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A couple of weeks ago I purchased some healthy potted plants from a garden centre that was unfortunately closing down. They have been sat waiting patiently to go into the soil - I am itching to get them in and was sorely tempted yesterday with the sunny day we had here in Thame wondered if it is safe to go ahead or should I wait another couple of weeks they are:Rosemary really large bushes (one is starting to look pale) - Hardy Spring Flowering Broom- Agapanthus - Miscanthus Zebra (I have trimmed back last years dead leaves that were around 18" in height - Advice would be greatly appreciated Many thanks Ann


If they were outside you  needn't wait for warmer weather. Wet is the problem this year and it depends what your soil's like. I would plant is some parts of my garden, not others. If you dig a hole and it doesn't fill with water and the soil isn't shiny wet you should be OK

Hi Nutcutlet they are all sat outside and were outside when I bought them and we are fortunate here that the soil is very damp but not water logged - if I plant them after work tomorrow evening and then give them a dressing of manure this weekend fingers crossed all should be ok?

Edd - The one Rosemary is looking really sad for herself very pale don't think looking at her she would last till April......(she is a good 20" high) so would be sad to lose her



The rosemary will be better in the ground, most things are unless it's the wrong ground or they're not hardy. Don't give the rosemary manure, it won't need any extra moisture holding or feeding. 


I think that sometimes people forget, that if they dont have a greenhouse, then plants outside in pots are often at more risk from frost than if they were planted in the soil.


Hi Punkdoc it was a gamble I was willing to take as the plants were in a closing down sale priced to sell from a National Trust garden centre here that was closing down - I have all the pots cuddled together surrounded in fleece - and they were in an outside area of the garden centre that was not so well protected.......


Rosemary  does not like having cold wet feet; it needs really well-drained soil.  I would try to plant it at the top of a slope, no matter how slight, and dig out a large hole and incorporate a good quantity of coarse grit into the soil below and around the roots. 

Thanks Dove that's great help it is going in my proposed new herb garden which isn't on a slope so if I give it extra grit should that be ok?


Unless it's a lot colder where you are than it is here you won't need fleece this year (so far).


Have a look and see if water is accumulating anywhere - if it is don't plant your Mediterranean herbs, rosemary, thyme, oregano etc, in that spot.  They all need good drainage so make a Mediterranean area and dig in lots of grit and they should be fine.  

I had to move my rosemary last winter as our newly paved terrace spilled water onto that area - the rosemary and bay are now in terracotta pots on the terrace behind the herb bed. Now I've noticed that the thyme and oregano are also getting the run off from the terrace - I'm going to lift them and put them in a stone trough (with lots of grit and a loam-based compost) - they'll be happier there.  


  Oregano has, delightfully, become a weed in this garden.  I had several different kinds in pots, they have all self seeded everywhere, and thrive with no attention whatsoever.  Mind, this garden drains pretty well, which is a good thing this year. 

Many thanks for everyone's help - just planted the Rosemary with a lot of grit and removed the fleece and hopefully weather permitting on Saturday will get the others in....

Dove mentions Bay Trees I bought 2 large bargain trees to stand by the front door at the same sell off,  of plants at the end of January - I have them standing in terracotta pots ready to replant them. They don't receive any rain or wind there and I am watering them weekly what soil mixture do you think will be best to re-plant them with? They are around 5 feet tall and appear really healthy but worried about them drying out. Also wondered as they are in pots do I put a pipe in to pour water in directly once replanted?


I wouldn't think they need watering at the moment - stick yoru finger in the soil about an inch - if it's bone dry down there then water, if not leave it alone.  They don't need a lot of water in the winter as the leaves are not giving off moisture in the cool weather.  They'll need more in the summer. 

My bay tree is in a large terracotta pot in a mix of John Innes No 3 loam based compost, with about 1/3 horticultural grit added.  The pot is stood up on feet to aid drainage. 

I bubble-wrap the pot in the winter as it's too big to move into a sheltered corner.


Snap Edd, except I use JI No 3, then that has enough fertiliser to last a good while. 

Many thanks Both just stuck my finger in and they are a little dry they are also sprouting new shoots from the base - am I right in thinking not to trim the shoots until I have replanted them and trimming these a month or so later?

Edd I am going to replant into large pots and was going to put the pots onto one of those plant saucers but prefer the suggestion from Dove of plant feet - should I put a tube into them to water directly in or just water directly onto the top?

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