Colorful patio garden in springWho doesn’t love a gorgeous planter on the front porch or adorning their outside outdoor living area? Anyone can design and create their own planters and flowering pots if they know a few simple container garden design tips.

Preparing Pots and Planters

Every pot needs drainage or your plants and flowers can become waterlogged and get root rot. If your pot is missing a drainage hole we recommend you use a drill and create your own hole at the bottom of the pot or planter. Depending on the size of the pot you may need 3-5 holes. Fill the bottom with either gravel or broken terra cotta pots. Line with a mesh covering. Once you have adequate drainage you will want to fill the pot ¾ with soil. This will give you plenty of room to plant your plants and they can have room to grow.

Choosing Your Soil

It is recommended that you purchase or make your own potting soil. Ordinary garden soil is typically too heavy and can contain disease. When you purchase your own soil there are two types you can choose from. Your standard potting soil which is sterilized soil with other ingredients to help give nutrients to your plants. Or you can opt for a soilless mix that consists of peat moss, compost and vermiculite. This mix is less dense and keeps soil loose. Keep in mind soilless dirt may weigh less but also dries out a lot faster. You may have to water more often.

Thrillers, Fillers, and Spillers

Now that you have your pots ready you are ready to choose your plants. There are three types of plants that should go into each planter. They are called thrillers, fillers, and spillers. Thrillers are usually vertical plants that grow up such as grasses, bamboo, and calla lily flowers. Fillers grow horizontally and spread out such as vincas, impatiens, and geraniums. Spillers are plants that spill out over the pot cascading downward and out. Examples of spillers are ground ivy, flowering vines, and verbenas.

It is recommended to help create balance that each pot has at least one thriller, filler, and spiller. While you typically only see one type of thriller in each container it is not uncommon to see more than one type of filler and spiller. You can create a variety of different planters and pots to adorn your outdoor living areas when using this composition of plants. Your planters will not only add beauty to your landscaping but can create dramatic focal points.

Keep in mind when choosing your plants and flowers you will want to group those plants that require similar sunlight and water. Plants that require full sun should be grouped together. Most plants are labeled and will help you know which ones will grow and thrive together. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at your local nursery.

For more tips from Houzz on grouping plants in a pot click here.

At Earthworks Landscape Design we can help with all your landscaping needs. Our landscape design experts can help you with your hardscapes for patios and walkways. We can build you beautiful permanent planters. We can also create the perfect outdoor living areas to show off your beautiful pots and planters. If you have some outdoor living and landscape projects in the Charlotte and surrounding areas you can click here to contact us for a free estimate. One of our landscape design experts will come to your home.