Have you always wanted to attract butterflies to your patio or porch area? Well here are a few tips that will help you create a butterfly garden in a container that will do just that.
The simplest way to attract butterflies to your patio pots is to provide them with food that the butterflies want. Plan on potting up both butterfly friendly flowers that are nectar rich and types of plants that caterpillars like to eat.
Lets start with the garden planter. Most flowers and plants don't need a deepplanter because their roots are rather shallow. However this is not the time to downsize your choice of planter. You want a pot that is large enough to hold a variety of plants and flowers that will attract butterflies. Plan on placing those containers in a area of your patio where they will get 6 hrs of sunlight daily and not a lot of wind.
Next is selecting the types of flowers and plants to pot up. Grow nectar plants that attract butterflies. Flowers are the best like marigolds, cosmos, verbena, butterfly weed and lavender. Add a host plant to each container where butterflies can lay their eggs on the bottom of their leaves. Black eyed susan, milkweed, asters, cornflowers, and herbs like fennel and dill.
Plant the flowers at different heights with tall in the center and trailing or low flowers around the outside of the garden planter. This also is a basic idea to do with any garden planter where you not only want function but beauty.
Now is not the time for chemicals and pesticides. Another great suggestion is to leave a saucer filled with sand, salt and water so the butterflies can nibble the minerals. This is called Puddling.
Who doesn't love butterflies? We all love seeing them flying around our porch or patio areas. Follow these simple basic tips and increase your garden beauty.
You selected the perfect garden planter, you researched and purchased the best kinds of plants and now you ask, When is the best time to water? Good question. You want to make sure when it comes to watering your potted plants you get it right. Of course we all know that too much or too little can kill most plants and make those garden planters look pretty bad.
First you must make sure that your garden pottery has drain holes. Even succulents & cacti don't like to sit in standing water. Then early morning is the best time to water your planters. This is because the sun is barely up and the temps are still pretty cool. Now is the time that water can penetrate the soil and get down to the roots before being evaporated by the sun & heat.
Watering your planter early also means that the plants will have time to soak up and store some of the water before they are dried out and waiting in the afternoon. Don't believe that spraying the leaves of the potted plants and then having the full sun hit them will scorch them or cause burning. That is simply not true.
The second best time to water your potted garden planters is late afternoon or early evening. What you are trying to do is to avoid watering your containers in the middle of the day. If you wait till early evening try not to get water all over the plants leaves. Letting the water sit on the leaves can cause pathogens and disease. So if you have a choice always go with morning or late morning.
Do NOT water at night. You think it's a good time to water your planters so that they can soak up all that moisture but it really causes disease like stated above because there is not evaporation.
So to rap this up, here are a few last tips.
Don't overwater - look for limp or soggy leaves, rotting at the stem or tips browning.
Water consistently over the surface of the soil and not your leaves. When you water, water deeply. The deeper the better for encouraging the potted plants roots to spread throughout the planter.
As the years go by you find yourself collecting more and more garden planters. Many of them are very expensive or just ones that you love very much. So of course you want to protect them from Winters cold and damage. Here are a few tips that may help ease your discomfort.
Before anything you need to clean them out and clean them up. Of course this is only for garden pottery that is empty and being stored. Start by dumping the soil into a compost pile or recycle can. You will not be using it again so it has to go. You do not want to pass on any bugs, mold or fungus that may be growing in the soil so get rid of it and start fresh next season.
Use a wire or stiff bristle brush to scrub off any chunks of soil that are sticking to the insideof the flowerpot. Then mix a bucket of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Now scrub the inside with the bleach mix to disinfect the pot and make sure any thing that may be still attached to the insides are killed or removed. Let the pots dry completely before storing them in the garage or shed.
Ideally all garden pottery and planters should be stored indoors over the winter months. May planters are frost resistant but not frost proof. This means they can handle light frost but not freezing weather. If there is standing water from rain or drip system in the soil and the soil freezes, the water will expand and crack the planter.
If you are leaving the empty planters outdoors, try flipping them over and use bricks, pot feet or wood to keep them off the ground. You can cover the empty containers with a large garbage bag to keep the water off or cover with burlap wrap. If you can't flip them then just fill them with hay or mulch to protect them from the water and cold.
If you can't move the garden planters and need to keep them planted then you need to top the pots with mulch to keep the water out and the roots from freezing. We like wrapping the planter with burlap and string to help. Plastic bubble wrap works etc. We know it's not the most beautiful look but if it saves your planters from cracking it's well worth it.
