March 22, 2011

Planting Containers - Cool Specimen Plants

There is nothing quite like a tall massive container of Cyperus papyrus. This weekend we picked up some 4 inch pots of a very tall strain at Logee's greenhouses, and potted them in 30 inch wide Chinese pots ( don't worry, they will fill these pots by mid July, and the volume is necessary if you want 6 foot tall specimens that will stop people in their tracks. These are moisture lovers, so either sit the pots in a pond or in large trays of water. Cyperus are not hardy in Zone 5, so plan on either bringing these beasts indoors in the winter or invest in new ones in the spring. This is one of those plants that everyone will ask you where you bought it, but rarely do you find them at  nurseries for sale at full size. Just be sure to by the larger growing form, and not the dwarf. This plant is all about impressing people, so why not go all the way. Just be sure to buy the largest container that you can, there is no such thing as over-potting this genus.
A mature giant Papyrus makes an impressive container plant in just one growing season. It loves heat and moisture, growing best in standing water. Use the largest pot that you can find, and stand back!

Other containers I am potting up include the regular stand by's, Abutilon, Brugmansia and the like, plus a few new small tender shrubs and tropicals like these. On the left, a dwarf Ruscus aculeatus 'Christmas Berry', or Butcher's Broom which should be loaded with red berries in the autumn that will accent the green glazed ceramic container perfectly.
Ruscus aculeatus, with prickly evergreen leaves and long-lasting red berries in the winter. Not hardy in zone 5, this will need to be brought in for the winter, but it makes a long-lived container specimen, especially the newer dwarf forms available from Plant Delight's Nursery.

  On the right, a  Berbidgea schizocheila, or "golden Brush ( see image below from Logee's site). The orange blossoms of this ginger relative should look nice with this new brown glazed pot.

Burbidgea scheizocheila


  1. I am so Jealous that you live near Logees! I just bought a fig tree from them! Wish I could just go there though. They have really nice tropicals. The Papyrus is awesome. Will you be bringing it indoors?

  2. I discovered the papyrus a few years ago and it's been a must-have for my garden ever since. I think I've finally had success overwintering one inside under lights, but we'll see. I'm hoping to try one in the ground this year to see just how big it can get.

  3. Thanks for the info about the cyprus. That sounds like a great idea for someone who is just getting in to tropicals (me). They are so dramatic and they sound easy.



It's always a good thing to leave a comment!