How to grow alpine in containers

This idea came to us many years ago as a way to avoid containers becoming bog gardens through warmer and wetter winters. Since implementing we have had no loss due to moisture and have discovered many great attributes like moisture retained by condensation in the bottom layer is used by the root system and weeds are far less of an issue.

How to create an alpine container:

Firstly you need to choose the container that suits your desired location.

Once you have both a location and container you will require 20-30mm gravel, horticultural grit, white fleece and a good quality multipurpose compost. Quantities of each will vary on your container size.

Wash all gravel and grit thoroughly to remove sediment as this can rapid change the PH level of the container.

Now you’re ready to get started, just follow the step by step guide below:

Step 1: fill your container half way up with the 20-30mm washed gravel.

Step 2: cut the Fleece in the shape of your container with 20mm extra

Step 3: lay hessian on top of gravel

Step 4: mix 50% compost with 50% washed grit

Step 5: place gritty compost on hessian leaving a depth of 20-30mm from top

Step 6: Place your rock

Step 7: plant your plants so they are proud but with base of the plant level to the container surface

Step 8: place your washed grit around the plants

Step 9: water to establish

Now stand back and enjoy your design


Step 1: if your container is less that 150mm deep fill gravel to 1/5

Step 4: you can change compost to ericaceous if needed also you can change ratio of compost to grit for succulents etc

Step 5: you can add rocks as features

Step 7: you can use various stones on surface i.e slate Chipping’s

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