The only exception for all the above information is a terra cotta flower pot. Terra cotta is porous and absorbs water like a sponge. This is healthy for the plants but obviously bad for freezing water conditions. If you can't bring them in, get the pots off the ground, wrap in a waterproof bag or tarp and move them under a roof eave so water doesn't directly hit them. If you can't do any of that then at least lay down a thick layer of mulch or hay to protect the top soil.
Hope this helps and you find some of these tips for protecting your garden planters from freezing during Winter work.
Finding the most beautiful and healthy plants and flowers for your garden containers isn't that hard to do. Most local nursery and garden centers carry a wide selection that are mostly healthy and lovely. Now keeping them looking that way for as long as possible is the goal of every container gardener. By following a few tips listed below you are well on the way to achieving that goal.
1. Pick the perfect garden pot. Make sure you get the right size before anything else. You do not want to put a palm into a pot that is so small it tips over in a robust wind or so little that it cramps the roots from growing and spreading. All plants and flowers have roots that need room to grow in soil that has nutrients in it. If a container is too large it can result in over moist soil and drown the roots. If you have a lot of space in the pot and you keep the soil moist, you may get moss and mildew issues that are not welcome. Also make sure you garden container has drain hole. No standing water in flowerpots is recommended.
2. Plant you new pottery container with a plan. It seems harmless to just dig in and go for it but the result will not be as successful if you follow a few steps. Make sure you use plants with the right light needs with where you are putting the finished pot. A plant that needs full sunlight will not grow if you place the garden planter on a covered porch that sees mostly shade. Try to mix flowering plants and colors with green foliage to fill in the planter and make them look overflowing and full. Just make sure they need the same amount of water.
3. Be selective about the potting soil you use. Never use garden soil for many reason but mostly you will NOT have healthy plants. If you plant succulents make sure you are using pumice soil that drains well. If flowers are more to your liking a nice potting mix that has compost in it works great. Don't recycle potting soil if you had diseased plants growing it in already. Start fresh! The main thing to remember here is never underestimate the power of the correct potting mix.
So follow these easy steps and you are well on the way to have garden containers that look stunning all season long.
Whether you shop online (and we hope you do) or visit your local garden center, finding the perfect garden planter, plant materials, soil etc to create lovely flowerpots to decorate your home or garden area is easy to do. Lot's of choices, colors, textures that when put together can make a look that adds color, beauty and life to your garden decor.
However, keeping those potted containers looking nice all summer long when the heat and windy weather can beat them up pretty good, is another thing. We want to give you some tips that may help you over come the garden planter blues.
Start by selecting the perfect container. Make sure the size is correct for the plants that you are putting in the pot. Too small and roots are crowded, too large and soil stays too moist and you have fungal issues. Make sure the pot has drainage. No plants like to sit in standing water.
Next get a plan on what you are going to plant. Don't go to the local nursery and buy impulsivily. Choose plants that will thrive in your area and add some foliage to pots to fill them out when you are planting flowers. Try to buy a plant to place in the center of the pot for height. This really adds a focal point for deciding what to plant around it.
Get good potting soil. Don't ever use the ground soil and don't use old soil that has been sitting in the garage for a few years. If you choose to reuse soil from a spent container make sure there are no spores, fungus or mites and other unfriendlies can live in long after the plants are gone.
Presoak the plastic nursery pot in a tub of water to loosen and relax the roots before knocking the plant out of the pot. Just fill a shallow basin, or wheelbarrow with water, sit the pots in so the drain holes are covered and let them soak for 30 mins. Then knock the plant out and repot in your decorative garden container. The roots will be pliable and soft and they will thank you for this, presoak. The after the pot is complete make sure to give everything one last drink.
Don't underestimate how important it is to keep up the grooming of the finished planter. Deadhead spent blooms, cut back straggly stems and replace anything that just isn't doing well. This little weekly step makes a big different in how your planters look all season long.
And finally, fertilize. Purchase a slow release fertilizer or better yet every two weeks water with a liquid fertilizer to keep everything looking it's best all season. Every time you water a pot till there is water coming out the drain hole you loose valuable nutrients. These need to be replaced.
There are a few times when trying to take a short cut when planting around the house works pretty good. This time we are talking about the new choices you see every where of fake or faux silk or plastic garden shrubs. Now we aren't recommending you re-plant your whole yard or landscape. What we are suggesting is that you give them a try and below are the reasons why.
In years gone by we use to see really bad charlie brown plastic shrubs and plants for your garden planters. We even went thru a pretty ugly stage of plastic fruit. With today's new manufacturers the plastic and silk industry has stepped up and create some pretty life like plants. You can now find them in all sizes and shapes at most home and garden centers. They are found in plastic pots that are unsightly. So we want to re=pot them to give them a realistic look and elegant feel.
