Gardening Q&A: balcony pot plants

Horticultural advice from the experts at the RHS
Question: I have a long and narrow balcony with fencing at both ends. I attached pot holders to the wall from a company called Spanish Rings. I went to the garden centre and bought lots of plants, and hung up the pots. At first they looked very good, but after a little time, they wilted or just looked like they had been hanging there for a long time. I watered regularly but that did not seem to make a lot of difference. I know we are now at the end of the season, but I would appreciate some advice on what easy-care plants to buy now which will look nice in the winter months, and when I start again next spring, what plants are more hardy for a balcony area?

Answer: There shouldn't be any problems associated with using the wire hoops. However, if the pots are small, they will be prone to drying out, especially in an exposed position such as a balcony. It's also possible that some of your plants suffered from root rot or even snails grazing the stems and causing wilting.

Next time, try trailing ivy, grasses such as Carex oshimensis Evergold and Carex Frosted Curls, small pots of shrubs including variegated euonymus, and colour provided by pansies and primroses.

Send your questions for the RHS to: gardenproblems@standard.co.uk.

Only a few questions per month can be answered. For further advice on handling problems in your garden, visit www.rhs.org.uk/advice/index.asp.

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