Having fun with alpines

Alpine plants are some of the toughest plants around. Their home is at times can be some of the toughest places in the world. This makes them ideal for planting in containers, if like me, you are awful at forgetting to water them!

You could just plant them into a normal pot, making sure they have a good free draining soil or you can have a little bit of fun with them and use well almost anything you would like. Bits of old paving, bricks, old fossils, bits of clay pipe or indeed broken clay pots, one of the best forms of recycling

Indeed the only limit is you imagination!

One of the downsides of the storms this winter, was the strong winds. They never seemed to end did they. This did result in a broken large pot. I left it for a while until I had a little time to play. Ironically it’s been this damned virus that’s made me look at this pot once more.

Now I have the pot, it’s what to fill it with? . I have a few alpines within my hoard of plants I have. Alpines suit this style of planting perfectly. They are designed to survive in harsh conditions and will thrive in this type of planting. If you have a few semperivens that you, they are ideal for this and so easy to propagate. See my blog about do it https://thomasdstone.blog/2017/09/14/propagating-sempervivens/

Next is the compost, I like to use a loan based compost for alpines. My favourite is John Innes no3 and this was mixed with equal parts of gravel to form my planting medium

Then add something to start forming layers, I am using broken pot bits, but you can use anything. Once you have a level, fill that up with compost
Then just add bits of broken pots and layer it up adding bits of broken pot and compost until you are happy with the results
Any alpine in a pot can have the soil removed just by shaking it off
Use the bigger plants in the larger gaps and think how they will grow. Trailers will need a bit of space underneath them. clumpers can be more tightly packed
Plugs can just be added by making a hole with your finger and add them in
Plants can be pushed into little cracks and their root systems will help to hold the soil together
Last job is to add some gravel to the top of the pot as a mulch. This is both as a decorative finish and to reduce water splash to the plants
The finished pot! You can use any combination of materials and plants you would like. The only limit is your imagination. Just have fun and make something that you would enjoy

2 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    Great idea thank you Thomas! Too bad we don’t have access to nurseries here and online shopping is limited …

  2. tonytomeo says:

    That is pretty creative. Someone tried to replace a missing portion of a pot with wire mesh, thinking that small succulents could be plugged into it. (It is right outside now.) It did not work too well, although it could have. However, I think I would have just glued the missing portion back into place, and, if I wanted succulents over the edge, planted something that cascades. Your technique is more for displaying the particular plants, rather than displaying a particular style of container gardening.

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