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06/01/2014 at 20:56

Hi everyone.  I'm so excited to have found this forum.  I'm new to gardening since last Spring and have loved every minute of my new found hobby.  In my enthusiasm, I have stripped our medium sized garden and filled it with loads of lovely new plants and shrubs but I keep find other things that I must have.  Can I grow a Cornus alba Sibirica in a container?  How big a container should I get?

 

07/01/2014 at 12:18

Cornus alba grows quite wide, so would be best in the ground. But you could grow it in a large container for a year or two while you decide what to do with it. make sure you keep it watered, it hates drying out, and feed it from time to time.

I have a golden Philadelphus in a pot which I was told would never flower. It's now 4 years old and has flowered beautifully. So, nothing venture, nothing gain.

07/01/2014 at 12:50

Welcome Charlie

I agree with Busy......Cornus will not really like it in a pot and if it doesn't like it it will look poorly.

Choisya sundance is a lovely yellow leaved fragrant bush that would grow in a container.  If you wanted a red "stemmed" plant instead of a Cornus how about a red Phormium?  however, there is a variety of Cornus that may do well in a pot.....a red/orange stemmed one called Winter Fire.  It's a weaker growing sort that did not grow well for me in the ground so I resorted to plantIng it in a pot.  I used a John Innes compost and kept plant fairly moist.  

I can sense your enthusiasm Charlie.  I'm still a bit like that myself 

07/01/2014 at 15:18

I have  a alba growing very well in the ground and the yellow stem gives a 'lift' now. I also have cornu 'midwinter fire' in the ground opposite to the alba. The red, orange and yellow stems are a beauty and this appears to do well in the garden. The height of midwinter fire is abour 3'x3' in 10 yrs. so I think this could do well in a large pot.

07/01/2014 at 16:21

A large pot would be best. Also stand it on a 'saucer' as Cornus like moisture, J.

07/01/2014 at 16:39

Oooh, thanks so much for all your replies.  I think I'll go for it in a container, the biggest one I can find, and see how it gets on as Busy Lizzie suggested.  Fluffy Cloud, thanks - I suppose I could keep it pruned back a little too.   Love the idea of putting it in a "saucer" jo4eyes. Thanks Verdun.  I love the Choisya sundance ... it was one of the first shrubs I purchased and it's doing really well. 

08/01/2014 at 16:06

Yes I hard prune the alba but with the midfire winter I give it a 'gentle' tidy up.

08/01/2014 at 16:15
Fluffy Cloud - i had heard not to coppice Midwinter Fire as it is not too vigourous. But if you don't cut it back don't you lose the vibrant stem colours? I have a couple that are now in year 3, and i haven't touched them - but i thought this year i should maybe cut some of the stems on each plant right down low. Do you think that is the right thing to do?
08/01/2014 at 18:03

Chicky, midwinter Fire still produces nice orange stems if not coppiced every year.  As you say it doesn't respond too well anyway.  So cutting just cutting a couple of stems to near the base is a good idea.  I also trim the die back in spring to healthy buds.  Die back is quite common on midwinter fire.  A good feed too helps.

08/01/2014 at 22:58

Thanks Verdun - thats put me on the right track.  Would bonemeal be ok as a feed, and is it best to feed at the same time as pruning (which i think is best in March?)

08/01/2014 at 23:48

Chicky, am I the only one not to rate bonemeal as a feed?  Just don't like it. Not too sure it's very effective at all. 

I prefer a balanced fish blood and bone fertilizer.  Bonemeal is very, very slow. 

Prune in march and feed....you at least want nitrogen in the mix to get those vigorous strong new red stems.  You could use simple sulphate of ammonia for nitrogen fix but any balanced organic feed is preferable.

06/04/2014 at 11:31

Apologies to 'chicky' for not replying..sorry. You've been looked after by Verdun. My plant is 2 years old, I've trimed back the die backs and fed it with FBB fertilizer.

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