Celebrating Trees and Summer Holidays

There has always been something special about trees, no matter where you are in the world. We have all sorts of trees, but we specialize in the kinds that will grow well in Australia. One of our favorite trees is the Queensland Bottle Tree (Brachychiton rupestris). From September through November, the Queensland bottle trees are glorious with blossoms, then, toward December give way to green leaves, creating shade. The fruit is attractive to a wide variety of wildlife. They are one of the iconic sights of Australia, growing to immense heights.

What you might not know is that you can keep a young Queensland bottle tree in a pot for many years. They are slow growing, and even though you might eventually need a rather large pot (unless you are making a bonsai of it), you can have your own young brachychiton rupestris on a patio or balcony. It will be a trifle too small to act as a shade tree, of course, but it can still be an attractive part of your general ambiance.

Eventually, your young bottle tree might need a permanent, outdoor home. In the meantime, you might want to house it in a colorful GRC pot. GRC can be molded into a variety of shapes, although most are made into simple cubes or cylinders. The material is light and strong making it ideal for growing young trees or other large plants.

The only drawback to a GRC pot is that it does not breath in the same way as an earthenware or terracotta pot. Therefore, it is important to make sure that there is plenty of coarse material, such as small stones or gravel toward the bottom of the pot to help with keeping the drain holes open. Even trees that are not particularly sensitive to root rot rarely appreciate having soggy feet.

Another good option for growing in pots is the glauca grass tree. Although they do have some specific soil requirements, they can make an attractive patio or balcony plant. Pots are also a good way to try out light and heat levels for any sort of tree or other plant, for that matter. Since you can move a pot from one place to another, even if the pot plus plant is large enough to require a dolly or forklift, it gives you the option of changing the location of your plant if your first choice does not seem to be working out.

Potted plants are a thoughtful gift for gardeners, people who love houseplants, and even for someone who is interested in trying to grow a houseplant for the first time.

In the latter case, it is thoughtful to give them a plant that is not too difficult in a beautiful, easy to manage, GRC pot. Olive trees are amazingly easy to turn into bonsai, and can endure a certain amount of neglect. Agave, and similar succulents, can be a slightly more difficult but highly attractive gift plant. Finally, there are the yuccas and the cacti. These last can present challenges, but their advantage is that they can go for long periods without being watered or fed. Even they, however, do need water and it is kindly to include instructions and a watering schedule, as well as what to watch for, with any gift plant.

Another thing to keep in mind when giving someone a plant is whether they have children or pets. For example, it would be extremely unkind to gift a family that has beloved cats with a poinsettia, no matter how lovely the plant or how beautiful the pot it is planted in. Cats love to nibble on greenery, and poinsettias are poisonous to cats.

If a family has pets, you might gift them a lovely GRC pot planted with wheat grass. Both cats and dogs like to chomp on greens now and then. The sturdy pot, especially a large one that can sit on the floor, would withstand their attentions, and the wheat grass would be a miniature “wave of grain” for at least a day or two.

Catnip is another pleasant giftable for families with cats. Again, a large, sturdy pot that can rest on the floor is ideal. Topped with a mesh screen to prevent digging and to keep beloved moggies from eating the roots, and you will have given the pet owner hours of amusement, as well as good fun for kitty.

Neither wheatgrass or catnip are trees, so we won’t have those items, but we can help out with the pot. Whether you are housing one of our trees, an ordinary house plant, plants for pets, or even a batch of microgreens for the human members of your family, a sturdy GRC pot in just the right shape and size is likely to be available for your fine growables. If you should decide that a portable tree fits your lifestyle, our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be glad to help you choose the perfect potted tree for your home. We can even discuss a future home for your tree, including repotting and when it might grow too large for indoor cultivation.



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