Lacking confidence when it comes to planting flower containers? Learn some easy, actionable flower container ideas and tips you can use no matter the size of your planting container. If you are looking for some garden flower container ideas, you’re in the right place. I have a formula that I’ve used for years. You will learn how to fill garden containers with winning, eye-catching combinations for months of colorful blooms. Ready for some flower container ideas for the beginning gardener? Or anyone who lacks container garden confidence? Read on!
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My Favorite Flower Container Planting Event
Does anyone else get nervous when Fuchsia Saturday rolls around? Some of you may be wondering what that is. It’s the day our local Fred Meyer kindly pots up container plants (not just fuschias) for customers, potting soil included. You can even bring in up to eight of your own containers that are 12 inches or less in diameter. I get the best flower pots ideas when I look around in the garden section. Of course, the plants have to be purchased at Fred Meyer, but what a deal! This year, I’m planning ahead and trying to have some flower container ideas in mind for my collection of five pots. If you need some good flower container ideas, including great thriller, filler, spiller ideas, read on!
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked to a lightweight, classic-looking garden container (above) that would be perfect for taking to an event like Fuschia Saturday. There’s bound to be one for you. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.
Building Confidence with Flower Container Ideas
When I started planting flower containers, I was not a very confident gardener. I’m also artistically challenged. When it comes to arranging things, I’m often at a loss. Anyone else have that problem? So I did some research, called my mom (yes, I’m thankful I can turn to my mom for advice), and now I plant containers with confidence. If you have a fear of arranging things and need some flower container ideas, read on. You will get some easy flower pot ideas you can use right away! (I’ve also got some easy cut flower arrangement tips.)
How Do You Make a Beautiful Container Garden?
Creating a beautiful container garden requires some planning and attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you get great outdoor potted plant arrangement ideas and make a beautiful container garden:
Choose the right container: Start by choosing a container that is the right size and style for the space and the plants you want to grow. Make sure it has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling.
Select the right plants: Choose plants that are appropriate for the amount of sun or shade the container will receive, and that have similar water and fertilizer needs. You can also mix different types of plants for a more interesting and diverse display.
Use high-quality soil: Use a high-quality potting mix that is formulated for container gardening. Avoid using soil from your yard, as it may contain weeds, pests, or diseases. My favorite potting soil is produced by Miracle-Gro. I am not very good about remembering to fertilize my container plants throughout the summer. This potting soil takes care of that for me.
Add fertilizer: Container plants need regular fertilization to thrive. You can use a slow-release fertilizer or add liquid fertilizer every few weeks.
Use a variety of textures and colors: Mix plants with different textures and colors to create a visually interesting display. Use tall plants for height, trailing plants for a cascading effect, and fillers for volume.
Incorporate hardscaping: Add elements like rocks, stones, or ornaments to your container garden for added interest and texture.
Maintain the garden: Regular maintenance is key to keeping your container garden beautiful. Water the plants regularly, deadhead spent flowers, and prune as needed.
By following these tips, you can create a beautiful and thriving container garden that will enhance any outdoor space.
What Kind of Flower Pot Designs and Containers Do You Use for Flowers?
Here are some tips about the best flower pot designs. A good outdoor garden container should be durable, functional, and attractive. Here are some features to look for when selecting a container for the flowering pots in your outdoor garden:
Material: Choose a container made of a durable material that can withstand the elements, such as ceramic, concrete, metal, or plastic. I like to use resin pots that look like terra cotta but are much lighter in weight, so they are easier to move around. These flower pot designs are good examples:
Drainage: Make sure the container has drainage holes or the ability to drill holes so excess water can escape. This will prevent waterlogging and root rot.
Size: Choose a container that is appropriate for the size of the plant or plants you want to grow. The container should be deep enough to accommodate the roots, but not too large that it overwhelms the plant or takes up too much space. My favorite size is about 12 inches in diameter and about 12 inches tall.
Insulation: If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, consider a container that provides insulation to protect the roots of the plants from freezing or overheating.
