If you followed the Pot-in-Pot concept from our previous article from March 3, 2009 and the benefits we described for garden planting then it is a natural step to think about this method for changing color in Container Gardens. Use this time-tested method:
- where you have container perennials and want to add seasonal annuals
- where you have container perennials and want to add holiday poinsettias
- where you have container perennials and don’t want disturb the root systems
- where you have container perennials and want move them to a different location and change the color theme with a different annual
- where you want to save time in refreshing your containers
- where you want to add a tender annual before the last frost free date and have the option to lift and protect it
- where you need the ability to experiment with color in the design
Pots that function as sleeves are the same size as the potted plants we will place in them. The tough and durable Vaiegated Flax Lily, the thriller or spikey component, is planted directly in the pot in a rich potting soil with 1 ounce of time release fertilizer mixed into the soil. An option you might find helpful is to connect a low volume sprayer for this container to an existing low volume irrigation system if you have one. You can buy one of the inexpensive and easy to install kits at your Home Depot to keep your plants watered and stress free.
A pot of petunias is dropped in and acts as the spiller component. 1 Tablespoon of time release fertilizer is applied to this container. Too much and the salt will kill the beneficial organisms growing in our organic soil. Never exceed the labeled rates with salt based fertilizer or you will do more harm than good.
Drop in a pot of Lobelia as your filler component and you have an interesting, balanced and easy to maintain combination container.
Plectranthus Mona Lavender makes a nice filler component in this sunny location in the rose border where we have underplanted Knockout Roses with Euphorbia Diamond Frost for a year round bouquet of color.
When it is time for a change just drop in your new favorite plants.
Grow annuals or perennials in a large container and place an empty pot in the center when you first plant.
When you have your spillers blooming nicely drop in a thriller or a filler.
Change the center Pot-in-Pot when you need to decorate for a different location or occasion.
Containers are so versatile because you can move them into the right light to grow the plants and then decorate with them as you desire.
Bush Daisies compliment the burgundy petunia and verbena and make this combination pop.
As the Bush Daisy grows it will shade the petunias from direct overhead sun and they will last longer. Later you can plant the daisy in your garden for year round color.
Cordyline Red Star is the perfect Florida friendly spikey thriller component for containers. It lives for many years without problems.
Lobelias are so popular because of the colors and amount of flowers but they take special care to get them through the summer heat in Florida. Cut them back and grow them in bright shade and keep them from getting too wet.
When lobelias fade drop in a Strawflower or another durable bloomer or colorful foliage plant. Coleus and caladiums are great in midsummer.
Container gardening gives you more options for portable color. Pot-in-Pot in a container makes that even easier and quicker to keep you combinations beautiful when you need them most.