Colorful Pots

Amazing pots of dragon wing begonias in the full sun

Amazing pots of dragon wing begonias in the full sun

A shady spot brightened with a pot of colorful caladiums

A shady spot brightened with a pot of colorful caladiums

Deep wine colored verbena fills this pot in full sun

Deep wine colored verbena fills this pot in full sun

Anyone who knows my tastes, knows I like pots filled with the same plant of one color over the mixed one. The three examples pictured above show outstanding uses of one type of plant to give the spaces great color. If you are in any of the three villages of Mountain Brook, and do not enjoy the incredible pots of red dragon wing begonias, you have missed a treat. These planters are in full sun and typically in hot spots on the sidewalks, and they look sensational. Why, because the dragon wings, especially the reds, are very heat tolerant, and the containers they are planted in are large and watered regularly. The caladiums in the photo, with its marbled color, brightens a shade garden, and is also in a large pot. To have great masses of summer flowers in containers, do not plant small pots and think they can make it without lots of watering. I think in most cases a large pot is much better than a couple of smaller ones. It also gives the plant’s roots room to grow and requires fewer waterings. Finally, when my mother-in-law planted this pot of wine colored verbena and put it outside her garage on the driveway, I must admit I was a skeptic. But the new selections of verbena, like the one she selected, are less prone to diseases and seem to love the heat and sun. This pot has looked great since late April and seems to get better every week. She waters it and fertilizer with liquid Miracle Grow every several weeks.

So, what is my take away?

  • Plant masses of one color in pots for great looks.
  • Opt for a big pot vs. several small ones.
  • Use plant selections that will tolerate the conditions where you want the pot to be placed.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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