Container Planting 101

Written by Dana Stein

August 10, 2020

My name is Dana and I’m with Gardens of Babylon and today I’m going to share with you my success tips for container planting so that your containers will look professional!

What kind of soil is the best for container planting?

So let’s talk about soil in our containers. That’s something that most people overlook – they get caught up with the beauty of the flowers. But, actually, the soil is the most important component, because that’s what’s going to feed out beautiful plants and give them nutrients. You want to get the best quality potting soil that you can for your containers.  And I love to use one that’s rated for outdoor containers; it already has some micronutrients in it.  We have lots of great quality soil and lots of different brands to choose from at Gardens of Babylon!

Pro tip: If you have pots that dry out a lot or if they’re in the hot sun you can actually buy some play sand and put it in the bottom of your containers and that will actually hold more moisture for you throughout the season! That way, you don’t have to be watering multiple times a day.

Decorate your Porch

There’s three design elements for your containers that you can follow – you need a thriller (something eye-catching), a spiller (a plant that cascades over the edges of the pot), and a filler (something to fill space between the larger plants)!

I always love to incorporate ornamental grasses because they’re gonna be very vertical and that there’s movement which I love. If you want this to be seen from the road and kind of have some curb appeal and you want people to turn their head I always incorporate yellow!  You just sort of notice yellow and it always makes you turn your head! I also love to add some white flowers, especially if you’re gonna do a lot of big bold colors! White is that design element that brings all the colors together.

You always want to fertilize your plants as well, it’s sort of like giving your plants vitamins! I love to use flower tone. 

Whatever brand you decide to use you just want to use it per package direction whatever it says. So I would then sprinkle in my fertilizer, water this in really well. As if your planters are flushed to the ground on your patio or porch it’s always helpful to get some little legs or prop them up with bricks so that there’s a little bit of air movement underneath your planters because what happens is our soil will kind of settle and if it’s right there flush with your patio or your porch it could clog and it could actually cause water to sort of sit in the bottom and rot our roots. So it’s always a good idea to kind of lift up our pots up off the ground so that that water can drain out throughout the season.

Plant love being pruned

So let’s talk about plant maintenance throughout the year. So just like we cut our fingernails or go get haircuts our plants actually need some maintenance throughout the year and if not they get scraggly they don’t bloom as well so, I just wanna let you know that plants love to be pruned.

Feel free, you’re not hurting them in any way they actually love it when you trim them and actually promote some new growth and it keeps them bushier and healthier. So what I would do especially with Coleus they tend, they tend to get sort of leggy you can always just go and take your pruners or sometimes just your fingernails and just snip off right here right before a leaf node, and I’ll show you on this one on the future what I would do is I would take my pruners and just prune the right there.

You can always just trim off any leaves that have gotten hits and then that what that’s gonna do is create, it’s gonna send a hormone when it down to this leaf node, it’s gonna signal to the plant I can go ahead and grow some more and gave new buds. Same with this there’s always just gonna be some like little scraggly leaves, just look you know you can you should even take your fingernail. Now this is just normal you know plants are just gonna they’re living creatures and they gonna require just a little bit of maintenance.

So we’ve talked about fertilizer and soil and plant care and this is gonna help set you up for success so, don’t be shy plants are very forgiving and go have fun!

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