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Like any other room in the house, the outdoor living spaces need to be updated from time to time. Pots full of flowers, even edible, can be moved in and out to change the look. It’s like using spray pads because you only need a few pieces to get the job done. Here are some tips:

  • See the sunshine and shade that your terrace gets. Then choose the plants that perform best. Flowering plants such as Alstroemeria ‘Inticancha’ (above) or plants that can be eaten on the terrace bloom in the morning sun and in the afternoon shade. Shadow lovers like impatient or fuchsia don’t mind the morning sun or the spotty sunlight during the day. Succulents are the best choice for a very warm and sunny terrace.
  • Learn about the water needs of each plant so you can set a watering and feeding schedule. For healthy container plants, regular watering and feeding at least once a month with liquid fertilizer is essential. In very hot weather, container plants may need to be watered every day or every other day, but in cooler weather much less.
  • Do not allow plants to stand in water. If they are in saucers, place a layer of gravel in the saucers so that the pot stands on the gravel and keeps the roots away from the water. Wet roots tend to rot.

Lovers of sunbathing on the terrace

Dipladenia Diamantina

A Dipladenia Diamantina® The collection offers constantly flowering plants that offer a wide range of options: hanging baskets, flowerpots, large containers and grids. ‘Tourmaline’ is a compact and very flowering variety with large star-shaped soft pink flowers. ‘Jade’ is a semi-compact grower that also works in planters and containers with looser growth. For height, especially for grid training, there’s Opale, which can also be grown in large hanging baskets. Being gentle perennials, they need a sheltered, warm area in the winter.

Lavender “spring”

The scent is always winning, especially when guests can reach out and rub the fragmentary leaves. Lavandula ‘Primavera’ is a variety of stoechas, also known as Spanish lavender, with burgundy flags on top of small purple flowers that attract butterflies. What sets it apart from other spring-flowering stochas is that it blooms from summer to autumn. It is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that should not be overwatered and should be drained well. Cut off used flowers to encourage new flowering. It is a compact, vertical grower that is especially suitable for terraces.

Easy to eat

Why don’t we let our guests take off their lettuce leaves and edible flowers themselves? It will always be a topic of conversation if we add edible food to the patio collection. It can be as simple as this planter with a variety of fibrous salads and edible pansy, or with potted herbs like basil, parsley, thyme and coriander. There is even a range of Simply Delicious terraced vegetables that are compact growers with high yields of smaller fruits such as Patio Snacker Cucumber, Eggplant Patio Baby and a wide selection of cherry tomatoes. Vegetables in particular need regular watering and feeding. Encourage regular picking and the cultivation of new leaves and more fruit.

From sun to shade

Sunpatiens and sun coleus

Sunpatiens is one of those wonderful plants that grows equally well in full day or half shade. True, you need more water if you put it in sunlight. Sun coleus varieties like lime green Salsa Verde (front) and ‘Flame Thrower’ are good companions in a mixed pot as their leaf color intensifies in the sun. All three of them need regular watering, feeding once a month, and they don’t mind being cut off to keep them in shape.

Fuchsia Bella

Fuchsia ‘Bella’ was bred for terraced life. It is a compact-growing potted fuchsia with beautiful two-tone flowers that are carried throughout the summer. There are nine different varieties, each with a distinctive color. They love the bright shade and can withstand the morning sun. Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not soaked. Plants do not like to stand in water. Pour water directly into the container in the early morning or late evening. Feed it once every two weeks with liquid fertilizer and remove faded flowers to create new flowers. www.ballstraathof.co.za

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