When to repot alpine

There are no hard and fast rules as to when should you repot alpline, but gener­ally you should think of repotting every second year. The best time is early spring.

But you could also repot at any time when a plant starts to look faded despite proper feeding and watering. It may be ‘pot-bound’ – that is. the roots have become so congested that the compost has dried out and lost its capacity to nourish healthy growth.

Extra watering does a pot-bound plant no good, it simply erodes the compost, which may take on a greenish, decayed look. When the compost deteriorates, the plant deterio­rates too. Leaves turn yellow; flowers are disappointing; new growth is painfully slow. But if you repot every second year, your alpines should never reach this condition.

Alpine bulbs are a special case. They always benefit from being repotted every year – especially the smaller forms of nar­cissus, tulip and crocus.

Bulbs left to their own devices, or fed in their old compost, often emerge erratically and make a patchy display