Go Social

Creating a great looking flower container doesn’t have to be a mystery anymore.  This isFlower container combination a great way to add color to small spaces or as a way to greet people to your home with some terrific looking plants.   Follow these tips for your perfect flower pot:

Thriller-Filler-Spiller.  This is the key to your perfect pot recipe.  These three components are the little secret that makes containers on glossy magazine covers look so good.  Let’s break it down:

Thriller: This is the biggest plant in your container.  It is the eye-catching component that gives you the added height and can also include color or texture.  A few to think about for our area include cannas, grasses, ti plants, crotons or even small palms.  When the palms get larger you can transplant them to your yard.

Filler: The middle plant that adds color to your container.  Most seasonal flowers will do a great job of filling this role and will tie together the thriller and spiller into a cohesive look.  Look for plants that are 12-18” tall for this role. For summer this can include coleus, new guineas, pentas or angelonia.

Spiller: This trailing component is really the piece that adds the exclamation point to your finished product.  These plants will spill out over the edge of the pot and extends the flowering portion to twice its normal size.  Good plants to consider include lantana, scaevola, verbena, sweet potato or portulaca.

Simple croton plus 'Summer Sunset' asiatic jasmine for an easy spiller.

Simple croton plus ‘Summer Sunset’ asiatic jasmine for an easy spiller.

Think big.  You will get more bang for your buck with a larger container.  For front doors and walkways resist purchasing anything smaller than two feet tall.  You want to be able to really pack it with some interesting plants, and a smaller pot will not have enough room.  Additionally, larger pots will not have to be watered as much so it will mean less work.

Good soil.  Use a product that is labeled “Potting Soil”.  It may be more expensive that top soil or garden soil, but it really is necessary for your plants.  To save money, consider adding things like soda bottles or Styrofoam to the bottom half of your container.  This will take up space, increase drainage, and save you money on soil.

No matter the size of the pot you choose, you will still need to water regularly.  Just like your lawn, you can train your plants to need less water by watering more deeply less often.  A rule of  thumb is that the water should drain out the bottom of your container each time you water since this shows you have wetted the soil the entire depth.  New plants may need to be watered more often until they develop their deep root system.

Even if you don’t think you have a green thumb, prove yourself wrong with a colorful flower container this summer.   Beautiful containers are easy to achieve by following the pointers here and letting the plants take care of the rest.  Now is the time to experiment with your own recipe for a great focal point!


For this part lets look at the Thriller component during summer months.  Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Elephant ears- Alocasias and Colocasias make great statement plants to grab attention.

    Tropicana Canna

    Tropicana Canna

  2. Cannas- Consider using the ‘Tropicana’ variety to get the added benefit of interesting foliage and large size.
  3. Bananas- Have you considered using these as an annual?  They may get too large to last several seasons, but for a summer plant they will look fantastic (and after they can find a home in your yard!).
  4. Palms- Smaller palms will make a statement.  Treat them like the bananas mentioned above and keep them in your container for a year before transplanting.
  5. Grasses- For a very organic container with a lot of movement, plants like purple fountain grass can certainly act as a thriller.
Back To Top