This is the fourth part in our series on the best pot plants for the home, whether indoor or out.
We also suggest that you also check out our introductory article: Smart Tips for Growing Healthy Pot Plants at Home
Wisteria vine – a potted outdoor house plant
Wisteria is a deciduous vine which can be trained into various shapes. Popular in numerous gardens for their beautiful cascades of flowers, they are also one of the best pot plants that you can grow.
The most commonly grown shape for Wisteria in pots, is the standard shape. A standard Wisteria has a single truck (sometimes a number of stems trained together) and a head of foliage at the top.
The advantage of this shape becomes apparent in spring when masses of weeping flowers hang down from the crown of the plant. Flowering occurs over a number of weeks in most cases.
Flower colour of Wisteria range from white to pink and dark purple. When choosing a pot for your Wisteria, pick a large heavy pot, as this prevents the plant from blowing over in high winds. Also, Wisteria plants live for many years even in a pot. Remember that a large pot gives your plant room to develop.
Wisteria plants can grow quickly and usually flower after a number of years. Most advanced Wisteria plants you can purchase from a nursery will already be at flowering stage. Wisteria plants are best grown in full sun positions, however, they can also grow with a little shade for part of the day.
Care of Wisteria pot plants:
Pruning of Wisteria is of importance and the highest maintenance issue for potted Wisteria. Prune your potted Wisteria in summer after flowering. It is advisable to only prune the soft green stems, which can be done during the active growing season.
Stop in late summer, as this will allow the plant to “harden off” and develop new stems ready for winter. These stems will then produce spring flowers.
Wisteria plants require a moist, well drained, potting mix like Azalea and Camellia potting mix and a slow release fertiliser is a must.
Apart from summer pruning Wisteria pot plants do not need much care apart from watering. Fortunately, Wisteria pot plants also do not have any great pest problems.
It is important to give them a spring fertilise after flowering with a small amount of general purpose garden fertiliser. You may alternatively use a liquid fertiliser every two weeks after flowering during the growing season.
Wisteria plants are quite hardy and durable pot plants and if cared for will live for decades in a large pot.
Growing Plumeria Frangipani – a flowering pot plant
Frangipani pot plants can flower right through the growing season (mainly summer) rewarding home gardeners with a wonderful display.
Plumeria (Frangipani) are very easy to grow as potted plants and generally do not need much care. Frangipani are best suited to tropical, subtropical, warm temperate and temperate climates. They prefer warm summers and mild winters.
They are not suited to areas with cold winters (icy and frosty) as the stems can freeze and rot off.
The best spot for a Frangipani plant is in an open full sun position. Although Frangipani can grow in a smaller pot, it is best to use a large pot, so the plant can grow to its full potential. Use a good quality potting mix and slow release fertiliser.
Although Frangipani are a tropical plant they do not require constant watering and are quite hardy in drier climates. Flower colours range from white to pink to red.
CARE OF FRANGIPANI POT PLANTS:
To care for your Frangipani potted plant, fertilise during the growing season with a liquid fertiliser once every two weeks. Once plants lose leaf in winter, stop fertilising.
Plumeria Frangipani have no major pests problems, however, in shady spots they can get Mealy bug. Frangipani potted plants are very long lived pot plants and can live in a pot for decades under good conditions. Beautiful and fragrant, they are one of the best pot plants that you can grow.
Did you know palms make some of the best pot plants? See our guide.
Clivia miniata – a low maintenance potted plant
If you have a shaded outdoor spot and you wish to grow an easy care, potted plant, then consider adding Clivia miniata to your list of the best pot plants.
Clivia plants are dense growing, strappy leaf plants. The leaves are deep dark green in colour, broad and thick and around 1 foot long. Plants grow best in temperate and warm temperate regions, however they will also grow in subtropical climates in the right conditions.
Clivia plants grow into a low, thick mass or foliage and then create a fantastic flower display in the cooler months.
Clivia plant flowers are very ornamental. They develop short stems with big bright clusters of flowers at the tip. Flower colours range from orange, red and white. The orange variety being the most popular. Flowering occurs over a period of up to two months in late winter and early spring.
Clivia plants are a perennial, long lived plant and develop a dense root system. Plants are very hardy and can withstand extended periods without watering, however they grow well with regular watering.
Plants grow well in semi-shade to shaded spots. A covered patio or under some trees in part-shade, are excellent positions to grow Clivia plants. Positions which get sun for short periods during the day are also good.
