Hardy Plants for Pots for Outdoors
Now that fall is fully underway, you’ve likely noticed that your rooftop garden is starting to look a bit…blah. Perhaps it’s time to invest in some color. Tufdek has some recommendations for choosing hardy plants for pots for outdoors.
Choosing Plants for Roof Decks
When you are selecting deck plants for the fall and winter, you want plants that are hardy and will last long into the cooler months. Depending on where you live, you might want to look for plants that withstand a heavy frost, so you can enjoy your vinyl roof deck garden for longer.
Also, consider how much time it takes for plants to bloom. Since days are shorter and cooler, plants that require a lot of sunshine to bloom might not have a chance in the fall.
Planting on Roof Decks
Normally, when you are planting in containers, you want to leave space for flowers and plants to fill in. In the Fall, you can place plants closer together, as they won’t grow as much with cooler weather and less sun.
Choose one plant (or more) for each container that is taller than the rest. It’s also a great practice to choose one plant that offers a fairly bright color, and one that offers a bit of texture. Grasses are a great choice for fall containers and offer a lot of different colors and textures. Most are perennial, as well, so they will come back year after year.
If you regularly entertain on your Tufdek Vinyl Decking, consider smaller containers for your fall plants that are easy to move around to make room for guests.
Taking Care of Fall Plants
The great thing about fall plants on your vinyl roof decks is that they don’t need nearly as much care and attention as plants you start in the spring. Before watering, check the soil for moisture – if the soil is still damp it doesn’t need water. Water your plants less often as the temperature drops.
Plants generally don’t need much as far as fertilizer in the Fall since they aren’t growing as much. Most fertilizers depend on warmer temperatures to activate, so look for a water-soluble fertilizer if you feel one is needed.
Here are a few extra plant care tips:
- Select plants that are one to two zones colder so they can survive the winter.
- Plants that you feel are worth keeping can be kept indoors for the harshest part of the winter season, if needed.
- Plants that don’t last can be simply composted and replaced the next year.
Protecting Fall Plants on Roof Decks
When temperatures fall towards freezing, it might be time to consider extra protection overnight to keep your plants going a bit longer. If a few nights of cold are predicted, throw a sheet over your plants and then pack it away if the temperature rebounds.
Planting Perennials for Year-Round Enjoyment
If the thought of switching out spring/fall plants stresses you out, consider perennials instead. Get a hold of some smaller trees, shrubs, or flowering plants that will come back year after year. Ideally, you want plants that will retain their foliage throughout the fall and winter, as well as adding a splash of color.
Consider Fall Colors
When you’re filling containers for your vinyl roof deck, think about the colors involved. You want to consider the color of the plantings now, and when (or if) they change colors and how they will compliment your home and your vinyl decking. You can certainly choose colors that stand out on your deck or create a harmonious blend of tones.
Interesting Choices for Fall Plants
Not sure what types of plants you should select for your vinyl roof deck? Here are some options:
- Bergenias: Glossy green leaves become bronzy/red in the fall.
- New Zealand Flax: Eye-catching in a variety of colours.
- Coprosma: Shiny leaves with orangey hues exude autumn.
- Mahonia: Gorgeous green with bright yellow flowers and purple berries in winter.
- Heucherella: Light green leaves with red splotches.
- Purple Kale: Dark purple leaves that offer contrast to other types of plants
- Lamium: Silvery foliage that sticks around long after temperatures drop below freezing.
- Honeysuckle: Lightly-textured, pale green leaves are edged in red in the fall.
- Heuchera: Rich, dark leaves offer contrast to brighter plants.
- Carex: Upright, grassy-type plant with orange edging.
- Mugo dwarf pine: Dark, thick evergreen branches a perfect foundation for any combination.
Before putting containers on your deck, give it a good clean and look it over to detect problems. Keep in mind that containers and soil add a lot of weight to your deck, so you want to ensure it can handle the extra load before heading out to the nursery.
If your vinyl roof deck is looking a bit shabby lately, consider upgrading to a new vinyl deck membrane before you put plants on your deck to enjoy a brand new feel, for a fraction of the cost of a full deck replacement.