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Begonia and fern pot display

You will need

  • Begonia 'Coconut Ice' x3
  • Soft shield fern, Polystichum setiferum Divisilobium Group
  • Japanese painted fern, Athyrium niponicum var. pictum
  • Plain terracotta pot
  • Crocks
  • Loam-based compost


This simple container feature uses only three three plants to dramatic effect. The feathery leaves of the soft shield fern arch gracefully over the edges of the pot, making a perfect foil to the silvery leaves of the Japanese painted fern. And the button-like pink-and-white blooms of the begonia add a subtle splash of colour.
Plant it: May -July
At its best: June - September
Takes just: 30 minutes

How to do it:

1 Make sure your pot has holes in it and add crocks to aid drainage. Fill the pot with compost, leaving enough room for your plants plus 5cm at the top of the pot for watering.

2 Arrange your plants in the pot until you're happy with the effect. Try the ferns at the front and around the edges, with the begonia in the middle or towards the back, if the pot is to stand against a wall.

3 Plant up your pot, filling in any gaps between the plants with compost. Water well and place in a cool, lightly shaded spot.

Our tip

When it's flowered, cut back the begonia and move it indoors. The ferns can be repotted or enjoyed in the garden.

Discuss this pot & container

Talkback: Begonia and fern pot display
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shady 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I have just looked at this site for the first time. As a very novice garder with a small shady garden, the example of the fern/begonia pot was really helpful. Can I buy the plants from the site? Can't see how. If not, how do I source the exact plants?
Sorry for my very basic question.

Deledum 11/02/2012 at 12:00

Was wondering what size pot is needed for this?