Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Container Planting for Beginners

I have always told my husband to never buy me flowers from a florist for my birthday, anniversary, valentines day etc. Instead, I let him by me flowers at the nursery in the spring and I plant my own. The above picture was one I planted a few days ago. I can't wait until it has time to get fuller!

With that said, my favorite is arranging flowers in pots! Here is a simple recipe that is almost foolproof, even for the beginner. It is called the thriller, spiller and filler formula.

1. The Thriller
 Start out with something with height and texture. Spikes are great for this. Other great plants could be Cordyline or Ornamental grasses.

2. The Spiller
This is where it gets fun. Find a plant that will trail or spill over the side of container. Here are some of my favorites: Potato Vine, Creeping Jenny, and Bacopa.

3. The Filler
This next step is where you can experiment with color. For the remaining space in your container, fill it with colorful flowers. Easy flowers to grow include Petunias, Inpatients, Calibrachoa, Vinca and Lobelia.

Remember to choose plants with varying sizes and textures to add more interest. When choosing flowers keep in mind where you are planting them. Keep sun lovers and shade lovers separate. Also, pay attention to  the water recommendation of the plants. Keep flowers that require little moisture separate from those that need to be watered more often.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

This container I found in Better Homes and Garden magazine. These are the flower they used:

A. Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas'Margarita') 
B. Flax lily (Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata') 
C. Zinnia haageana 'Star White' 
D. Salvia guarantica 'Black and Blue' 
E. New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens 'Sonic Sweet Purple') 

Also, from Better Homes and Garden. Flowers used:

A. Impatiens 'Accent Pink Picotee' 
B. Hosta 'Golden Tiara' 
C. Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium 'Brise d'Anjou') 
D. Fuchsia 'Thalia' 
E. Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea 'Variegata')  
F. Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas 'Sweet Caroline Bronze')
G. Plectranthus 'Zulu Wonder' 
H. Vinca major 'Variegata' 


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  1. Great tutorial. May I also suggest plants that require the same moisture.

    1. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. So true about the moisture. I added a little more info to the post about that. Thanks!

  2. Love the planter and super tips. Yours looks fabulous. I host a weekly party called Inspire Me. It will be live Monday evening. I would love for you to link up. www.astrollthrulife.net Hope to see you there, Hugs, Marty

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Thanks for the invite and I look forward to visiting your site often!

  3. I love this! I am learning more and more about the garden but I am still pretty "green"... Thank you for this great advice! Pinning right now :) Krista @ A Handful of Everything


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