How I plant my front door flower containers
I have two flower planters. They are HUGE and I love them! I showcased some of my neighbor's outdoor planters over the last two years. Most of these container gardens are at the front door/porch. Others are in gardens, adding height, color and texture. I received many requests asking for detailed instructions about how I plant my front door flower planter.
I aim to please! Here is my detailed planting tutorial for my container garden. There will be others! Make sure to sign up to follow my blog if you like these types of posts.
Please note that these are large planters located in full sun!
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Tips about the container
Start with the basics. A good container, with drainage. If there is no drainage, drill a few holes on the bottom. Or, just hammer some nail holes in a few spots. I'm actually eyeing these containers (affiliate link) this year. I have a perfect spot for them!
The soil many of my garden friends buy.
Get good soil. Don't skimp. The folks who had amazing planters all swore by Miracle Grow soil. The Miracle Grow soil with Moisture Control was a popular choice. Most replaced at least some of the soil. Usually at least the top ⅓rd for large containers and more than ½ for a smaller container.
Determining what type of plants to use
Have you heard that common saying on how to plan your flower planters? It's the magic formula! Thrill, Spill, and Fill. Or, sometimes it's stated as Thriller, Spiller, and Filler. I've heard it for years and don't even know where it came from. But, in one form or another, that's what most people do for their planters. That's it. You're welcome!
The 'thrill' is the main, eye-catching plant. It often has height. It's often the spike plants or grasses that you often see. Sometimes, it's a taller, colorful plant. Just make sure to choose something that catches your eye.
Why purple fountain grass is a great buy!
I love using purple fountain grass for my thrill. Trust me and use it!
By the time fall comes around, this fountain grass is tall, full and beautiful. I always reuse it for my fall planters. Take a look at my favorite fall planter and you'll see why I reuse this grass.
For the last two years, I've been thanking my friend Amy, for giving me this advice. So again, make sure you use the purple fountain grass. Unfortunately, in Wisconsin, this is an annual. I do end up buying it each year. It's one of the plants that is the first to go. Make sure you buy it if you see nice healthy purple fountain grass. Don't confuse it with some of the other wonderful fountain grasses out there.
Geraniums are my plant of choice as a combination thrill and fill for my planters. I live in Wisconsin and geraniums do well here. And, a late or early frost doesn't harm them.
I also added some marigolds. Some of the prettiest planters I've seen often have them. They create some very pretty color contrast. It was hard getting over the fact that these were such a popular (and overused) flower back in my Mom's day. So, the planter above has geraniums, verbenas and marigolds at this point.
Many of the plants I use often multi-task. For example, I like using Verbenas and wave petunias because they really add color, fill the pot, and 'spill'. White alyssum is also a favorite of mine. It mounds nicely (fills), adds some color contrast, and often spills over the side of the container. Some other traditional spill plants are ivy and sweet potato vines.
Oh, one other piece of important advice. Makes sure you loosen and rough up the roots. I took a picture of what the roots of my purple fountain grass looked like after I roughened it, just before I planted it.
My finished planter, below. As you can tell, I love lots of color contrast. This is a personal taste thing. I have seen beautiful monochromatic planters too!
But, I personally just love the jumble of brightly colored flowers.
Obviously, I used the sweet potato vine rather than ivy in this pot. I'll have to try to remember to update this post with a picture in the late summer.
I often add a cute spike into my flowering planter just to give it some height. I especially love the solar planter stakes. They add a nice little glow by my front door.
What are your favorite container plants or flowers? Seriously, I'd love to know!
More planter ideas.
Let me share with you a post I did a couple of years ago. In the spring it's still one of my most popular posts. It includes pictures of over 20 planters from people I know in my neighborhood. Just pictures of pretty planters for inspiration. Take a peek at Ideas from 20 Planters from My Neighborhood. Make sure to click all the way through this post for some handy dandy tips at the end.
Oh, if you want to get some tips on window planters, here is my post, Window Box Planter - Some How To Tips.
If you are planting hanging planters, make sure you check out the post about How to Keep Water in Hanging Planters. Finally, an easy and inexpensive way to prevent water from running through my hanging planters!
Didn't look at my fall planter where I reused the purple fountain grass? Take a look here.
Looking for a big and inexpensive planter? Repurpose items like I did with this Easy and Inexpensive planter idea. If you are lucky, you can find a used one, or, buy new like I did. This is very close to the container I purchased.