Spring alpine pot display

Do it:

May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Takes just:

20 minutes

At its best:

Mar, Apr, May

Just as alpines grow in unlikely crevices on mountainsides, they also enjoy the confines of containers, giving you the opportunity for lovely little displays on steps, windowsills and garden tables. In the wild, plants such as saxifrage and stonecrops (Sedum) make spreading mats, but contained in small mugs and buckets, their growth is rounded into satisfying discs of flower and foliage.

Here, we've combined sempervivum with stonecrop and saxifrage, but you could mix and match any number of alpine plants in a variety of containers, for a different display.

You will need

  • Saxifraga x arendsii 
  • Sedum acre
  • Sempervivum
  • Small pot
  • Crocks
  • Free-draining succulent or cactus compost
  • Horticultural grit
  • Slow-release fertiliser

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If using a metal bucket like ours, drill holes in the base to allow water to escape. Place a few crocks in the bottom of the bucket to improve drainage. Fill two-thirds with compost mixed with a few handfuls of grit and some slow-release fertiliser.

Use a kitchen knife to divide larger plants like the saxifrage. This allows for more combinations in one pot.

Plant the split saxifrage, sempervivum and sedum in the container, tilting them at an angle so they trail prettily over the rim. Top up with compost and a layer of horticultural grit, and water well.

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Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith says...

Choose a vibrant container to complement the colour of your plants – it’ll add to the interest creating more overall impact. And think outside the box when selecting a pot – many household items can work a treat.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

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