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Silver birch and fern pot display

You will need

  • Silver birch, Betula utilis
  • Soft shield fern, Polystichum setiferum x3
  • Heuchera, e.g. Heuchera 'Greenfinch' x3
  • Large, wide pot or wooden barrel
  • John Innes No. 3 loam-based compost


A birch tree makes an ideal focal point and can be grown in a large container. Its silver-white bark and delicate foliage combine with the handsome, soft shield fern and evergreen heuchera leaves for a wonderful woodland combination that will provide year-round interest.
Plant it: October - December or February - April
At its best: All year round
Takes just: 30 minutes

How to do it:

1 Fill the barrel with a loam-based compost for weight, stability and long-lasting nutrition. Firm the birch in well, and plant the ferns and heuchera around the base for ground cover.

Our tip

Buy a younger birch to keep costs down. After a few years, white bark will develop as it matures.
The heuchera will throw up pretty little flowers in spring, but for extra colour dot some cheerful primroses around the base.

Discuss this pot & container

Talkback: Silver birch and fern pot display
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4dave4 11/02/2012 at 12:38

What size tree would be suitable for a 65L pot?