Mobility: If you plan to move the container frequently or if you live in a windy area, choose a container that is sturdy and has a broad base for stability.
Style: Choose a container that complements your outdoor space and the style of your home. Consider the color, texture, and design of the container to create an attractive and cohesive look. Here is an all-purpose, lightweight, versatile flower container that would complement many decor styles:
By selecting a container that meets these criteria for flower pot designs, you can create an outdoor garden that is not only beautiful but also functional and long-lasting.
Creative Ideas for Plant Containers and Flower Pot Arrangements
As long as you are able to make holes in the bottom of the container for drainage, just about any type of container could be a plant container. You could repurpose leaky watering cans, buckets, sand pails, and even old mixing bowls. I have even seen succulents planted in an old pair of gardening boots. You can even get a flower container that looks like a piece of wood.
There are flower containers made to look like stone statues of animals. Whatever your decor style, there are creative ideas for plant containers. Have fun looking around for unique flower container ideas for some of your favorite flowering plants.
What is the Easiest Container Flower to Grow?
There are several easy-to-grow container flowers that are perfect for beginners or those who don’t have a lot of time or experience with gardening. Here are a few examples:
Marigolds: Marigolds are a classic and cheerful flower that bloom in shades of yellow, orange, and red. They are easy to grow from seed and thrive in containers with well-draining soil and full sun.
Petunias: Petunias are another popular and easy-to-grow container flower that come in a variety of colors and patterns. They prefer well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade.
Impatiens: Impatiens are a shade-loving flower that bloom in shades of pink, white, and red. They are easy to grow from seed and thrive in moist, well-draining soil.
Geraniums: Geraniums are a hardy and long-lasting container flower that bloom in shades of pink, red, and white. They prefer well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade.
Zinnias: Zinnias are a colorful and drought-tolerant flower that bloom in shades of pink, red, yellow, and orange. They are easy to grow from seed and prefer well-draining soil and full sun.
These flowers are generally easy to care for and can be grown in containers on a balcony, patio, or windowsill. They are also widely available at nurseries and garden centers.
Thriller, Spiller, Filler Foolproof Planting Formula
Have you ever heard that saying before? I read it somewhere, and it fits perfectly for the round pots that I’m going to fill. It’s one bit of gardening information that has stuck with me. It means there should be a plant in the center that is tall and noticeable, the thriller. Then, around the thriller, the container should be filled in with other plants, called (yes, you guessed it) fillers. Finally, there should be plants that drape or spill over the sides of the pot, called spillers. Now, even though I can remember that saying, I have trouble remembering which plants make good thrillers, spillers or fillers. Another big challenge is finding a good combination of colors. First, here are some example plants from each category.
A thriller should be planted in the center (or at the back, if only being viewed from one side) before anything else is planted in the pot. Good examples of thriller plants include snapdragons, dahlias, canna lilies, geraniums, salvia, or ornamental grasses. My pots are not huge, so I am going to go with a thriller on the smaller side, maybe 12 to 18 inches tall. Choosing a worthy thriller is a challenge for me. It’s the plant that everything else is built around, so it has to be stunning. When my mom creates her flower containers, she starts with the color of her thriller, which is usually a pink or salmon-colored geranium. She then chooses other plants with colors compatible to the geranium. Here are some pots I filled following that method. I think they turned out well.
After planting the thriller, then insert the fillers. Some popular fillers include petunias, begonias, marigolds, arabis and gerbera daisies. Examples of filler foliage plants include heuchera and caladium. Many of the filler foliage plants are variegated with different colors, such as white and green or pink and green. Some heuchera (also known as coral bell) leaves are a stunning deep purple.
Planted around the edge of the container should be the spillers. Good examples of spillers include trailing lobelia, petunias, bacopa, trailing nasturtiums, and fuchsias. Spillers can also be foliage plants such as ivy and sweet potato vine.
What About the Color Combinations?
