Decorative Pot Toppings

Pot Toppings

As well as being decorative, a topping will also help protect your container plants and keep them healthy. Several inches of topping helps retain moisture in the potting soil and protects the root system from hot and cold weather; it will help keep the dreaded weeds at bay, and as water is retained, it will mean less frequent watering.

Use your imagination and choose toppings from organic mediums such as chipped bark, pine needles, leaf mould or pine cone or inorganic mediums such as slate, pebbles, expanded terracotta, or recycled tumbled glass. Underplanting is another attractive way to decorate your pot, which will be covered in a future blog.

There are only a few basic rules to follow when using topping.

  1. Leave a gap of several inches between organic topping and the plant stem/trunk.
  2. Ensure organic topping will not harm your plant. For example, ericaceous plants will suffer if the topping raises the ph levels as it breaks down.
  3. Keep the level of the topping slightly below the rim of the pot. Doing so will prevent overspill when watering.

These rules considered, your topping can then be as simple or adventurous as you wish! 

Posted by Stewart Scott on August 15th 2021

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