Nothing brightens up your patio or outdoor living space in summer more than bright, living flower containers. With an almost unlimited amount of beautiful annuals, perennials, and herbs available this time of year, you might want to consider making one for yourself. Here are a few tips to ensure season-long healthy blooms for containers.
Find the Right Container
Consider the area in which the container will be placed. Use your imagination. While a large selection of clay and composite pots are available, we’ve seen some pretty unique planter containers in old boots, wagons, and wooden crates. Just make sure your container provides adequate drainage for watering and aeration.
Find the Right Plants
Will the container be in full sun? Part shade? Make certain that the plants you select will thrive in their environment. Also consider plant combinations that contrast in color and texture. You might want to introduce a taller plant for the center of your container like geraniums, grasses, or salvia, and plant “trailers” like potato vine or petunias around the edges. Consider mixing fragrant herbs among your flowers like rosemary or lavender
Fill ‘Er Up
First things first, you will need a good potting mix. Start with a slightly damp mix and fill about 2/3 of the container with the mix. If you’re using a lightweight composite container, you might consider adding a few medium stones at the bottom for stability and/or drainage. Many potting mixes contain fertilizers and moisture crystals, but if yours doesn’t, be sure to add them at this stage.
Release your selected plants from their containers and “practice” the arrangement before deeply planting. Don’t be afraid to pack plants tightly in a container—this will give you the rich, full look you are after. But you might need to trim or compress the root balls of the plants slightly to fit them in comfortably. Just avoid breaking the roots from the crown of the plant. Once the plants are in, water thoroughly and add a little soil, if need be, to cover the exposed roots once the mix has settled. You might want to consider adding a light layer of mulch on top, as this is a nice finishing touch and helps to trap moisture.
Enjoy Your Blooms
Since container plants require much more water than their in-ground companions, you might be watering your containers almost daily, especially if in full sun. Deadhead blooms periodically, and don’t be afraid to pinch back aggressive growers like vinca vine or coleus if they’re taking over the container.
Need more help? The friendly professionals at Urban Growers greenhouse can help guide you every step of the process. So go ahead—contain yourself!