I need some advise.

Lisa(z6 PA)June 27, 2005

I would like to have a few potted flowers, plants, trees, etc to keep outside on my back patio and near my front door.

I'm very new to all of this.

I love hydrangea (sp?) but I was wondering if I could have one just in a pot and not planted in the ground? Eventually I'd like to plant it.

I'd also like a ficus tree but every time I get one for outside it dies. Too much sun?

Any other ideas about what else might be good to keep in a pot? I'd really like something bright and fragrant for the back yard.

Thanks so much!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The hydrangea can be kept in a pot. Select a larger size pot than you think it might need. Their root systems are vigorous & they need lots of water in containers.

The only Ficus you can give too much sun is pumila - maybe. The rest prefer full sun. Your problem growing them is probably too much water. They like to become very dry between waterings & of course they need to come in for the winter (unless you're referring to F. carica, the hardy fig). Another possibility is putting them directly into full sun, but this usually doesn't kill then. The leaves just scorch & drop off, but (if the tree was healthy) are soon replaced with a flush of leaves already acclimated to full sun.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 7:04AM
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You might want to visit the Container Gardening forum, where you will discover that just about anything, given the right size pot, right kind of soil, right conditions (shade/sun, lots of watering)can be grown in containers. And the Balcony Gardening forum has lots of pictures of plants in containers, to give you ideas.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 11:16AM
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everyone's got good advice- and many things take well to containers.

I've got a jasmine and a patch of morning glories climbing up opposite sides of an obelisk in a pot- I get the fragrance, and the pretty flowers, and at the end of the season, I pull the MG's out, and the jasmine winters in my bedroom, which it seems to like.

depending on how much space you have, you can do a LOT in containers... things that go with the architectural style of the home (or give style to something that's got none of its own) and provide four season interest.

how much space are you talking about?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 12:39PM
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I have the exact opposite as chinacat - I have my jasmine (star jasmine) in a tall vase-looking pot with a 6" opening at top, with the vine flowing down out of the pot. New shoots grow up, and when they get long enough, I pull them down and link them up with the existing overflowing pieces. White flowers that smell amazing & bloom in May/June here. Very pretty, takes part sun but likes to stay fairly moist.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 5:14PM
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creatrix(z7 VA)

I don't know what zone you are, but ficus is a low light plant here in VA- Mine gets very bright indirect light all year- no direct sun at all, and he's very happy.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 9:16PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hi, Creatrix. Ficus species really do not prefer low light anywhere they are grown, though some species tolerate it fairly well. Ficus prefers full sun (one possible exception might be F. pumila). Ficus grow in full sun in the tropics & those plants that begin life as epiphytes or as understory plants climb ever upward through the canopy until they reach full sun.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 9:55PM
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littlekinder(z8 DFW Tx)

If you have a shady spot, Elephant Ears make a great statement, can definitely grow in a pot, and come back every year. I love 'em!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 6:38PM
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