Are you looking for container gardening ideas this season? There are many options to choose from, depending on your climate! Laura Elsner, a certified master gardener, shares her favorite container arrangements you can try out this season.
Planning and planting your container garden can be a lot of fun. When planning the perfect container garden, you can think about flower colors, leaf colors, structure, and height. I also consider a theme. What vibes does my container give? Cottage, modern, desert, whfernimsical…?
Aim for three components to create beautiful container combinations: an intriguer, a filler, and a spiller. Many different types of plants can play these roles. Each plant adds texture, color, and definition.
Planting your container is a very versatile task. I have compiled a list of my favorite container gardens. You can substitute the plants if they don’t thrive in your climate. These containers are sure to inspire you this spring!
Hydrangeas, Cedars, and Ivy
This is a classic combination of hydrangeas with green ivy hanging from a container.
This is an arrangement that has been used for many years. Plant the tall cedar at the back and place a compact variety of hydrangea in front. These add a splash of color to your garden! Plant the ivy so that it spills over the edge of the container.
All of these plants prefer to be in partial sun and evenly moist. It will tell you when to water it. It will look droopy. This container arrangement is low-maintenance and elegant.
Red Scarlet Canna (Canna roebelensis), Royal Velvet Supertunia (Supertunia royale), Brocade Fire Geranium and Potato Vine
Plant the canna lilies at the back, then the geraniums or Supertunias towards the front.
This design is perfect for a sunny hot location where you want a flower explosion. Begin with a Bronze Scarlet Canna Lily. These can be planted in the middle or the center of the pot. (If your bank is seen from all angles, I prefer to plant it in the middle. It is against a wall, pillar, or only seen from the front. If it’s facing a wall, I will plant it at the back of the center (or in a container).
Plant Brocade Geraniums in 3, 5, or 7, depending on the size and shape of your container. It’s easier to look at if you use odd numbers. With their red centers, the limey-green foliage of these geraniums perfectly complements the bronze scarlet canna.
Add some Royal Velvet Supertunias, interspersed by bright green potato vines, to the pot. The Supertunias have a velvety deep purple color which breaks up the red of the canna-lily and the geranium flowers. The vibrant green potato vine brings everything together.
Palms, Tuberous Begonias and Lysimachia
Brightly colored begonias and golden Lysimachias hanging from the pot will make your container garden successful.
These are my favorite shade pots. It’s because I live in an area with a dry, cold climate, and shade containers give me a tropical feel. This combination is one I use over and over. This combination is easy to put together and has a huge impact.
Cat Palms and Majesty Palms are easy to locate, cheap, and affordable. You can find them in any garden center. Choose an odd number of begonias to fit the pot. Here’s where you can be creative.
Choose a color that will match your patio cushions or door. There are many colors, including orange, red, and yellow. Tuberous varieties have large, bold rose-like flowers. The larger pots (6”) allow them to fill the pot.
Plant the golden Lysimachia between the begonias near the edge of your container. The golden vine brightens the shade without competing with the begonia flowers.
Coleus, Lemon Cypress Spider Plants, and Lobelia
This unique combination is a beautiful addition to any flower pot.
This combination is stunning shade and part-shade. Use a small lemon cypress at the back of the container, slightly to one side. Place a red rooster cypress somewhat in front and to one side. You do not want them next to each other. The chartreuse lemon cypress should be in front of the coppery grass, which is slightly staggered.
There should then be a space behind the red rooster grass—plant coleus in a tall type. Colorblaze’s Wicked Witch,’ and Golden Dreams are my favorite. Choose a variety with some height.
Place a spider plant at the front. I place it to one side. Use your judgment. I usually remember it underneath the lemon cypress.
Fill the holes with six packs of lobelia. I add trailing plants. Dichondra Silver Falls is a great choice. I also use variegated crawling Charlie.
Castor Beans and Sunpatiens
This exotic arrangement is sure to be the highlight of your container garden.
Castor bean plants are out of this planet. They’re exotic and odd. I wanted to emphasize the castor bean without making it too busy in this container arrangement. Castor bean leaves are large, palm-shaped, and dark with a red tint. They then produce fuzzy red seed pods.
Plant the dark leaves with Sunpatiens variegated foliage to make them stand out. Bright yellow centers surround the dark green edges. Comes in many different colors. It’s a matter of personal taste, but I like red or white. You could do a mix.
Palms and Coleus
Even without flowers, this combination of palms and coleus looks excellent.
I like a pot with a great look, even without a single flower. This container arrangement looks simple but has such an impact and interest. Place a cat tail or majesty plant in the middle of the container. These palms are a staple in my designs. They add height and texture to the container, plus they’re inexpensive.
Layer lots of coleus beneath. Here I prefer to use a shorter variety. Fairway mixes, or Wizard combines, work well. They are often sold in six-packs. Grab a few and pack them tightly. These will grow low under the palm and look like a tapestry.
Rose Topiary with Diamond Frost and Bacopa
Combine bacopa with flowering topiary to create a new look.
This container arrangement looks like something out of a fairytale. It’s light, airy, and floral. You can pick up a topiary rose at your local nursery. The classic red rose is my favorite, but you can use any color.
Plant diamond frost euphoria around the base at the center of your container. Add fluffy bacopa along the sides. The dark rose looks whimsical and romantic with the pure white surrounding it.