As I scrolled through my photos of flower container ideas, I noticed some interesting combinations. Some containers featured bright green foliage with deep purple foliage. Light green foliage with and pink flowers appeared often, as well as yellow, purple and red together. My personal favorites combine pink, blue or purple flowers, with some yellow blooming accents. I really want to brighten up our yard, so I’m going to focus on flowers, not foliage.
My Tried and True Trusty Flower Container Plan
Still lacking flower container confidence? Now that we have discussed the different kinds of flowers that are easy to grow in containers, plus the “Thriller, Filler, Spiller” formula, perhaps you would like me to tell you exactly the plants and colors to choose. This is one of the best plant combination ideas for container gardens in full sun. Here is the tried and true plan for flower pot arrangements I use nearly every spring for a 12-inch diameter pot:
1 pink or salmon-colored geranium (Thriller)
3 sunny yellow marigolds (Filler)
3 blue lobelia plants (Spiller)
Line the bottom of the container with a mesh weed barrier cloth, burlap, or other cloth that will let the water drain through the drainage hole but that will not allow potting soil to escape. Fill the container about half full of potting soil, then place the geranium in the center. evenly distribute the three marigolds around the edge, alternating with the three lobelia around the edge of the pot. Fill in the spaces between the plants with potting soil. Press the soil down and add some water. Add more soil, pressing it in until it comes to about an inch below the container lip. Place the container in a sunny location and enjoy blooms all summer long with your amazing flower pot arrangements.
Cheap Container Gardening Ideas
On a tight budget? Consider sourcing your garden containers from second hand stores. Purchase containers that are sturdy enough to be reused every year. Use coupons and sales to source your plants, and take advantage of special events like the Fuschia Saturday event at Fred Meyer previously mentioned. Getting someone else to pot up your plants for free is a huge win.
Spring Flower Container Ideas
Spring is a wonderful time to create beautiful container gardens with colorful and fragrant flowers. Some are annual flower container ideas and others are outdoor flower container ideas for bulbs. Here are some ideas for the best spring flower container combinations:
Tulips and Daffodils: These spring-blooming bulbs come in a variety of colors and make a beautiful combination when planted together. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight.
Violas and Pansies: These cool-season annuals come in a range of colors and are perfect for adding pops of color to your spring garden. They prefer cooler temperatures and partial shade.
Hyacinths and Grape Hyacinths: These bulbs have a sweet fragrance and come in shades of pink, purple, and blue. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade.
Primroses and Forget-Me-Nots: These colorful and delicate flowers are perfect for creating a charming spring container garden. Plant them in a container with moist soil and partial shade.
Spring Bulb Mix: Mix different types of bulbs like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses for a diverse and beautiful spring display. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight.
Ranunculus and Anemones: These flowers have bright, cheerful colors and make a stunning spring container combination. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun.
Snapdragons and Sweet William: These flowers are easy to grow and come in a range of colors. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade.
By combining different types of flowers, colors, and textures, you can create a beautiful and diverse spring container garden that will brighten up any outdoor space.
Summer Flower Container Ideas
Summer is a great time to create vibrant and lush container gardens. Here are some ideas for the best summer flower container combinations:
Geraniums and Petunias: These classic summer flowers come in a range of colors and thrive in full sun. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and water them regularly.
Sunflowers and Zinnias: These tall and showy flowers are perfect for creating a bold and colorful container garden. Plant them in a large container with well-draining soil and full sun.
Marigolds and Salvia: These low-maintenance and drought-tolerant flowers come in a range of colors and attract pollinators to your garden. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun.
Dahlias and Begonias: These flowers have large, showy blooms and come in a range of colors. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and partial shade.
Coleus and Impatiens: These shade-loving plants come in a range of colors and are perfect for creating a lush and vibrant container garden. Plant them in a container with moist soil and partial shade.
Cannas and Caladiums: These tropical plants have large, colorful leaves and thrive in full sun to partial shade. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and water them regularly.
Lantana and Verbena: These heat-tolerant flowers come in a range of colors and attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun.
