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Winter patio pots looking lacklustre? Try 3 things to perk them up

PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:47 23 November 2017

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) bear festive red berries, or burgundy-leaved ajuga are a great option

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) bear festive red berries, or burgundy-leaved ajuga are a great option

Gratysanna

Perk up your winter pots to keep them looking fabulous over the festive season

Variegated ivy offers a great colour option for the exterior of your home over the winter season Variegated ivy offers a great colour option for the exterior of your home over the winter season

The garden may look bleak in winter, but your patio pots can liven things up, whether you’re adding winter flowers, berries or bright foliage to the mix.

1. Underplant climbers with winter plants

If you have climbers in pots next to the house, whose leaves have fallen and are now offering no colour or interest, use the bare space to underplant them with brightly coloured winter flowering plants such as cyclamen, heather, variegated ivy or ornamental cabbage. Cyclamen should do well in sheltered areas out of the rain, as they will suffer if they are too wet or over-watered.

If you have climbers in pots next to the house, use the bare space to underplant them with brightly coloured winter flowering plants, such as cyclamen If you have climbers in pots next to the house, use the bare space to underplant them with brightly coloured winter flowering plants, such as cyclamen

2. Let existing potted conifers become a foil for winter bedding

Keep conifers you had in pots as a backdrop to summer bedding, but fill up the spare space with new and different winter stalwarts. Good candidates include Skimmia ‘Rubella’, violas and winter-flowering pansies, which should flower until the worst weather hits but will re-emerge to bloom again in spring. Also, wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) which bears festive red berries, or burgundy-leaved ajuga.

Keep conifers you had in pots as a backdrop to summer bedding, but fill up the spare space with new and different winter stalwarts Keep conifers you had in pots as a backdrop to summer bedding, but fill up the spare space with new and different winter stalwarts

3. Leave ornamental flowerheads on permanent plantings

If you have permanent plants such as hydrangeas in containers, leave the flowerheads on, which will not only add winter interest but also protect the plant from the worst of the weather.

Make sure you choose large plants and place them close together for immediate impact, as they won’t grow very much in winter.

Winter-flowering pansies should flower until the worst weather hits, but will re-emerge to bloom again in spring Winter-flowering pansies should flower until the worst weather hits, but will re-emerge to bloom again in spring

Place your container where it will get as much light as possible during the shorter days of winter, to help the foliage remain green and healthy.

Water plants carefully, making sure you don’t saturate them, but at the same time checking the compost to ensure it hasn’t dried out. Poor watering is the main reason so many plants perish in the cooler months.

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