Summer lilac as a container plant


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The summer lilac (Buddleja davidii), also called butterfly lilac, has in common with the real lilac only the German name. Botanically, the plants are not very closely related to each other. The butterfly magnet usually does not open its long flower candles until July. The flowers last for at least two months and attract many colorful butterflies. The reason: The nectar in the long tubular flowers they have more or less exclusive. Most other insects can not reach it because their proboscis is not long enough.

In the garden the summer lilac prefers full sun locations on light and permeable, rather nutrient-poor soils. On thick, nutrient-rich subsoil the shrubs often become very large and mastig, unstable and use less flowers. With its frugal nature and long flowering time, the summer lilac is also an excellent choice as a container plant on the balcony and terrace. However, they should not plant any of the classic garden species - these are usually too large for planters and need because of their deep roots relatively tall planters.
Instead, opt for one of the relatively new, compact-growing varieties of the 'Petite' breed series, of which there are now several varieties in different colors. The plants are barely 150 centimeters high and show a very dense, roundish-closed growth. In terms of flowering and robustness they are in no way inferior to their big brothers from the garden.

Blossom of summer lilac with butterfly

Butterflies are magically attracted to the flowers of the summer lilac

Summer lilac needs lanky soil

Another secret of success for the successful culture of summer lilac as a container plant is the right soil: Anyone who has ever seen how lush the summer lilac flowers on disused railway embankments, will be able to understand that the commercially available, humus rich balcony potting soil is not the right choice. If you still want to use them, you should at least mix them in equal parts with coarse building sand, so that they are sufficiently lean, structurally stable and permeable in the long term. Expanded clay or brick chippings are also excellent as an admixture. The Pfanzgef├Ą├č itself should have at least 40 centimeters in diameter for a newly purchased plant and be at least as high as wide. Make sure you have a good water drain by first filling in a layer of expanded clay about five centimeters below.

Summer lilac 'Summer Lounge'

The compact variety novelty 'Summer Lounge' is only 60 centimeters high and thrives optimally in pots on small, full-sunny open spaces such as balcony and terrace. The hardy summer lilac is available in pink, purple and blue.

Regularly clean and fertilize container plants

The location for the summer lilac should be full sun, if possible, because only there he shows his most beautiful flowers - and attracts most butterflies. Flowered panicles can be cut out in summer. When pruning until about the end of July, beginning of August new flower stalks drift, which open their flowers until early autumn. The potted plants are fertilized about every two weeks with commercially available balcony flower or container plant fertilizer, which should contain enough phosphate and not too much nitrogen. It is best administered as a liquid fertilizer with the irrigation water.

Summer lilac in the tub: wintering and cutting

The plants can hibernate outside when protected and dry. Choose a location sheltered from the sun and the wind, close to a house wall or under a canopy, so that the summer lilac is not exposed to direct rain. You should also put the pot in a large wooden box, fill the gap with bark mulch and cover the bale surface with it. In winter, water is poured just enough that the bale does not dry out. The shoots do not need winter protection.
In late winter, when the strongest frosts are over, cut back your summer lilac thoroughly. Like the garden species, the compact growing summer lilacs form after a near-ground pruning particularly large Bl├╝tenrispen. From each old flowering shoot you should leave only two leaf nodes. As a result, the plants vigorously revive and show the first new flowers in July.

Video Board: Planting Shrubs in Containers.

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