There is a magic formula in almost all container gardens and flower pot designs: Thriller + Filler + Spiller.

The “thriller” is usually a big focal point plant in the center. The “fillers” are secondary plants that make the planting look full and vibrant. The “spillers” are plants that offer added dimension and interest by spilling over the edges.

Now to start, make sure your containers have proper drainage. Several small holes in the bottom with some separation fabric to cover them and keep the planting mix (soil) from running out. Note: adding gravel to the bottom is usually not needed or effective

Be sure to buy a good soil mix that will support the type of plants you plan to grow. Changing the soil mix in your containers each season is also highly recommended. The new soil will be free of any roots left over from last year’s plants and will have the structure and nutrients  the new plants will need.

Another consideration is size.  Make sure the container you’re going to use is large enough for the plants you plan to grow. For instance, tomatoes and other vegetables will need to be in deeper larger pots than say a mix of Petunias.

Some simple but beautiful container ideas:

  1. Vegetables: Many edible plants have gorgeous and colorful foliage. Lots of vegetables are good for container plantings and can easily be mixed with annuals and perennials.
  2. Urns: planting with a dracaena spike in the middle with petunias and Geranium with trailing potato vine.. I’m sure everyone has seen a variation of this classic
  3. Tall planters: Ornamental grass with orange Gazania and a great spiller- Dichondra silver falls
  4. The succulent garden: In this example an old fountain has been repurposed as a flowerpot using succulents like Kalanchoe and Sedums with Dichondra silver falls. Make sure a soil mix specific for succulents is used and that drainage holes are drilled through.

container plant samples

With a little planning and imagination anyone can create a beautiful container garden display just remember to use plants that have similar water -sun and soil requirements and let the planting begin!!