by Chris and Chuck Wiley of Vineyard Gardens
Plant your flower pots now! They are a welcoming splash of color at your entrance or on your deck or patio. Pots can vary in size and can be combinations of sizes and heights arranged together to make a dynamic display. Sometimes one kind of plant in several pots arranged together can be simple and elegant, such as one large hosta in a shade pot next to an impatiens pot. Or an acanthus plant in an urn. An advantage of utilizing planted containers allows you to be flexible with the arrangement.
In mixed containers the plants will be married together for the whole season so be sure they have similar requirements. Group full sun plants or shade plants together depending on your spot.
We usually recommend annuals for pots because they bloom all summer, perennials usually only bloom for 4 or 5 weeks. Although do consider perennials because some have beautiful foliage and do very well in pots, plus their flowers can be an extra bonus for a little while. Some examples are Heucheras(Coral Bells) or Brunnera Jack Frost (Forget me nots) or even one large Hosta in a pot can be very effective in shade.
Geraniums are an old time favorite. They are drought tolerant once established. Combine them with other drought tolerant sun lovers like euphorbia Diamond Frost instead of the traditional vinca major.
Great container plants for sun include; daisies(leucanthemums),Verbenas, million bells (calibracoa), petunias, zinnias, euphorbia Diamond Frost, salvias, sweet alyssum and sweet potato vine. A simple pot can just be Cosmos sonata, dwarf series. You could also try something new like Browallia americana, Cephalophora aromatica or a large acanthus.
Great container plants for shade include: impatiens, begonias, fuschias, four ocklocks, nicotiana, rudbeckia hurtas (Black eyed Susan’s), coleus, lobelia, and sweet potato vine.
Plant the taller plants in the center and the trailers around the outside.
An easy way to insure proper fertility is to put some osmocote fertilizer on the soil surface when you finish planting your pots and then water with the hose. Otherwise mix a few tablespoons of water soluble fertilizer into your watering can and water them with fertilizer about once a week.
It is still early in the season and annuals grow quickly so don’t overcrowd them.
Most importantly have fun designing and planting your pots and watching them grow.