Now that you have picked out your containers and plants, it is time to plant them. (See Instant Color, Container Plants for Sun and Container Plants for Shade) Make sure the containers have drain holes. Some containers have plugs that can be removed for drainage. If your containers don’t have any drain holes, you will need to drill four to six holes in the bottom of the container.

Some containers are heavy; especially after you fill them with soil, so place your containers where you want them before you start planting. Fill a container with a soilless potting mix, which is lighter than regular potting mix. It also absorbs water better and drains better so the roots of your plants will stay moist but not soggy.

Arranging Your Plants

Set the plants on top of the potting mix in the container in the desired arrangement. Move the plants around until you are satisfied with the way they look. You will probably have some empty spaces between the plants, but most container plants are fast growing and will quickly fill in.

If you will be able to see the container from several sides, place the tall plant in the center with shorter plants around it. Then space low growing plants around the edges of the container so they will drape over the edge.

If you can see the container from only one side, place the tall plant towards the back of the container. Add shorter plants in front of the tall plant and set low growing plants along the edge of the container so they will hang over.

Successful Planting

Once you are satisfied with your arrangement, dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the plant you will place in the hole. Set the plant in the hole and completely cover the roots with potting mixture and tamp down firmly. Repeat with rest of the plants and water the potting mixture thoroughly.

Water as often as necessary to keep the potting mixture slightly moist. Do not let it completely dry out and do not over water so that it is soggy. Add some water-soluble fertilizer mixed at ¼ strength every second or third time you water.

Now sit down with a cold drink and enjoy the view!

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