Potted Plant Ideas: 5 Top Tips for Your Patio’s Planters

Potted Plant TrendsVia Houzz.com

Have you been staring at your bare patio wondering what the best way would be to fill in the blank spaces? Or worse, do you have groupings of dead planted pots needing attention? Then this is the post for you… One of the most common requests we get year-round is help with potted planters. Check out the following tips for creating beautiful outdoor spaces with potted plants…

#1 – Pick the right container:

There are no true barriers when picking a container for your potted plants. Whether its a modern tapered square pot or a vintage utility sink, the options really depend on what aesthetic you are going for. As long as it can hold dirt and drain water, you are good to go. Some of our favorite planter choices are groupings of 3 (small, medium, large) or large rectangular trough containers.

Potted Plant Container GroupingsVia Houzz.com Products

#2 – Choose the perfect plants:

Keep in mind the location of your containers when choosing plants: whether its full direct sun, partial indirect sun, or a shaded area. This will be a big determiner of what plants will be able to actually survive and thrive in their new planted home. Also, keep in mind what size of container they will be going into since the root systems don’t have a vast amount of soil they will get thirsty more frequently. For example, if you have a shallow container, succulents are a great choice because they store their water in their leaves and stems, reducing the need of constant watering. (See the awesome succulent frame below)

Here are some great examples of plants to choose according to container locations:

  • Full Sun: marigolds, petunias (pictured), geraniums, African daisy, California poppy, verbena, globe amaranth, strawflower, love-in-a-mist, calendula, gazania, nasturtiums, licorice plant, dwarf dahlias, heliotrope, lantana, miniature roses, zinnia, artemisias, lavender, coreopsis
  • Partial Shade: ageratum, begonia, ferns, fringed bleeding heart, lady’s mantle, wishbone flower, English ivy, coleus, Boston fern
  • Shade Tolerant: fuchsias, begonias, Jacob’s ladder, coral bells, dead nettle, small hostas, wishbone flower, impatiens, browallia, vinca, English ivy

Choosing the Potted PlantsVia Houzz.com

#3 – Create the perfect arrangement:

Once you’ve determined the containers, location and plants, its now time for the fun part… Planting! There is a simple rule of 3 when it comes to a well arranged container: Uppers, Downers, & Fillers. This rule of 3 can be formulated in a single large pot or a grouping of three pots. Quick tip – Do not think that you have to choose plants with different color blooms to get a varying visual effect, instead look for different textures.

  • Uppers: This gives you your height in the container, usually planted in the center.
  • Downers: These plants should hang below the rim of your container, this will help bring your eye down and ground the pot.
  • Fillers: Now that you have your height and drape, fill it out in the middle and voila!

#4 – Remember to fertilize:

It’s important to fertilize potted plants regularly, since their potted soil lacks the vast nutrients of soil directly from the ground. You can either use a time-release fertilizer such as Osmocote or add a quarter-strength dose of soluble fertilizer every third or fourth time you water. It’s also important to continual change out and keep your potted soil rich.

Making Your Own Potting SoilVia Houzz.com

For the avid gardeners out there, here’s an all-purpose container soil from Leslie Land’s 1000 Gardening Questions & Answers:

-1 part perlite
-1 part moisture-retentive filler such as shredded coconut fiber or peat moss
-1 part all-purpose potting soil
-1 part compost or composted cow manure

Don’t forget to fertilize and water as your plant grows!

#5 – Put your containers to work:

Think outside the box when choosing the location of your planters, they can be used for far more than just decorative purposes. Examples? Use them to aid in traffic flow through the garden or create barriers with larger pots instead of planted shrubs. A great way to get the most out of you planters is creating an herb garden, that’s both beautiful & functional, and gives back in its own way.
Using Your Outdoor Pots as Herb GardensVia Houzz.com
Using Potted Plants as BarriersVia Houzz.com

Hope you are able to enjoy these tips in your own garden patio! Let us know what you think in the comments below … Happy Wednesday!!

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