Pots For Different Locations

Young planting of pentas in an urn shaped pot

A tall pot just planted for sun with potato vine and a spiked salvia

This is a mixed pot of colorful foliages for a filtered sun location anchored with a pruned holly.

Evergreen tropical potted fern for summer beauty in shade

Leopard plant and white petunias in pots placed in a sunny spot

Large planter filled with different sized foliage plants including a tiny red foliaged pixie loropetalum, leopard plant, and a large alocasia


Containers can be the showcase of any entry to a house or garden. They are great raised accents for many locations. Now many of us are shopping for the perfect plant or plants to fill our pots. The biggest common mistake we do first is to over plant the pot, and as the season progresses it cannot sustain its beauty. The salvia and potato vine pot shown above is the right amount of plants to put in that pot, even though it does not look full now. In a few weeks when the plants start growing, it will fill in and be a stunning pot all season long. A second consideration is the amount of sunlight the pot will get. This is critical for success. Many times sun loving plants in shade will thin and look poor, and shade loving plants in full sun will have foliage burn and eventaully die. So make sure your plants reflect the right light requirements. Finally, every plant that lasts and looks good during their growing season needs enough soil and adequate watering. Be sure your pots have a drainage hole and are planted in soil that will drain, like potting mix (not potting soil), and water when the soil is dry to the touch. Remember a full pot when planting is generally over planted. As the heat increases, even my best planted pots need almost daily watering. Container plants produce beautiful rewards but must be cared for often.

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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