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Many of the garden centres now have quite a range of hardy perennials in 9 cm pots.....cheap.   Pot them on now and again in a month and again a month later for large perennials fit for your garden this spring and summer.  They will be growing faster now than at any other time so get them potted. 

(Saved some cash this year......all my perennials are growing well from cuttings taken in August/September so no need to buy more )

chicky
Good tip Verd - i did this with foxgloves, lupins and a few others last year ....will Visit the GC this week and see what is on offer to tempt me !
Perki

I got some rudbeckia goldsturm and other plants in 9cm pots early last year. by the end of the season they were really good size plants. one of the rudbeckia grown some much I divided it in two.

Yep Chicky, small lupins will make superb long flowering plants from June . Delphniums too will respond just as quickly 

that's how I got my area of Goldsturm Perki.  

A big plus too is they are usually named varieties unlike plugs often supplied in spring

 

I was having a quick look round my local garden centre earlier and they've started to put their out. Not much choice with them at the moment so I'll have to have a return visit! I brought loads of those 9cm pot perennials last year and they all did well   

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Verdun, quick probably stupid question, but why the multiple potting on?  Could you not just go straight to e.g. 3l pot from 9cm or are there good reasons why you'd go 1l / 2l / 3l?

Andy,,plants in too large pots will sulk. pot on into slightly larger ones to encourage rapid and better growth.

try it for yourself....put a 9 cm plant into a 3 litre pot and another in multiple pots and see the difference come spring.

Steve the Gardening Vet

That's actually a very good idea. I will have the new bed in the front garden once the drive is done in April.

Hazel --

Verdun- we have tried ( unsuccessfully) growing lupins and am wondering what we are doing wrong. After planting we get some flowers the first year and then they disappear.

Any ideas?

Should we be lifting them?

Perki

Hazel - slugs are probably eating your lupins when they start shooting in spring

Hazel

snails I think.  After flowering snails seem intent on devouring them so protect both early in spring and again in summer.  Lupins all look awful after flowering....decimated leaves and usually then it's the newly "hatched" small snails....loads of them too small for pellets.  I pick them off at night .....just a few nights will do the trick.

i keep some in and lift others...they really are nothing to look at in late summer.  Trim them back after potting up.  

worth it Hazel....lupins here are wonderful offen producing 3 flushes 

remember too, lupins do not like alkaline soils.  A couple of sprays with epsom salts in the early spring helps 

Hazel --

Verdun and Perki, many thanks for that advice.mI would not have imagined that the problem was snails! I have never seen any near the lupins but, if, as you say, they are so small then no wonder. 

I intend to purchase some new lupins this year, so will keep a look out. Yes, Verdun, I agree with you that they are not the best of flowers when they have finished flowering but I will lift some this year and over winter them and hope next year I can get a second show.

Thanks. I will give them Epsom salts too!

The tattered leaves are a give away Hazel.  Sure, the snails are tiny but there are lots of the blighters 

Hazel --

I can't remember seeing any tattered leaves on our plants though......

Prob eaten into oblivion 

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Verdun am I reading you right-you suggest moving some of the lupins into pots once they have finished flowering, what then? Do you hide them in the 'working' corner and plant them out again next year? Is this to free up space for later flowering plants?

Dividing lupins after flowering and then potting up.  yes, out of sight.  yes, again to create apace for later flowerers...in my case some tender perennials.

I also try to plant lupins where they are obscured by late summer plants anyway. i try to divide a few every year 

I was once told, obviously wrongly, that lupins don't like having their roots disturbed, so it never occurred to me to divide them!!

Ah!  You need to divide in early summer though.  This is ok as lupins are starting to go over.  Division much later,,for me anyway, is rarely successful