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pot tips

We've compiled below some tips to help you get the most from your decorative pots:

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Download our DIY water feature guide (37K).

decorative pots can dress up your garden

Now that we have to consider drought and water restrictions when planning our gardens, pots and garden décor are an ideal solution.

Do you have a small backyard or live in an apartment with a balcony or courtyard?  There’s now a myriad of textures, designs, colours and sizes available to choose from.

Are you looking for a really large feature piece to focus your large outdoor living space or fill a space in an office corner or foyer?  Stunning pots and urns 1 – 2m tall are available now.

Want an original water feature that’s unique and easy to install?  Any of our pots can be turned into stunning features incorporating bold aquatic plants.


choosing the style of your pots

The colour of your pot should contrast with yet complement the colour of the foliage or flower.  You could select an accent colour from the plant and use that.  If the plant you want to pot is highly ornamental, opt for an unpatterned pot that doesn’t compete for attention.  Importantly, the pot needs to be in proportion to the plant – so, a tall plant will need a tall pot.

In terms of style – that’s personal.  Terracotta is a timeless and traditional choice with unlimited styles available today.  Our glazed pots now come in so many fabulous colours, shapes and textures that you can mix and match to your hearts content.  Consider Terrazzo for a stylish pot that will last and last.  Now there’s the choice of reconstituted or natural stone, even lightweight resin or metal.  The choices are endless.  Pop in to make your selection and receive specialist design advice to assist in the decision making process.

Whether you have a small balcony or courtyard, are looking to create a feature in your backyard or need to fill a large space in a foyer or office, you’ll find garden décor to suit at Provincial.


design tips for pot placement

Firstly, consider practicalities – the pot needs to be placed where the plant will get its sunlight requirements.  That’s not an issue if you’re not using a live plant (tortured willow or other dried branches make stunning features, as do large glazed ceramic pots without plants). 

To ensure your garden, courtyard or balcony has a co-ordinated look, repeat colours, materials and shapes in different areas.  It’s often more aesthetically pleasing to group pots in uneven numbers and best not to combine too many different colours or shapes.

Placing a single pot (or a row of matching pots) against a feature wall as a focal point is an eye catching addition to any space.  Make sure you buy the pot first and then match the plant to the container.

Placing pots at an entrance, the start of a pathway or in a previously dull corner brings life to a space.  Similarly, using small pots down a set of steps can add interest.


planting out your pot

When filling your pots, always use premium potting mix with water storing granules as this will ensure an enhanced water retaining capacity within the soil. 

You can buy your water storing granules at Provincial and we’ll fill you in on how to use them. 

Selecting the most appropriate plant for a particular place can often be a challenge, so to assist we suggest you contact us for the best advice. Ornamental grasses, strappy leaf plants and grass trees create a dynamic impact.   

Completing your planting with decorative pebbles available in a variety of colours and sizes is a lovely way to ‘finish off’ and further helps the soil retain moisture. 

When you’ve selected your pots and plants, we can provide all these complimentary products for you.


potting mix

You must use a high quality potting mix containing all the essential nutrients and organic material if your plants are going to flourish. 

So how do you know what the right composition is?  If buying prepackaged, look for the Standards Mark with five ticks on the label. This will tell you that the mix has been independently tested and certified to contain a suitable mix of nutrients in an appropriate base material to meet the requirements of the potted plant.  A black Standards mark indicates ‘regular’ potting mix and a red Standards mark indicates ‘premium’.

‘Regular’ potting mix may require extra nutrients or fertilisers depending on the plant species, while ‘premium’ potting mix contains additional nutrients and often won’t need extra fertilisers.

Regardless of the type of potting mix you use you should always exercise caution when handling.  Make sure you wear gloves and preferably a face mask (at minimum turn your face away when opening the bag) to avoid the possibility of coming into contact with any type of bacteria, if present.


re-potting plants

 Give the soil a thorough soak before removing the plant from its original container.  Turn the pot on its side and gently ‘squeeze’ around the outer surface to loosen the plant (if it’s a hard plastic you can’t squeeze just turn it on its side).  Gently ease the plant out holding on around the base on the plant near the root system. 

Your new pot should be at least 1/3 larger than the original to allow roots to spread.  Keep your premium potting mix (with water storing granules) a few centimetres below the rim to leave room for water to soak in and don’t bury the stem of the plant.

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Download our factsheet on watering tips (56K).

watering tips for plants in pots

Adding water storing granules to your potting mix will help improve water retention.  Using decorative pebbles, gravel or mulch will help reduce evaporation.  Pot feet under the pot will assist with good drainage and ensure there’s a drainage hole in the bottom so the roots don’t become water logged. 

You can use a watering can instead of a hose for potted plants, and you may like to consider a dripper irrigation system.  Some planters come with a built in reservoir at the bottom that can save both time and water.  If pots are grouped together (preferably in the same colour but different shapes and sizes) they’re easier to water.

Placing potted plants in areas protected from drying winds and with some shade will reduce evaporation.  Potted plants need more water during really windy or hot days.

pdf pdf download
Download our factsheet on fertilising (46K).

fertilising plants in pots

Fertiliser can be washed out of potting mix as water drains through quite quickly and different species have different requirements.  Contact Provincial for advice.

You’re basically looking for a product that provides a complete and balanced solution including trace elements.  You can use a water soluable fertiliser that is applied as required when watering, or a controlled or slow release fertiliser where ‘pellets’ release fertiliser over a longer period.  Try using fish emulsion or liquid seaweed to give plants a boost.


repairing cracks

Use of ‘Liquid Nails’ on the outside of the pot and ‘Gripset 51’ (a general purpose waterproofing membrane) on the inside will totally seal the pot.

cleaning terrazzo

Terrazzo can be cleaned by rubbing gently with sandpaper then applying a paving or slate sealant (gloss for bright or matt for dark) with a paint bush to bring back lustre.

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