Alpines are the perfect way for adding some bright and cheerful colour to the garden. In spite of their delicate appearance, alpine plants are very easy to grow and require very little maintenance once planted. The beauty of alpines is their size. Their miniaturised form means that you can grow a large number of different species in a relatively confined space, creating beautiful miniature landscapes.
When choosing alpines, most will be low growing, but always make sure you check the label for height and spread. Make sure you select plants that are neither too invasive nor too large for your chosen container.
You will need:
- 1 shallow terracotta bowl
- 1 bag of Perrywood potting compost
- 1 bag of Horticultural pea gravel or potting grit
- A selection of 10cm Alpines
How to plant:
1. Mix together a 50:50 combination of Perrywood potting compost and potting gravel/grit. This will create an open and free draining mixture that alpines require.
2. Fill your terracotta bowl with a small amount of gritty potting mixture, allowing enough depth for your chosen plants.
3. Arrange your plants within your container, ensuring that any alpines with a trailing habit are placed near the edges. Try not to pack too many plants in at once. Alpine plants will quickly establish themselves and spread out so don’t worry if you have some gaps, they will disappear quickly. When you are happy with your arrangement you can start planting. Ensure you still leave a small rim after planting for some finishing touches.
4. Infill any gaps with potting mixture and firm in.
5. Water your plants in lightly to allow the soil to settle. Finish by adding a thin layer of the potting grit/gravel over the surface. This will not only look attractive but will prevent any leaves that touch the soil from rotting.
6. Position in a bright and sunny position. Sit back and enjoy!
- Keep your alpines tidy by weeding regularly and removing any dead or yellowing foliage as required.
- Don’t water little and often. Instead, check your container regularly and only water if the compost is starting to dry out.
- Feed in mid-spring with a general liquid fertiliser.
- Alpines hate to be drenched by heavy, persistent rainfall, particularly in winter. If you can, move the container to a sheltered space in the winter, or in summer, create a temporary shelter during prolonged bouts of wet weather. Place a sheet of glass or plastic over the container on bricks, to allow air to circulate.