By combining different types of flowers and plants, you can create a beautiful and diverse summer container garden that will thrive in the heat and add color and interest to your outdoor space.
Fall Flower Container Ideas
Fall is a wonderful time to create container gardens with warm colors and seasonal plants. Here are some ideas for the best fall flower container combinations:
Mums and Asters: These classic fall flowers come in shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple, and are perfect for creating a traditional fall container garden. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade.
Ornamental Grasses and Sedums: These plants add texture and interest to your fall container garden and are easy to care for. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade.
Pansies and Violas: These cool-season annuals come in a range of colors and are perfect for adding pops of color to your fall container garden. They prefer cooler temperatures and partial shade.
Kale and Cabbage: These ornamental plants have colorful and textured leaves that add interest to your fall container garden. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun.
Fall Bulb Mix: Mix different types of bulbs like crocuses, daffodils, and tulips for a diverse and beautiful fall display. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and full sun.
Fuchsia and Coleus: These shade-loving plants have vibrant colors and add a pop of color to your fall container garden. Plant them in a container with moist soil and partial shade.
Heuchera and Coral Bells: These plants have colorful and textured leaves that come in shades of purple, red, and green. Plant them in a container with well-draining soil and partial shade.
By combining different types of flowers, plants, and foliage, you can create a beautiful and diverse fall container garden that will add color and interest to your outdoor space.
Visual Inspiration From My Flower Container Ideas Pinterest Board Section
This is all great advice, but I’m a visual person. I always hope that if I look at something long enough, it will stick in my mind and I’ll be able to duplicate it somehow. That’s why I love Pinterest boards. If I look at other people’s creative ideas, maybe some of the creativity or artistic ability will rub off on me. To assist me in my idea-gathering for this post, I created a board on Pinterest to share some great container gardening ideas for flowers. If you click on the picture below, you will be taken directly there to view all of the colorful options I found.
My Mom’s Best Flower Container Tip
Now for another bit of advice from my mom. Use pre-fertilized potting soil, like Miracle-Gro to give plants a boost. You won’t have to fertilize until the summertime. Great tip! I used that tip with these flower containers, and they thrived. You can see the thriller in the middle, the geranium. The fillers are the marigolds, and the spillers are the blue lobelia.
Feeling Prepared for Fuschia Saturday
As a result of my research and the ideas I’ve collected, I now feel much more well-prepared for the infamous Fuchsia Saturday. I know it will probably be chaotic, crowded and filled with frenzy, but I will approach it with confidence. Now if I can only find the plants I want in the right colors, everything will be fine. What about you? Have you already planted your flower containers for the season? Do you have any advice for me? I can use all of the help I can get when it comes to arranging anything. What are your go-to plants? I welcome any ideas. As always, I value your input immensely.
More Planting Ideas
Interested in more easy-care planting ideas that will make your garden look great? Check out this dahlia planting guide and additional directions on dividing the tubers with ease. Dahlias offer months of blooms, perfect for stunning cut flower arrangements. Make a simple DIY pole bean trellis tower with repurposed materials for vertical interest in your vegetable garden. Learn about growing low-maintenance old garden roses that are deer-resistant, too. For blooms that return every year, get ideas about some fabulous flowering shrubs and perennials. For ideas about companion planting, have a look at the best rhubarb companions, columbine companions, rosemary companions, eggplant companions, and pumpkin companion plants. There are many planting possibilities!
Free Garden Planner Notebook
Last year, as a result of needing to keep track of what kind of plants I used in containers, I decided to begin a garden planner notebook. I planned to have tasks and notes for each month. I sort of kept up with it. If a garden planner notebook seems like a good idea to you, good news! You can get the 16 master pages here!
What About Your Garden Container Experiences?
I hope this has given you some ideas for planting garden containers. Do you have any advice for me? If you take the time to give me a tip, I’ll even write it down in my garden notebook. Have a wonderful week, and may all of your garden container endeavors meet with success!
Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers on her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. To learn more about what this website has to offer gardeners, click on over to the Garden page.
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