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Which type of Skimmia is best for growing in a single pot? I wish to grow one specimen only, so it will need to be self-fertilizing in order to bear berries in a winter display. Am I right to assume that it will only be suitable for a pot for a few years, then get too big for any pot. Or is there any way to keep it permanently small enough, such as removing from pot in winter and trimming top growth as well as pruning the roots, then refilling with fresh compost? Would that work? Advice much appreciated.



Skimmia reevesiana, or better yet, its cultivar, Robert Fortune, will produce berries because its an hermaphrodite. Use ericaceous compost, will get 2.5 feet high and wide, so not that large either. The problem with keeping it smaller than that is you're likely to lose the berries.

11 Aug, 2011


Hi Bamboo. Thanks for the info. I know where to obtain S Reevesiana as I can get it from Crocus. I don't think I can get Robert Fortune. If its max size is 2.5 feet then in a reasonable sized pot it should take quite a while to outgrow a reasonable sized pot. So I should be OK with it. If it favours slightly acidic conditions, will my using tap water gradually turn the ericacious compost too alkaline, or perhaps too neutral?

11 Aug, 2011


Over time, probably, but if you're concerned, boil and cool the water first. That'll take the lime out of it.

11 Aug, 2011


So there is a labour involved in growing it. A kettleful every day in summer. I suppose I can have a cuppa at the same time. This is why I have never been a grower of ericacious things, not being in an acidic soil area. Pity, bcause there are so many lovely things that are thus prohibited. I expect many gardeners feel the same way. Is there any easier way round things than kettle-boiling, like applying an addative to a pot or ground, like a powder or granules or something to maintain the acidity of ericacious compost despite tap water's effect? It could open up a whole new realm of gardening for me and others also.

11 Aug, 2011


Yes - stop worrying about it, lol! Use ericaceous to start with, and the following year give it a shot of sequestrene iron tonic if you're not repotting, and repeat it yearly.

11 Aug, 2011


That's brilliant. Will do. I'll definitely go for it. P.S.: I'll make you laugh. Three women from the Council run Bracknell In Bloom 'Your Garden's' Competition came round in late June to do the judging. As was the case last year also, none of the judges knew anything whatsoever about gardening. Zero knowledge or experience. And none of them had any interest in gardening either. What I'd call the 'main woman' appeared not to even know what 'Clematis' was. It's a silly annual complete farce. I won't be entering it any more. I've had enough of the fools!

11 Aug, 2011


How extraordinary - what are they basing their judgements on then? Just whether they like the look of what they see? As in judging someone's sitting room? Sounds like a total farce to me as well.

11 Aug, 2011


They didn't do any judging at all. It's as simple as that. In Nov they send out the awards by post, each entrant getting either bronze, silver or gold - probably by random lottery. They keep the same thing up annually. Perculiar folk. The same council won silver a few years ago in the 'National' awards with their superb municipal displays.

11 Aug, 2011


They should allocate the judging to their horticultural section then - although quite often, councils contract that out, so maybe that's why they don't.

12 Aug, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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