they like places that aren't mulched adequately or have little or no ground cover. Most of the time if you can fix these problems, weeds will become less of a hassle for you.

Here I go again promoting a shady woodland garden but in my area the gardens that I think are the most impressive are the ones beneath the tree canopy with hydrangeas and azaleas and dogwood trees and rhodys. Those really come alive. Weeds are pretty much a non issue in the shade.

Last edited by cittic10; 06-03-2012 at 06:45 AM..
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
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Ohhh Latina my sweetie darling. Well, I think you will probably get over the frustration, but I can give a couple of tips for container gardening. I container gardened for a couple of decades as an apartment/condo-dweller.

1. Use LARGE Natural Pots and/or Containers - For my condo, I was in charge of our landscaping, which is essentially several large containers. The containers are big wooden ones about 4feet X 4 feet square. One's about 8X4 feet. Arborvitae, heuchera and low-growing juniper are doing well in these, and have done, for several years.


As a suburban apartment dweller, I grew "dwarf" peaches, herbs and highbush cranberry in big azz terracotta and fiberglass pots. Maybe 16 gallon size. My peaches actually bore fruit, but of course repotting was a chore. to say the least. The cranberry bushes are a LOT happier and bigger in the ground.

The peaches are bigger, but were protected form diseases in the pots. But in both cases...I would recommend bigger containers.

2. Select Small Cultivars - Honestly, my "dwarf" peaches were too big to stay in the pots forever. Unless I had decided to "bonsai" them... I was "into" bonsai as a teenager...and do not recommend it. It is as addictive as regular gardening LOL...but more time-consuming and expensive. But if you're curious, you can prune and "root prune" to keep almost any plant small.

Luckily, there is a lot of "dwarf" plant material available that maxes out at like 3 feet wide. I would recommend those, although I haven't obviously tried all plants. There are dwarf blueberries, arborvitae, boxwood etc. There are even (expensive) dwarf Rhodies and hydrangeas. I imagine these would look Beautiful in a container.

3. Use Doilies - Of course I learned the hard way since I am a DIEHARD. Moving big plants is expensive and dangerous LOL but doilies--Which I discovered only a couple of years ago--are AWESOME. You can ROLL the gigantic heavy pots around. This is if you decide to go the pot route. I think the wooden planters are awesome.

4. Evergreens need Water - Evergreens in pots are prone to "drying" out in the winter if all the soil in the pots freezes. They're safer in the ground, actually. So, if you're in location w/ winter, you'll need to ensure the evergreens are not "too" cold in winter...close to house...hay bales...whatever.

5. Suggestions - I saw yucca in a container that thrived and bloomed for years when I lived in the city. It was BEAUTIFUL. I am also in love with sweet potato vines...the red kind I grew up eating...and wave petunias, although I haven't tried them. So pretty.
I grew oregano (I thought it was marjoram for the longest time) in a terracotta pot for years. It is now in the ground, but it was happy in a container. I also grew annual marigolds in pots as a kid on the fire-escape.
Finegardening.com (to which I am now moderately addicted) has an interesting article on perennials for pots:
Using Perennials in Pots - Fine Gardening Article

Last edited by kinkytoes; 06-03-2012 at 04:54 PM..
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:49 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,709,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latina7 View Post
I have given up the fight with weeds, and will be doing all my gardening in pots, fron now on. Do peonies do well in pots? How about Rhododendrons? I read that they do well in pots. What have been your experience with other perennials in pots?

Thanking you in advance,

You strike me as having plenty of gardening experience so I am surprised at you giving up unless you were just belly aching like we all do about now when it feels like the weeds are growing .... well... like weeds! I spent the last 2 days doing nothing but weeding and edging so I know the feeling.

You already have answers on peonies and rhododendrons. I've done perennials and annuals in pots on and off for many decades. I prefer annuals in pots and perennials in the ground. The work in keeping potted perennials thriving is just as much if not more than just keeping the perennials in the ground. They need to be hardy enough to tolerate frequent thaw and freeze cycles (this means at least 1 or two zones colder than your actual zone) and they also need to tolerate heat better than they would in the ground (meaning at least 1 zone warmer). This means if you live in a zone 6 you need plants that tolerate conditions for zone 5 to 7 at a minimum. Maybe it is what you have been doing or the kind of weed control that needs some change? Either way you have my sympathy.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
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When we moved into our house, the weeds had definitely gained a victory in the 3 large flower gardens. Of course the cold Kentucky winters melt all the weeds away (but the seeds often survive). Annuall we put Preen (granual pre-emergent) down in the very early spring, topped with shredded undyed cedar mulch. We spent the first couple of years digging up spring onion bulbs and wild strawberry - we have so few weeds now (4 years later). I go out and weed once a week to get the little ones that have popped up here and there. Honestly - Preen and mulch and occasional weeding equals a weed free garden (for us anyway).