Care of Clivia miniata:
To care for your Clivia pot plants, pot it into a good potting mix. They prefer an organically rich, acid pH potting mix, with good moisture holding capacity. Camellia/azalea potting mix is a good potting mix to use. Use a slow release fertiliser when potting up your plant.
Clivia plants do well on slow release fertilisers, however any general purpose fertiliser is good. To keep your Clivia plants growing to perfection, use a liquid fertiliser once fortnight at the specified rate. This will keep the leaf of the plants looking lush and improve flowering.
Many people forget to fertilise their Clivia plants and yellowing of leaves can occur, so maintain watering and fertiliser at appropriate intervals.
Clivia plants can live for many years in good conditions.
Agapanthus – a flowering outdoor container plant
For sunny spots and easy care gardens, Agapanthus make great potted container plants.
They may not be as exciting as many other potted plants, but they can be a great dependable foliage and flowering plant. The stunning flowering period in summer make them well worth using for this reason alone.
There have been many new Agapanthus plant varieties in recent years. One example is the variety “Black Panther” (pbr), this Agapanthus variety has large dark purple flowers, which almost look black.
For small pots the dwarf variety “Peter pan” is a great blue flowering variety, these only grow to around 25cm. There are many new types coming on to the market.
Agapanthus plants have long strappy green leaves, that grow into a thick mass. Agapanthus plants are best suited to sunny spots in the garden or on a patio. Plants are very hardy and do not require constant watering.
If you are going to grow Agapanthus, try growing them in a medium to large pot with a broad shape. This will give them room to expand as the years go on.
Best climates for Agapanthus are temperate, Mediterranean and warm temperate regions. They will also grow in cool temperate regions, however the foliage can be damaged by heavy, extended frosts, when not protected.
Flowering occurs best in sunny outdoor positions. Flowers will develop well even in pots, but fertilising is important to maintain good flowering.
Flowers develop in summer and last for around 6 weeks. Flowers can be cut and used as cut flowers indoors. The flower stems are tall in most varieties and the flowers are normally numerous. Agapanthus are perennial plants and grow quickly under good conditions
Care of Agapanthus pot plants:
To care for your Agapanthus pots plants, pot them into a good, well drained potting mix.
Use a slow release fertiliser when planting. Plants are very easy care and do not need any special care. Prune off old flower stems after flowering. Water your Agapanthus regularly. Use any general purpose fertiliser once or twice a year, during the growing season or, alternatively, use a liquid fertiliser to maximise growth. Seaweed based soil tonics will also increase growth.
Plants usually live around 15 years or more in pots
Tibouchina “Jazzie” – a great flowering potted house plant
If you live in a climate with mild winters you may like to grow a wonderful potted plant known as Tibouchina “Jazzie”.
Tibouchina “Jazzie” has fantastic flowering characteristics, with large purple flowers developing through the growing season. Tibouchina “Jazzie” is best suited to warm temperate and subtropical climates.
This is a bushy shrub which will grow in a large pot to around 1m. Tibouchina “Jazzie” is best suited to growing outside in protected full sun situations. In regard to flowering “Jazzie” will flower constantly from spring to late autumn in warm climates.
It is important to keep this plant fertilised well to maintain flowering and keep the plant healthy.
Tibouchina plants generally do not like frosts in winter, so if you live in an area that gets winter frosts it is best to more your Tibouchina “Jazzie” into a covered, protected spot over the winter months.
Plants need moderate care, watering being the major issue, so it would be worth using a large self-watering pot if possible. Under favourable conditions “Jazzie” plants live over 6 years in a pot.
Care of Tibouchina “Jazzie” pot plants:
To care for your Tibouchina “Jazzie” house plant make sure you plant it in a good quality potting mix. Any general mix is fine, but Azalea/Camellia mix is preferred by this plant. Use a slow release fertiliser 12 months release if possible. Liquid feed with a seaweed based NPK fertiliser for best results.
Liquid feed every two weeks and very week during the warm part of the year if possible. Liquid feeding will enhance the colour of the foliage and promote flowering.
Tibouchina “Jazzie” plants generally respond to pruning very well. Pruning will enhance flowering and keep the plant looking compact. The best time to prune is during the growing season. Avoid pruning in winter.
Prune after a flush of flowers. If you have a healthy plant it will be hard to find a time when it is not flowering! However, you will need to give the plant a prune at some stage as it will extend the plant’s life.
Incidentally, “Jazzie” also makes a fabulous hedging plant. For more details, see here.