Autumn Gardening

The Superstars of the Season

Cyclamen, heather, ornamental cabbage, chrysanthemums and other precious plants to compose vases and bowls brightening up the balcony and garden until the frosts.

Autumn is a splendid moment for balconies and gardens: the seasonal colors are suggestive, and to create long-blooming spots durability seasonal plants come in handy, easily available in flower shops, stalls, garden centers, and supermarkets. They are inexpensive and can also be grown well in mixed compositions: cyclamen, heather, veronica, chrysanthemums, ornamental cabbage, berry seedlings such as solanum and Ardisia and small conifers are just some ingredients to create scenes to be admired between October and December.

Easy and durable

plants Autumn seasonal plants are resistant if some indispensable rules are respected: they live well outdoors, in the shade if the sun is still strong, and protected from frost and rain. The composition in mixed groups is made possible by the fact that their radical development is slow and modest; plants destined to last over time, such as mini-conifers, can then be repotted in spring in larger containers.

The generous chrysanthemums

Available in many colors, with single or double flower, and different sizes, the chrysanthemums must be purchased with many buds still tightly closed. They must not be affected by the aridity of the soil but the constantly wet soil must also be avoided. A repotting after the purchase with the agent for geraniums and flowering plants is advisable to provide good fertile soil that will keep flowering for a long time. Withered flowers must be cut: this favors the opening of the buds.

Heather, some useful advice

The heather must be repotted with soil for acidophilic plants and kept in full light, preferably in the sun; at home, they last a few days but outdoors they can remain beautiful for weeks. The ideal is to water with rainwater; that of the tap must be left to settle in the watering can for 24-28 hours to reduce, as far as possible, the presence of limestone which will tend to settle on the bottom of the watering can. They do not require fertilizer in the fall; if they survive the winter, in the spring they will be fertilized with liquid fertilizer for acidophilic plants.

Cyclamen and pansies, in bloom for months

Sheltered from the rain, small-flowered cyclamen is a certainty: they remain in bloom even when the temperatures drop and only the intense frosts will stop them. Violets, on the other hand, also manage to get through the winter. For these plants it is necessary to fertilize with a universal liquid fertilizer every 20 days in autumn, to favor the formation of new buds.

Ornamental cabbages, ideal for winter

Ornamental cabbages do not lose their charm even in the snow. They are available with colored leaves in many different shades and are ideal for compositions with other plants. If they go through the winter, which is not difficult, in the spring they will form a beautiful yellow bloom, before ending their lives cycle.

Expert advice

• Complete the planters with evergreens such as veronica with beautiful lilac flowers, to be repotted using loam for acidophilic plants.

• In bowls and vases, you get good results by combining the seasonal flowering plants with mini-conifers or ivy seedlings, which appreciate the use of universal soil always keep slightly damp, never drenched for long.

• Have you chosen an autumnal camellia (Sasanqua) to decorate balconies and gardens? Fertilize it in autumn every 20 days with water-soluble acidophilic fertilizer; suspend the fertilization in the period of intense cold and resume them at the end of winter.

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