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Easy Plants in a Gorgeous Pot

By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Container Gardens
Photographs by Pamela Crawford

This arrangement rated a red ribbon instead of a blue because New Guinea impatiens are somewhat susceptible to pests. However, I didn’t do anything to this arrangement after planting other than add water. And it lasted for an entire six months in this large container.

Although the bromeliad didn’t flower for the full six months, the impatiens did so well they took up the slack when the bromeliad wasn’t blooming.

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The container is made of fiberglass, which is long-lasting and easy to clean.

The Plants

New Guinea impatiens ‘Infinity Dark Pink’ – Four plants from six-inch pots.

New Guinea impatiens ‘Infinity Orange’ – Three plants from six-inch pots.

Bromeliad – One plant from a one-gallon pot.

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Cultural Information

Light: In most of the world, bromeliads are sold in the houseplant section of your local garden center. Because they are grown in very low light, the leaves burn in any sun at all. Keep them in medium shade, which suits the impatiens as well.

However, garden centers in subtropical areas (like parts of Florida and California) frequently sell bromeliads that are adapted to higher light. Ask at your garden center if you see one you would like to use in more light.

Season: Any time the temperatures are over 40 and under 100 degrees F. New Guinea impatiens take more heat than regular impatiens, but bloom more when temperatures are under 93 degrees.

Lifespan: Bromeliads last indefinitely, if occasionally separated and protected from frost. However, many gardeners looking for easy impact keep the bromeliad for the two to four month bloom period and then discard it. New Guinea impatiens last about five to six months in a container this large.

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Care: Easy! No trimming necessary. Fertilize on planting day with a slow-release mix. Repeat every six months. Put the fertilizer in the potting mix around the plants, not in the center cup.

Water: Water thoroughly when the soil feels dry to the touch, or the impatiens show signs of wilt. This arrangement needs water about every three to five days in medium shade.

Troubleshooting: No problems. This was a wonderful, trouble-free arrangement. New Guinea impatiens get can get fungus occasionally, however.

Planting Plan: Plant the bromeliad in the center, and surround it with the impatiens.

This is an excerpt from Pamela Crawford’s book, Easy Container Gardens, available through Amazon and other online booksellers.

Pamela Crawford, author of 12 gardening books, is considered one of the most accomplished container gardening experts in the country. In addition to designing gardens for over 1500 residences, her work has been featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens publications as well as in Southern Living, HGTV Magazine, Fine Gardening, Country Gardens, and in over 300 newspapers. As an expert in her field, she has appeared on the Fine Living Network, GardenSMART, and numerous local tv shows.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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