Plants for the Window Box

Chrysanthemum carinatum (Norwegian: Ringkrage)...

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Chrysanthemum x carinatum: Painted Lady

Rludbeckia X hirta: Black-eyed Susan

Phlox x drummondii

If you have a sunny balcony or similar spot a combination of annual plants arranged in a large earthenware urn would make an attractive display. If you do not have much time to care for the plants in the way of watering and feeding, then make sure that you select your plants from those that are the least demanding.

All the flowers will be content with poor, well-drained soil that may even be stony. The principal requirement is ample sunlight and good drainage, for they readily rot in permanently soggy soil.

Chrysanthemum carinatum is native to the American continent. Black-eyed Susan grows in North America at the edge of rather dry thickets and on dry banks, phlox occurs farther south and is a typical meadow plant of New Mexico, where it grows to- gether with castilleja, lupinus and Oenothera — it can therefore also be combined with these plants to good effect.

Phlox x drummondii is the shortest of the three plants selected for our arrangement, reaching only 1 to 25 cm (2 to 10 in) in height. Recommended is one of the low variegated cultivars, such as ‘Cuspidata’ with star-like flowers, that will cover the surface of the container with a brightly coloured carpet from as early as mid-June. In the centre you may put several chrysanthemums, preferably single- coloured forms or cultivars without a conspicuous dark centre such as ‘Dunnettii Aureum’ — yellow, or Pole Star’ – white. The tallest flowers should be planted at the back, farthest from the viewer, and that is where to plant black-eyed Susan. The choice of cultivars is again a wide one, best for the purpose, however, being flowers coloured red and brown or a uniform bronze.

All of these plants should be sown in spring, rudbeckia and phlox in mid-March, chrysanthemum about a month later, in a seedbox indoors. They should be pricked out into the urn in early May, where they will flower until late autumn.

15. November 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: House Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Plants for the Window Box

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