Growing Pot Plants in a Conservatory

 

Growing Pot Plants in a Conservatory

A conservatory may be a lean-to greenhouse. It is usually unheated, which means that it is chiefly the spring, summer and autumn flowering subjects that are used to make up a display.

If you are fortunate enough to have both greenhouse and conservatory, then the latter can be used for growing pot plants just coming into flower and in full bloom. The fullest possible use should be made of spring flowering bulbs, narcissi and daffodils. For summer, bear in mind fuchsias and pelargoniums, with cyclamen and chrysanthemums being the highlights for the autumn.

The same general principles of greenhouse management apply.

conservatory-plants If a conservatory is being used only in the summer months a very colourful display can be obtained by raising annuals in pots. Most of the shorter or medium height subjects used for bedding purposes are suitable and, if you have no greenhouse and must purchase all your pot plants, some of the following subjects should be borne in mind for growing under these circumstances.

Petunias are especially colourful, and some of the newer hybrids, such as Glitters and Red Satin, are very suitable for growing in this way. These can usually be purchased in pots. The climbing plant Ipoinoea Heavenly Blue, will give pleasure also. The Camellia Flowered Balsam should be included, as there is a wide range of colours, and the plants are very suitable for growing in pots.

Cockscomb, especially the crimson variety, is also a good subject for this purpose, as is Salvia Blaze of Fire. Some of these may be in 3in. paper pots when purchased and should be potted into 3 in. ordinary clay pots, on receipt. A small supply of potting compost may need to be purchased for this purpose, and J.Innes Potting 1 will be suitable, or if available, use 3 parts loam, 1 part compost and 1 part of sand.

If you are starting from scratch, and has a greenhouse, and an empty conservatory, then all or any of the above can be raised from seed to give a colourful display at reasonable cost.

Some bedding plants from boxes, which can be used for a cold conservatory include lobelia, for the front of the display, dwarf nasturtiums, Ice Plant (mesembryanthemum), dwarf double French marigolds, nemesia, especially the dwarf varieties, and any of the shorter varieties of antirrhinums. These can be grown singly in 3 1/2 in. pots to begin with and be moved on to 5in. pots as necessary. All these annuals are discarded after flowering, but with choice of subjects and spreading the purchase of plants over a long period, one can have a lengthy display of colour through the summer months.

If you have a greenhouse, or if the conservatory is heated in winter, some pot subjects (i.e. perennials) that can be purchased for summer flowering and which can be kept for future use, are : fuchsia, pelargonium, geranium, heliotrope, coleus (for its coloured foliage) asparagus fern and tuberous rooted begonias.

Some of the taller subjects may need staking with thin canes.

 

Using a Cold Frame for Flower Growing

A cold frame is good for the hardening off of bedding plants in early spring. If geraniums are being raised, then a frame plays a useful part for these subjects also, prior to their being planted out of doors.

In autumn, sweet peas can be raised very well in pots or boxes, in a frame, but guard against mice which are partial to the seeds. In spring, the early flowering chrysanthemums will need to spend a few weeks in the frame before being planted outside, as will the dahlias. The summer use of a cold frame may be mostly for vegetables but pot plants, such as cyclamen, will spend some of their time in such conditions.

Temporary protection for plants in pots or boxes can be given by using polythene lights, i.e. sheets of thick polythene tacked on to light wooden frames. This material is especially useful for the last stages of “hardening off” of bedding plants.

The accent is on spring, as far as the use of a cold frame is concerned, with flower-growing in mind. If a frame can be set aside for propagation purposes, so much the better. Use a sandy compost, topped off with a 3 in. layer of sand and 1/2 peat which should come up to within 6 ins. of the glass. Some cuttings that can be struck very well in this mixture are delphinium, lupins and scabious amongst herbaceous plants, and, although they are not dealt with in this book, many soft wood shrub cuttings in the summer months.

If a new frame is required, bear in mind that a Dutch light, that is one with a single sheet of glass, admits the maximum amount of light.

 

30. August 2010 by admin
Categories: Greenhouse Gardening | Tags: | Comments Off on Growing Pot Plants in a Conservatory

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