Flowers · Indoor · Outdoor · Pots

Potting!

When it is too early to start digging in your garden outdoors, but you are ready to plant, grab a pot!  Pots are great no matter where you live – condominiums, apartments, houses or farms.   Here are some basic tips to a successful pot.

The Basics

1.  Start with  a great pot

dsc037672I really like Target’s copper and metal pots for around $40.  They are unbreakable and my plants really grow successfully in them.  You can also get a very large Terracotta pot for around $25, Terracotta is classic and timeless.

2.  Pack them full!

Cram in as many plants as you can.  It is always very interesting to see in the end which one is your favorite and which ones grow the best. Mother nature can surprise you.  You can move the plants around later in the season if you don’t like it.  I let my kids pick out some at this point. They get me to try new plants and plant combinations all the time, and their picks are often my favorites.

3.  Stay organic

Use earthworm castings for fertilizer along with organic potting soil, or potting soil without chemicals so your kids can help!  If you have a pot that will be neglected, use coir. It will hold water and release it slowly back.

Fill it with Love

You can do so many different things with pots. It’s really just a small patch of your garden. Here are a few ideas to get you started, but please add your own ideas in the comments.

1. Think vertical

dsc03824Clematis, jasmine, old fashioned climbing petunias will all grow upward with some help from obelisks or garden stakes.  I tried morning glory and moonflower together in a large pot this past summer because one blooms in the morning and one blooms at night.

2. Put a tree in a pot

Pots can really accent trees nicely. They can always be moved into the ground in the fall or left for holiday decorations.  I planted boxwoods and arborvaite in pots last summer.  My best tree in a pot ever was several summers ago when I planted a very large healthy hydrangea limelight in a pot, it was so beautiful and got rave reviews from all the neighbors.

3. Plant early in the season

Get a head start and do one or two cold weather pots. At the beginning of the season I like to pot up snapdragons and pansies, they are tough and can handle a drop in temperatures here and there.  Another idea I saw on a gardening show today was bibb lettuce with pansies around it.

4. Think in 3’s

Each large pot should contain a thriller, a spiller, and a filler. I have learned this concept from Fine Gardening magazine and their container gardening issue.  It is a concept many garden magazines and shows talk about.

Thrillers I have grown in pots include, banana plants, elephant ears, different varieties of grasses,  including a very successful king tut grass, different varieties of Cannas, I like the ones with black leaves and the varigated leaves and Cordyline.

Fillers I have grown and recommend include, coleus of all kinds, petunias of all kinds, rosemary, begonias and caladium.

Spillers I have grown and recommend include nasturtium, black sweet potato vine, green sweet potato vine, purple heart or , Tradescantia and  Dichondra.

5. Move pots around throughout the seasons

Move evergreens by the front doorway in winter and add white lights.

dsc03826

The Don’ts

1. Don’t use garden soil

Never use garden soil in a pot because it will compact as hard as clay and will not be able to drain and your roots will not be able to flourish and grow.

2. Don’t let your pots dry out

They won’t always recover.  However, don’t give up! If it looks like you lost it, because it dried out give it a drink of water and a cool night can revive the deadliest looking plant.

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