Containers can be planted with a single plant variety or color, or various plants and hues can be mixed together. A whole pot of red geraniums, another pot full of yellow marigolds and another pot of blue petunias can also be grouped together to give a mixed-planter look.
Be sure that different kinds of plants in the same pot all require the same sun exposure and water. Use plants of varying heights and textures to contrast or complement each other. Designers use tall spiky plants like grasses mixed with low, mounding plants like petunias, together with a vine trailing down the side of the container.
Let your imagination run wild. Consider using ornamental grasses like fountain grass or blood grass. Annuals that provide a cascading effect include wave petunias and trailing geranium. Perennials such as verbena, salvia, rudbeckia and coreopsis all work very well in pots. Vining plants like variegated vinca, black-eyed Susan vine, hyacinth bean and morning glory can add a different dimension to containers. For height, use plants like canna, spider flower, spike or cosmos. Bulbs like caladium, begonia, gladiolus and hardy lilies can be used to add distinctive lines to the planting design. Dwarf trees, like dwarf Alberta spruce and other conifers work beautifully, adding winter interest.
For “Container gardening: basics” refer to message number 1001.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
- Xeriscaping: Garden Flowers
- Ornamental Grasses
- Wildflowers in Colorado
- Spring-Planted Bulbs, Corms and Roots
- Edible Flowers
- Evergreen Trees