This article is sponsored by McCoards Garden Center. Visit McCoards to get the highest quality plants you should pot this year at the absolute best prices. McCoard’s is located in Provo, UT at 384 S 3110 W. Check them out before you start gardening this year!
It’s that time of year again to plant some beautiful flowers and plants! When you are looking to plant this year, both the shaded and sunny areas in your yard have some great options. Here are the 8 most beautiful plants you should pot this year. Plus, a bonus 4 step section on how to set them up!
The Plants You Should Pot
Red or Green Spike
Spikes are great in the sun and in the shade. They look great. and they are easy to take care of. They are also tropical natives that appreciate high humidity, but don’t need it to survive.
Petunias prefer sun, so when setting that up make sure they have good direct sunlight. Try to plant them about 1 foot apart. and try to find a place for them that they will be out of any windy areas. And they are perfect for Utah because they don’t need much regular water.
Usually, Calibrachoa doesn’t get much taller than 4 inches, but they spread out a lot. It’s a fast grower, so using a good amount of plant food is a good idea. These love to be in the sun.
Also a lover of the sun, Verbena is fairly free from disease, but can be prone to mildew. Make sure to plant these in an area with good circulation
Geraniums are shade dwellers. They prefer a pretty good amount of water and will likely need a bit of fertilizer. Also, if the flowers are wilting between waterings, you may need to look at transferring them to a larger pot.
Like Geraniums, Impatiens are another lover of the shade. They like a lot of water, up to 4 inches, if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees. The gret thing about this is they can be planted close together. Just a few inches apart is perfect.
While they prefer shade, Coleus can be planted in the sun too. Coleus is an amazing filler for larger pots where you might want to add a different dynamic in. With several dramatically different looking types, you’re bound to find something that will compliment your pots.
Sweet Potato Vine
Sweet Potato Vines, are great in sun or in the shade and can weather pretty much anything. These are a great filler that can easily add contrast to any pot with multiple shapes and sizes. These are great for the summer weather in Utah.
How to Set These Up
Step 1: Pick your pot
Anything from Ceramic, resin, to plastic. From bright colors to subdued. Pick a pot that reflects who you are and one that fits the design of the area in which the pot will reside. And be sure there are holes in the pot bottom to allow for adequate drainage.
Step 2: Sun or Shade?
Will the pot will be in the sun or shade? Sun plantings require plants that are heat tolerant and that will not burn. Shade plantings are those that get four hours or less of a morning sun, that only receive indirect light or that are fully in shadow.
Step 3: Plant Design – Thriller, Filler, and Spiller
The three categories are a thriller, filler, and spiller. These will help the plants look good visually as you set them up in pots.
Thrillers are located in the center or towards the back of the pot. A thriller should be tall and showy.
Fillers are the plants that are placed between the thriller and the edge of the pot. These are the plants that are responsible for most of the color and texture of the arrangement.
Spillers are those plants located between the fillers and the edge of the pot. These plant types are “viney” in their growth habit and may or may not have blooms.
Step 4: Plant Survival
Soil: Your soil mix should be a rich mix of top soil, compost, slow release fertilizer and a water retention feature. Prior to filling the pot with soil, create a buffer layer for drainage with old plastic pots/bottles. Once the drainage layer is complete, fill the pot to within one inch of the rim with the soil mixture. Water the soil to ensure soil compacts naturally. If the soil line drops after watering, fill pot with additional soil to within one inch of the rim and water a second time to prepare for planting.
Water: Once the pot has been properly planted, water your planting(s) once a day until water drains from the base. As the season progresses and summer heat ensues, you may need to water pots twice a day especially for sun plantings. Check the soil prior to watering to be sure plantings are neither over- or under-watered.
Fertilizer: Use fertilizers rich in phosphates (the middle number of the fertilizer ratio: 10-50-10) to ensure roots are healthy and to ensure continual blooming of flowering plants. As pot plantings are confined environments, weekly fertilizing is essential for strong, vigorous plant growth.
What Do I Do Now?
Contact the experts at McCoard’s Garden Center during their annual pot party on April 27 & 28 and receive free soil for your pots with purchase of plants. Visit www.mccoards.com for details, and enjoy your spring!