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Begonia and pelargonium pot display

You will need

  • Athyrium nipponicum pictum x2
  • Begonia 'Escargot'
  • Pelargonium 'Deerwood Lavender Lass' x2
  • Drill
  • Old metal bucket and crocks
  • Compost
  • Water-retaining gel
  • Slow-release fertiliser


This combination of begonia, pelargonium and fern plants will brighten up a shady area. Although unlikely bedfellows, they all enjoy a lightly shaded spot and make an impressive display. The begonia and fern plants will provide interesting shape and texture, while the delicate pelargonium flowers add a splash of colour.
Plant it: May
At its best: May - September
Takes just: 30 minutes

How to do it:

1 Drill holes in the bottom of the bucket and arrange the crocks over them to allow drainage.

2 Use a measuring jug to gauge how much compost you'll need for the bucket and then, following the packet instructions, add the correct amount of water-retaining gel and slow-release fertiliser. Thoroughly mix them into the compost.

3 Knock the begonia, pelargonium and fern plants out of their pots and arrange them in the bucket - remember they will only be seen from one angle. Then fill them in with compost.

4 Water the pot well to fully soak the water-retaining gel. Keep the container looking fresh by deadheading the pelargoniums regularly to encourage more flowers.

Our tip

Before the first frosts, remove the begonia and pelargonium plants and pot them up for use indoors. The fern can be replanted in the garden.

Discuss this pot & container

Talkback: Begonia and pelargonium pot display
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leasholm15 24/11/2011 at 15:28

How far down should I plant the begonias?

sterelitza 18/04/2013 at 08:51

Oh why did I throw that old bucket away. I will have second thoughts now about getting rid of containers that a coat of paint could revitalise them as planters. Great ideas for planting though.