I may have missed it, but would you mind explaining the weed problem a little more - what you have tried, etc.

As far as gardening in pots - it is easy, especially with annuals (I buy perrenials for pots too, but I treat them as annuals - they are one-season plants for me usually). I don't know where you live - I'm in zone 6 and I can grow most things in pots. I overwinter some things in the garage.

I think the most important things when gardening in pots is to not buy little pots that dry out quickly - deep pots are important - they will not dry out as quickly and will give roots room to grow. Don't buy terra cotta pots unless you are home to water often each day in the summer. Buy attractive plastic or light-weight composite pots that don't absorb water like terra cotta or unglazed pottery pots.

Use good quality potting soil either with time-released food in it or add your own organic time-released food to plain potting soil. Never use garden soil for your potted plants - it is too dense usually.

Make sure that you use plants that are suited to the location in which you plan to place your pots - shade for shade plants, sun for sun plants, etc. Also, make sure that you use plants together that have similar water requirements.

I find that when watering pots, using 1/4 strength water soluable bloom food each time I water will ensure that I have steady, beautiful blooms throughout the summer....I grow mostly annuals in pots so I toss them at the end of the season. Using 1/4 strength plant food with each watering is what shopping centers, nurseries, theme parks, etc. do to ensure that blooms are steady. Water slowly and deeply and you will ensure that the water gets to the root area.

I often use plain, cheap potting soil and add my own organic compost, worm castings and fertilizers.

Also, don't overwater plants - this is hard to do in the heat of summer (at least where I live)...but overwatering can be as damaging as underwatering.

Cutting or plucking back dead leaves and dead-heading spent blooms is important if you want plants to concentrate on new bloom growth and to look their best.

Finally do refer to gardening magazines and look at planted pots in your neighborhood nursery for ideas of nice plant combinations - I always like to plan my color scheme first (sometimes I have little plant color other than white blooms and various shades of green) and also be sure to include some plants that trail and some that mound and some that are tall and some that are shorter. Also don't forget to mix different plant textures and forms withint the same pot.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Cattknap; 06-04-2012 at 01:58 PM..
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
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I agree w/ all of Catknap's tips, except for the plastic pots...and the pesticide. At any rate, Cattknap...YOU have one of the loveliest gardens I've seen, so I'm going to embarass you and link to a previous posting w/ pictures of the lovely garden you had/have, and the pretty containers therein:
//www.city-data.com/forum/garde...ecorating.html
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
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LOL - well, I didn't want to offend with the plastic pots but truly they are the way to go in very hot climates....I use mostly composite pots that look like stone but I have also taken plastic tubs and set them into bigger pots....I wage the water battle constantly. I do have concrete urns also and they are sealed so they stay pretty moist.

I use Preen as a pre-emergent weed preventer but it is not a pesticide.

We no longer have the garden that you linked (that is so kind of you)....we now have a bigger more difficult to care for garden! We live in Kentucky now - retired from So. California....gardening is so different here! There are so many bugs, weeds, chipmunks, squirrels, deer, foxes, rabbits, frogs, turtles - it is zoo and almost everything eats the garden! But we really love it here.

This is a close-up of one of our gardens from last year - we had a big weed patch and overgrown plants to start with (and a stagnant pond). The yard has changed much in the last (almost) 4 years and it is still changing as we take out the old, plant new shrubs and trees - we are actually almost finished!

The back of this garden is now framed by limelight hydrangea and much sparser this year as we try to give the garden more open space and symmetry.


Last edited by Cattknap; 06-04-2012 at 08:40 PM..
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:38 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,329 posts, read 13,819,242 times
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Why don't you just pot annuals for this year, cover the weedy areas with landscape fabric or cardboard and then mulch (you have to do something with this area anyway, right?) and next year cut through the fabric/cardboard to plant.
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