How to pot plants

From bringing life into a living room, to making the most of a decking or balcony area, pot plants are an easy way to get a little green fingered without the commitment of a whole garden.

We were given three large terracotta pots, which we decided to use to create a fragrant finishing touch to our decking. As we use this space to socialize and eat outside during the summer, now seems like the perfect time to prepare a deliciously scented detail that will grow over the season.

New terracotta pots

The plants we chose were a combo of Mediterranean lovelies – lavender (lavender grosso – meaning ‘big’), rosemary and a scented pelargonium with cute pink flowers. They smell amazing and work nicely together, and I’m promised will grow to fill their pots and give a sensational scent. But, to give them the best chance we needed to help them move into their new terracotta houses.

How to pot a plant:

  • I assumed if it rains that means everything in the garden gets watered, but I was wrong! Pot plants might struggle to soak up enough water this way and do need watering regularly (note to self – don’t go overboard on pots otherwise I’ll be a slave to the watering can). As a result of my mistake, the pelargonium was looking pretty peaky before we started potting with some brown, dry leaves. To make sure everything was happy, we ran our plants a bath – a good soak in a bucket of warm water will help ease in to the stress of moving day! Cold water can be shocking to plants as well as humans, apparently, which I can understand. To soak we removed the plant from its plastic shop pot and submerged the soil and roots under water, which caused it to release bubbles as all the dry trapped air was replaced with moisture. We also picked off the brown leaves to make it look a bit happier.
  • With the plant primed and ready for its new home, we started prepping the pot itself. Most will come with a hole at the bottom which is good for drainage but without wanting all the soil to just fall out or wash out, cover the hole with cardboard or something degradable.

Prepared pot

  • Mix up your soil – the mix we used was 1/2 multipurpose compost, 1/4 sharp sand (both can be bought in big bags) and 1/4 leaf mould – which you can’t buy but if you can’t get any then just add more of the other two. This ratio works for these plants as being Mediterranean they were made for drier, sandier places. We used an Aldi potting tray to mix it up, which you do like a cake mix using your hands to rub the textures together like flour and butter. We also added a small handful of slow release fertiliser (kinda like hundreds and thousands to continue the theme!).
  • Fill the pot to a third full with the potting mix. You can then hold the plant in place to check the height and decide if you need to add more soil or if the plant will be well positioned where you are.

Pot a third full of potting mix

  • When happy place the plant in the pot and fill in around it with the rest of the potting mix – you’ll probably need quite a lot of soil altogether as need to make sure the pot is full and the plant is supported and upright.
  • For a final settle in and pat on the back, tap the soil down by picking up the pot and tapping the base against the floor a couple of times – this will help to knock out any air so the roots can get going and get happy in their new home.

Tapping the pot

That’s it! Super simples but I didn’t know how to do this before my walk through. Another awesome idea I’ve come across is to create mediterranean ‘pizza pots’ growing all the ingrediants you’d need for an Italian feast – love this but maybe not a beginner choice!

~ Green Fingered Girl x

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