Plants for March
Traditionally March brings with it longer daylight hours and an increased chance of warmer weather. With this more and more plants will begin to start into growth and the garden begins to fill with the promise of Spring. As such, we've compiled a shortlist of some of our favourite plants to pick up in March to help with inspiration. If you're looking for something specific, then feel free to contact us on 01223 842777 as we have many more options available in our stores and will be happy to discuss these with you prior to your visit.
Acer Palmatum (Japanese maple)
‘Little Princess’, ‘Shaina’, ‘Sango Kaku’, ‘Katsura’
There are so many beautiful varieties of this tree. Many are slow growing and suitable for growing in a pot or in a border. In March they will start to open out their foliage which is always a beautiful sight.
Maintenance: Only prune Acers in winter preferably before the sap starts to rise in spring as they will weep sap copiously if cut when in active growth, this can compromise its health. Prune out any damaged or badly placed branches but try and keep pruning to a minimum.
Position: When growing in pots use a combination of 2/3 John Innes No3 potting compost to 1/3 general multi-purpose. This as a neutral ph. And provides the correct soil structure for a more permanent planting. In the border Acers will not tolerate a chalky soil and do favour a more neutral to Acid ph. but will do well in a good soil improved with organic matter.
A recent introduction this small growing Rhododendron can be used as an alternative to Box hedging or topiary. It is more than happy to be pruned and grows to around 75cms.
The added advantage is the display of pretty pink flowers in late spring.
Maintenance: Prune to shape after flowering.
Position: In a pot with an ericaceous compost or in the ground. It is an Inkarho type of Rhododendron which means it can tolerate up to ph. 7.5 which is just into the alkaline range, you can use an inexpensive soil testing kit to establish the ph. of your soil. They are happy in a shadier spot but can tolerate sun if irrigated well.
Primula ‘Fire dragon’
This is a very easy plant to grow. It is a perennial Primula with evergreen foliage which flowers in spring. The flower colour is a vivid orange/yellow, edged with red and it would work really well in borders or pots with soft blue or purple spring flowering bulbs.
The shot of vibrant colour it gives really lifts the spirits on a dull day. Height and spread around 25cms.
Maintenance: Protect early flowering from frosts by covering with horticultural fleece overnight. Dead head the flowering stems as they finish to encourage the plant to make more flowers. In early spring tidy up the plants by removing any winter damaged leaves.
Position: Happiest in a sunny/ light spot.
Acer Palmatum image courtesy of TheJoyofPlants.co.uk