Outdoor Potting Benches and Table Plants

Written by aurora lajambre
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Outdoor Potting Benches and Table Plants
Orchids in bloom are a stunning centrepiece. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Potting benches give gardeners a place to store supplies and a surface area for potting seedlings and table plants outdoors. Having potting soil, pottery and plant food within reach when you need them not only keeps materials organised, it makes the process of caring for plants more relaxing. Designs vary, but most have a shape similar to a bench with a bottom shelf, workspace and sometimes a few hooks along the sides for gloves and hand shovels.

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Potting Benches

Whether you buy a potting bench or make one yourself, most will have the same basic features. Typically made of metal or wood, the wood can be stained or left natural, but it should be sealed to protect it from water and sun damage, deterioration and other elements. Shelf height is an important consideration. Find one that is adjustable or tall enough that you don't have to lean over when taking a cutting from a plant or dividing bulbs. Look for a potting bench with wheels if you would like to take it out to your garden.

Potting benches can add a decorative, rustic look to a garden or patio. Look for a design that will accommodate as many of your needs as possible without taking up too much space. The purpose is to provide a functional outdoor workspace.

Orchids

The Phalaenopsis, Vandas and Cattleyas orchids are grown by many home gardeners. Their exotic, slender form and successive, colourful blooms make orchids a rewarding table plant. Flowers range from white, pink and yellow to violet, orange and multicoloured. They can grow up to 16 inches tall in indirect or filtered sunlight in a room with 60 to 80 per cent humidity. They are susceptible to root rot, so they should never sit in water, and they prefer temperatures above 65F.

As your table orchids grow, add a bamboo stake to support the flowers. Fill the pot with a loose outdoor material likes stones or bark chips. You may bring your orchids outside on warm, humid days, but keep them out of direct sunlight.

Roses

Small roses are a fragrant, colourful outdoor table plant. Many species need a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight and can thrive on sunny patios or garden tables. Even small roses need containers large enough to give them rooting space and plenty of soil to hold water. Small polyantha species and miniature roses need at least a 5-gallon container. Choose a pot made from lightweight material if you live in a warm climate as the sun can heat up the container. Large pots with plenty of soil help keep roses cool.

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