Pots That Give The Space Punch

Pot filled with flowering verbascum.

Rosemary in a tall and colorful pot. I think the attraction here is more the container than they rosemary.

Tall Japanese yew with a lower accent plant of impatiens.

Beautiful containers rarely happen by accident. In fact, all the ones above seem to be in the proper proportion and good placement for their location. It seems so simple, go buy some plants put them in a pot, and presto you have color all summer long. Well, that sometimes works, but a little planning can assure you a successful growing season. Here are a few of my tips.

Mixing flowers in containers is hard. Make sure if you do that the plants are compatible, that they have the same light, water, and soil requirements. Most plants have tags that can help you with these issues.

Balance the color of the pot with the plant you put in the pot. If the pot is a bright or accent in itself, then I like to choose a plant that is attractive but will not compete with the container for attention.

If you want a quick pot of color, consider buying hanging baskets and transplanting them into your container. It is an inexpensive way to get a quick burst of color.

Make sure your containers have drainage. More plants die at first of being waterlogged than from dry soil. Good drainage helps prevent over watering.

Plan on giving your container plants some additional fertilization over the summer. I try to liquid feed my pots every three to four weeks during the growing season.

Don’t be afraid to mix tropical plants with annuals and perennials. Also be bold and mix foliage color and sizes to create a big accents.

Petunias in an elegant urn.

Acanthus and tropical colorful philodendron accenting a front door. Shade in morning and sun in the afternoon.

Plant your containers with potting mix NOT potting soil. The mix will work better in containers, as it will drain better and is a mix of materials containing organic matter not just soil.

Containers are great additions to the garden, but remember as the summer gets hot and dry, almost daily watering is going to be necessary.

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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