If recent weather is anything to go by, spring is finally in full bloom. The month of May brings with it milder temperatures, warmer soil and the risk of frost has almost all but passed in most areas of the UK.
So now is an ideal time to fill out your borders, baskets and pots with colourful textures, foliage and flowers. It’s not too late to introduce a variety of plants that will create long-lasting colour all summer long. Here’s a few cheerful and easy to grow container plants to add to your planters and pots this month.
May is the best month to start planting cosmos in the garden as the danger of frost has all but passed.
Adding a few half hardy perennial Cosmos atrosanguineus to your containers is a great way to guarantee the prettiest of summer spectacles. Not only are cosmos incredibly low maintenance, they produce some of the loveliest, daisy-like blooms right throughout the season. With over 25 species of cosmos to choose from, you are spoilt for choice. With cultivers available in golden yellows, pinks, reds, purples, whites and oranges, there is a variety to suit almost any garden scheme.
Cosmos grow particularly well in planters and containers filled with well-drained soil. Add a generous dose of organic matter to the soil and ensure that it is neither too wet or too dry.
Sun-loving cosmos thrive in full sun and will not flower in shade, so position your cosmos filled pots in your sunniest spot.
At the start of the spring there’s usually a frenzy of dahlia planting, with gardeners getting their tubers started indoors or in their greenhouses. But it’s not too late to get your tubers in the ground in May, now that the soil has warmed up and the days are longer.
Dahlias are a great choice for adding colour, texture and ‘look at me’ interest to an outside space. With a long-lasting flowering time from midsummer right through to autumn, they do wonders for borders and containers, and are ideal for cut flower displays.
Dahlias range in size and style, from diminutive daisy-like blooms, to button-hole pompoms and giant “dinner plate” faces.
Most varieties can grow up to five feet tall, so staking them is a good idea. If planting in a pot or container, they will require a large planter that is at least 12 inches deep. Dahlia tubers need plenty of drainage, so make sure your planter comes with a good sized drainage hole, like the contemporary and traditional planters by Haddonstone.
Position your dahlia filled planters in full sun, but remember to consistently water to prevent them drying out too much.
There are well over 400 types of geranium to choose from, making them one of the most versatile bedding plants for your summer flower displays.
Available as annuals, biennials and perennials, geraniums come in a wide array of colours, textures and sizes to suit your personal taste. They grow particularly well in containers and planters, as long as they have plenty of good drainage and and planted in fertile, peat-free multi-purpose compost.
Grow in full sun and keep in a sheltered position to avoid wind damage. Geraniums can be cut back in later summer and depending on their variety, will successfully grow back the next year.
Geraniums can take centre stage and look spectacular planted on their own. They also work well when planted with other summer bedding plants and can easily withstand being compactly planted with other plants.
An interesting alternative to delphiniums and stocks, snapdragons will add colour and height to containers or borders. They are loved by pollinators and cottage garden growers alike, and for good reason. These cheerful plants come in an array of bright tones and add an instant pop of colour to any space. Perfect for adding interest to planters and pots, snapdragons are also very easy to grow.
May is a good time to get your snapdragon plug plants neatly arranged in your pots and planters. Place containers with good drainage in full sun and water your snapdragon plants regularly to avoid drying out.
Deadhead snapdragon flowers as the die off to encourage more to grow throughout the summer, but don’t despair if your plants stop flowering in the middle of summer. Be patient and continue watering – and you will be rewarded with a second season of flowering in the autumn.
The ultimate ‘cut-and-come-again’ annual climbers, sweet peas promise to fill the garden and with their heady, sweet scent. They are also perfect for cut flower displays and are available in a wide range of beautiful colours.
Sweet peas thrive in containers as long as they are given some support by way of a trellis, obelisk or simple cane wigwam. For the best displays of these showy blooms, plant using a rich, peat free potting compost and ensure good drainage.
If growing plug plants, it’s best to transfer them outside and leave them in a sheltered position for a few weeks before planting in your containers. There’s still time to do so, so start moving your plug plants outside now and get ready to plant them in your planters and pots by the end of the month.
With their vibrant and tactile two-tone pendant-like flowers, fuschias are a favourite addition to many summer gardens.
Late spring is the best time to plant these colourful blooms in your planters and pots, and whilst fuschias are considered to be one of the easiest plants to grow in containers and hanging baskets, they do have a few staple requirements.
Despite their tropical apperance, fuschias should be positioned in part to full shade, rather than in full sun. Water your fuschia plants consistently throughout the summer and ensure your planter has good drainage. All of our contemporary and traditional planters are produced with a handy drainage hole in the base for this very reason.
It’s not too late to get your garden ready for a glorious, colourful display.
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