These long summer days mean plenty of patio time. Container plants can spice up any landscape or outdoor oasis. So what’s your style – thriller, filler, or spiller?
- Thriller – Use a tall plant as the focal point right in the middle surrounded by smaller plantings. It can be an eye-catching tall plant or simply use the foilage of several tall plants.
- Filler – For a full, uniform look use petunias or geraniums that fill in nicely throughout the container. They are great to add a pop of color throughout your patio.
- Spiller – For a dramatic, cascading look, consider using ivy or vines that will spill over the container’s edge. Spillers look spectacular when placed on a wall, shelf, or even in a tall conatiner on the ground.
Here are some other helpful tips for planting containers.
- Potting soil is recommended in containers versus using dirt from the ground. This is because the soil better accomodates proper drainage for the plants.
- Don’t fill the soil too high in the continer. A good rule of thumb is to leave 3-4 inches of space from the top for small to medium plants. Allow closer to 6 inches for larger plants.
- Pay attention to placement of the pot. Is the area full sun or mostly shady? Shade loving plants include impatiens and begonias and sunny plant lovers are petunias, zinnias, and marigolds, to name a few.
- Don’t overcrowd your planters. If the container is about a foot wide, use 7-9 plants to fill the space. Larger containers that are closer to two feet in diamter can handle up to 16-20 plants. Don’t place them too close together or watering will become difficult as the end of summer nears.
- If you purchase a 4 or 6 pack, keep a couple of the same plants together, instead of spreading them all out. Some varieties are more aggressive. Therefore, keeping six inches between each type will provide them with the space they need.
- Be sure to replace at least the top 6″ of soil each season.
- At this time of year, you should pinch some plants that are starting to get leggy.
In closing, consider a time release fertilizer to keep the blooms looking their best. Happy planting!