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11/04/2013 at 14:47

I aquired a large old terracotta pot this week (40 cm wide, 30 cm high - inside measurements). I would like to plant Agapanthus Loch Hope as it is pretty hardy with 2 Heucheras. Will this combination work as far as soil needs? I would mix grit, sharp sand and general compost with a lot of pebbles at the bottom. Any advice very welcome.

11/04/2013 at 15:14

I think I would aim for something to trail over the side to soften it as well - small leaved ivy, helichrsum, which can last, Non of your choice of plants 'spill' out.#Also a qustion but don't heucheras prefer life a little cooller than agapanthus?

11/04/2013 at 16:39

I'd do for the plain green or, at a stretch, amber heuchera. In my experience, the purples and limes prefer it cooler than your agapanthus will want it. IMHO you'd preobably be better off with one of the small sun-loving hardy geraniums, or even the tough but lovely alchemilla mollis in with the agapanthus. Foliage would give a similar effect and both would flower well before the aga, lengthening your season. The geranium may even stay evergreen, given that you'll have to put the pot somewhere sheltered over winter for the aga anyway... I'd expect the heuchera to start to suffer after a season or two, so unless you want to move the plants into the garden and buy anew each year, they're really not quite right for a hot dry pot...Either of my suggestions would trail a little too, addressing Matty2's point. A different approach would be to plant the aga in a narrower pot, sinking it into the larger with soil around. This would have a double benefit of insulating the aga in the winter and allowing you to put annual bedding around it into the soil at the margin - you could cram it in as you would in a hanging basket without fear of it stealling nutrition/water etc from your aga. You could even tuck some little bulbs such as muscari in deep down in there too (under the bedding) for some spring colour, without the usua worry of it legging it off around the garden ... Just a thought. I've used this approach with smaller clematis to cool their feet and hide their ankles with great success. But if you're set on heuchera, some of the greens with red flowers are real toughies. Bx

11/04/2013 at 16:43

Art I'd have to agree with Matty about conditions for Heuchera and Agapanthus. Heucheras will withstand sun but I never think they look very happy in it unless the soil is moist and fertile so perhaps there's something else which could work better with your Agapanthus. No doubt someone will be able to suggest Heucheras that will be fine! I'd tend to go for soemthing like a Fescue or the black Ophiopogon but it's a question of personal taste. I'm sure you'll get lots of other suggestions too 

11/04/2013 at 16:56
For me, agapanthus and convolvulous mauritamica.
Perfect together liking same conditions
If you haven't grown this hardy perennial convolvulous then check it out. Velvety blue cascading flowers all summer
11/04/2013 at 17:29

Thank you all so much for the advice; I had not realised that heucharas were shade loving; it means I can move the unhappy one in the flower bed to the 'woodland' area (all of 8sq metres) and I love the convolvulous mauritamica! The pot is going to be in an eye catching position so it needs to be beautiful. Again, thank you all for the time spent

11/04/2013 at 18:36
Artjak you are in for a summer treat.
If you have trouble getting convolvulous check out perhill nurseries. Cheap, reliable and good
If your pot is fairly big and your agapanthus not likely to fill it this season why not add a couple of linum perenne Blue Sapphyr between convolvulous and agapanthus.
A beautiful, swaying sky blue on 30 cm glaucous foliage. I love this plant.
Perhill nurseries sell this too
............not pushing perhill by the way. I get a lot of small gems like this from them that's all.
Good luck artjak
11/04/2013 at 20:46

I was told that agapanthus flower best when a bit congested. In native habitat they grow in crevices, and indeed in my garden they seed readily in my gravel drive where there is absolutely no soil at all. ( lots of lovely free plants)

However this suggests that they may be best on their own?? I have 2 large blue glazed pots, same size as yours with 7 plants in each. I get 50+ flowers in each later in summer. These are the thinner leaved hardier types and I leave them out all winter but with a bin-liner over them to cut out the rain/waterlogging.

12/04/2013 at 00:07
Often agapanthus don't read the "scripts". In Cornwall here they flower everywhere...some congested some not. I know,of congested agapanthus pots that have never flowered
However planting other things with similar needs will be sensational if they all flower together this year...if not the agapanthus foliage will look good with its companions that will flower
12/04/2013 at 00:14

I also asked an agapanthus grower at a flower show if they should be congested and he said No....so I am sure your way is good too. Who knows who to listen to, except for our own experience as we try different ways.

12/04/2013 at 07:58

Have to agree with you both about the congestion-I followed that advice and they died! It put me off getting them again but now I'll be tempted to get more and try again. As always it's trial and error isn't it?

verdun I had a lovely convolvulous with white flowers many years ago which was lovely -foliage was really silvery. Must have been an 'in' plant at the time as I got it in local GC.

12/04/2013 at 08:22
Morning Fairygirl, that's convolvulous cneorum.
Have it here. Lovely silvery velvety foliage and brilliant white flowers in summer. Makes mound. Loves it hot n dry.
I also grow it as a single specimen in terracotta pot.
12/04/2013 at 08:37

I get a new Convolvulous ceonorum every 2/3 years as the recent bad winters tend to kill them, but they are lovely. Verdun; will certainly look at Perhill Nursery if my local doesn't have these plants.

12/04/2013 at 08:44
Artjak, take cuttings from,cneorum in spring .....I take them long with a,heel. You won't lose them then.
12/04/2013 at 09:08

That's the one Verd-I remembered it as soon as I saw your post! The cold here saw it off but I'd have another go if I can get a sheltered enough spot for it. Putting in a pot might be the answer as I could give it shelter more easily in the winter.

12/04/2013 at 09:13

I'm puzzled about plants in pots and survival. Every year I have to get new Eryngimum Apricot Twist, which I adore; the one in the pot survives the winter (just), but the 2 in beds don't.

12/04/2013 at 09:19

Art, the pot probably gives better conditions for it. If the soil in your beds is heavy or waterlogged it's going to struggle. Solution-put in more pots! If you can get more drainage in the beds that would help but of course it depends what else you grow there. Is the pot in a sunnier site too?

12/04/2013 at 11:10

Thank you for these posts. I have a convolvulus cneorum. Every winter I wrap it up in fleece it is still, but this year I thought I wouls take cuttings from it to ensure I still have it.

Now I know what to do. Thanks Verdun

12/04/2013 at 16:51

Fairy, it is a mystery; beds don't get waterlogged; pot is left high up and facing East!

12/04/2013 at 18:26
But gardening is a mystery Artjak. Pots high up more exposed. I find things survive,in pots not in the ground and then vice versa
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