Of course there are special weather and location considerations to make when planning to grow container plants. Factors like the amount of sun and wind, the location on a slope, and whether there is reflected heat combine to create conditions at a particular spot that differ from those in the rest of your landscape.
Portability expands the climate tolerance of container plants. You can bring them indoors for protection from the cold, move them into direct sunlight if they need it or move them into the shade.
Help with Sun & Shade considerations:
When you select a plant you should think about how it grows naturally. Some like shade and added protection, others direct sunlight without the protection of trees. Plant materials can be sensitive to bright sun and will have the tendency to burn easily. Think about the tropical climates where many plants thrive like Mexico, or the Caribbean. If you place them planted in pots and they are covered in shade, they will grown spindly and not thrive. Cactus and Zinnias, love the sun and can soak it up all day.
An easy way to think of different light needs are Shade, Part Sun or Sun. Plants growing in different locations within the same yard will have different light needs. Think about if the planter will be under a patio cover all day, in partial sunlight during the morning etc when considering where to place the planters. Some background areas never see direct sunlight but can still get a lot of daylight. Exposure is key when deciding what to plant and where to place the pots.
1. Northern Exposure is mostly blocked from sun all day. This is considered full shade for general purposes.
2. Eastern Exposure is morning sun and shade for rest of the day.
3. Southern Exposure get the most hours of sunlight.
4. Western Exposure shade in morning and full sun in afternoon.
If you are placing the pottedplants by a swimming pool be sure and take into consideration the reflective light that will occur off the water.
One tip to remember is how the shadows change throughout the growing season. One month your planter may be in full sun and the next month part shade with your home blocking it. However, this is where potted plants really shine. The portability can't be beat when you can move the plants around as needed without much effort. We sell different tools to help with this like our Pot lifter.
The last tip to consider is wind. Make sure that the pot is weighted down with soil, place where it can be protected if needed and only plant flowers or plants that can handle the added wind factor.
These fragrant Southern pass-alongs fill summer days with perfume. Blossoms open white and then fade to gold. Use these elegant shrubs in garden planters, or en masse as hedges in your garden. They prefer rich, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. Place them along pathways, near windows or around your patio, where you can enjoy their fragrance. If you don't care for their fragrance, locate them further out in the yard but enjoy looking at their lovely blossoms.
Other tidbits to ponder:
The summer solstice comes on June 21, marking the beginning of summer. Minimize your exposure to sun. Work in the yard in the morning and early evenings when the sun is cooler. Avoid being outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Protect yourself for those times you must be outdoors.
Save money & water by hand watering your potted plants or using a drip systems. Do not sprinkle during the middle of the day because more water will evaporate than can be absorbed by the soil and plant materials. Other considerations can help like timers, hose pots & rain barrels.
Add blueberries to the large pots surrounding your garden. These are some of the easiest berries to grow. They love heat and grow fast. Plant two or more selections for lots of fruit all summer long. Five plants should provide plenty of berries for a family of four.
Many pond species will thrive in a tabletop water garden. Some float, others grow in moist soil. Treat most water garden plants as annuals.
1. Water Lettuce:(Pistia Stratiotes) They have great floating rosettes of leaves and exquisite feathery roots.
Tip: Most pots come to us from our suppliers
with drain holes already drilled into the
bottoms. You must plug them up in order for
them to be able to hold water, sufficiently.
2. Elephant's ear:(Alocasia sanderiana) Moisture loving with dark green arrow shaped leaves. Each leaf has lovely silver veins that really add contrast to your arrangement.
Tip: The best way to plug a ceramic "high-fired" pot is to cover the bottom with a piece of tar paper larger than the drain hole. Then calk, tar or cement it on to the bottom of the pot. Don't just
plug the hole with calk. It will fall out, eventually.
3. Arrowhead:(Sagittaria Latifolia) Dainty leaves that are arrow shaped and a lovely white blooms. In nature this plant grows at a ponds edges.
Tip: High-fired pottery, Poly Resin, Cement, Metal, Fiberglass etc are preferable styles. Terracotta clay is meant to break down over time and is not the best product to use for a water feature.
4. Water Hyacinth:(Eichhornia crassipes) A pale blue to violet flower that clusters above floating leaft rosettes. Stunning!
Tip: Many types of water plants are colorful and bright. You don't necessarily need a colorful piece of pottery to start with. The black clay Vietnamese pottery we use is "high fired" and will wear just as good as ceramic.
5. Caladium:(Caladium bicolor) Grown for its showy green leaves that are spotted with white, pink or red. Many varieties.
Tip: A nice mixture of grasses, plants and flowers make the most interesting containers. Just use materials that you like and you can't go wrong.
6. Umbrella grass:(Cyperus involucratus) This clumping grasslike annual forms umbrella like inflorescences on top.
Water pots are not the easiest set ups to create. But, as you can see from the photos below they are some of the most beautiful. Take the time, do your research, talk to your local plant specialist and have fun.
7. Waterlily:(Nymphaea Spp) Iconic floating water garden plants. Both tropical and hardy varieties are available. Ask your local garden or nursery center.