We all love spending time outdoors in the spring and summer, when we get to enjoy our terrace, patio or balcony full of flowers and colour. The chillier days do not mean that we have to stop growing flowers outdoors or enjoy our winter garden. Here are 4 outdoor plants that we can easily grow in the colder months.
Winter garden: Cyclamen
Cyclamen are bulbous winter plants which bloom in cold temperatures. You can buy the bulbs and then plant them, or you can save some time and buy them in flower pots. They come in regular and miniature sizes, and the new hybrids offer amazing colours for your garden.
- Light and temperature: they thrive in bright locations without direct sunshine. Avoid keeping them indoors, as your heating at home can affect them. Put them in a cold room, or better yet, just simply enjoy them outdoors.
- Watering: Overwatering can rot the bulb, so the best way to water them is by immersion once a week. Submerge the pot in a bucket of water during 10 minutes, and then let it drain well before putting it back in its place.
- Fertiliser: use a fertiliser for flower plants at the beginning of the blooming period, not before. Fertilise it regularly, as recommended by the manufacturer, in order to enjoy its beautiful flowers for many months.
- Remove any wilted flowers regularly to encourage new blooms, which can continue well into spring.
Winter garden: Calluna
Calluna “duo” tins are pots in which two calluna plants of different colours have been planted. The end result is a beautiful and harmonious combination of both.
Calluna is a type of heather available in shades ranging from pale pink to fuchsia. It combines very well with other plants, making it ideal for multi-coloured arrangements in pots, planters and flower beds.
- Light and temperature: it prefers bright locations without direct sunshine, as it could affect its flowering. It is ideal for balconies which do not get much light in the winter.
- Watering: calluna is a plant that needs constant moisture, so you might need to water it between 3 and 4 times a week. However, make sure that you avoid waterlogging, as it can cause fungi to appear.
- Fertiliser: use a fertiliser specific for flowering plants, rich in phosphorus and potassium, so that it can cope with low temperatures.
Winter garden: Primroses
Primroses are short plants and are therefore perfect for combinations with other plants, such as bulbous ones.
In areas with mild winters, primroses can be transplanted in winter. In colder areas, we will have to wait until the arrival of spring, which is the reason why in some languages, another name for the primrose is spring.
- Light and temperature: it cannot withstand frost or direct sunshine. Primroses flower better in bright spots in the shade.
- Watering: they prefer the substrate to be always moist, so we will have to adjust our watering schedule to the type of substrate used. Avoid getting the flowers wet as much as possible.
- Fertiliser: as with the previously mentioned plants, we will use a fertiliser for flowering plants, following the manufacturer’s recommendations on the packaging as to how much and how often to add (usually it is added every 15 days) to the soil.
Winter garden: Ornamental cabbage
Packets of ornamental cabbage seeds include a mix of different colours. You can plant the seeds at the end of the summer, or if you prefer, you can buy already germinated plants in the autumn and winter.
We are indeed including cabbages in our list, yes! These ornamental varieties are rustic, beautiful and great for combining with other plants. They come in pink, red, yellow and white, offering great and beautiful colour contrast. And better yet, they require minimal care.
- Light and temperature: just like the cabbages grown in the vegetable patch, these ornamental cabbages adore sunshine and can easily withstand low temperatures.
- Watering: they need to be watered regularly to keep the soil moist, which must never completely dry in-between waterings.
Fertiliser: ornamental cabbage is beautiful because of the contrasting colours of its leaves, but it is not a flowering plant. We will therefore use a universal fertiliser or an organic one such as manure, worm castings or compost.
Snail traps are both environmentally friendly and very effective. They are buried at ground level and filled with beer. Yes, you heard that right! Snails do love the smell of beer and it attracts them inside.
One more thing to finish this post about winter plants. When they are grown in the ground, they tend to attract both snails and slugs. If you grow them on a terrace or balcony, you won’t have a problem with this pest, but in the garden it is almost a must to use repellents or snail traps.
Do you want to tell us which outdoor plants you grow in the winter? Which are your favourites and why? Do you have any tips that you would like to share with us? We would love to read your comments.