Since you will be using silks or plastics you can use pretty much any type of garden container you choose. From bold bright colorful glazed planters to earthy terra cotta and clay flower pots, you get to choose. If you live in an apt or condo we recommend trying a light weight poly resin planter to help with weight. Since the tree is light weight the dirt will be the only part that has some weight to it.
Why do you want dirt if the shrub is silk? Well we recommend that you surround the faux shrub with real flowers or trailing vines like ivy or vinica. The real plants offset the plastic making your garden planters look natural and lovely. No body will really know unless they walk up and touch them.
Fill the bottom of the flowerpot up with potting soil and then sit the faux bush inside. Surround the bush with more soil and then add the real plants and vines. Easy and perfect!
We have all seen these cakes in a flowerpot for parties, brunches, showers, wedding or any special occasion but we wanted to add a few fun tips to help recreate these. Watch your guest light up when they see this creations in a clay garden pot. They think they are real and don't know they can really eat it. Once you tell them the fun begins.
You can use one large flowerpot like the recipe below you break the pudding & cookies up into individual small clay flowerpots. Both work great.
Have a clean new terra cotta clay garden pot 8" x 10"
Cover the drain hole in the bottom of the flower pot with wax paper circle so the pudding doesn't drain out. Or place a whole oreo cookie over the hole as shown.
In a food processor crush cookies till fine. set aside. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar till smooth. In another bowl, mix pudding and milk till blended. Fold into cream cheese mix. Fold in the whipped topping.
Start by alternating layers of cookie crumbs and pudding mix. End with cookie crumbs on top so that it looks like dirt. Chill the cake pots for several hours or overnight.
Now is the time to decorate. Use silk flowers, rock candy and gummy worms. You can cut a straw off and insert into the pudding first, then stick the silk flowers into the straws. They are stiffer and hold up better. Have fun with decorating. We have seen all kinds of fun ideas.
1 -15 1/2 oz pkg Oreo cookies
1 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese
4 T butter softened
1 C confectioners sugar
2 - 3.4 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
3 1/2 C cold milk
1 - 12oz carton frozen whipped topping thawed
Try this experiment. Visit a local garden center where there is a large selection of colored garden planters. Do the blue shades calm you down? Are you warmed and energized by reds? Do you gravitate toward greens? How about the natural appeal of terracotta pottery?
We are incredibly sensitive to color. In face, the human eye can detect seven million unique variations. We are also very sensitive to the mood and feelings that colors can create.
Psychologist Ayben Ertem, who researches the effects of color on human behavior, says pink tones tend to be soothing and relaxing. To encourage deeper conversations, she suggest using orange pots around a patio to encourage people to talk and share. Want to experience a relaxing feel when laying around the pool? Use lavender or purple since they have a relaxing effect.
When it comes to planning out a color scheme it is best to stick with neutrals. White, Black or Terracotta planters. These go with all plant materials and decorating details like patio chairs and cushions. When you want the star to be the plants and not the pots these are great choices.
Of course, your best bet may be to forget about the color "rules" and simply surround yourself with shades and hues you enjoy most.
Easy Easter Craft Project using a clay flower pot!
Start with a nice smooth Italian clay flower pot. Make sure it is clean. If there are any finger prints or marks on it, just wash with warm water and soap and rinse good. Dry completely.
Take Folk Art acrylic Paint and stencils purchased at Michael's craft stores. Lay the stencil on the pot where you want it placed. Squirt some paint on a paper plate. Dip the stencil brush end into the paint and make little circles on the stencil to transfer the paint. Don't get the brush to full. If you do dab some of it off.
It doesn't take much to paint on the design. If you keep the brush fairly dry you won't get the leaks under the stencil. The Folk Art stencils have a sticky back to help it stick to the pot surface. They are easy to clean up also.
Once the pot is finished, fill with floral foam. Top with shredded paper and then stick the items you purchased around the pot into the foam until you get the desired look.
At the end of the Easter Season, you can take it all out and have a great flowerpot to plant in.
Arizona Pottery imports clay garden pottery from around the world. In this post we will refer to Chinese Clay Pots. As we stated before Italian terracotta is the best in the industry. Lightweight, wonderful color and great firing process.
Chinese terracotta flowerpots are made of a very heavy, thick clay. After the planters are formed by hand and fired in a mud hut they will have a very rough texture to them. If you rub your hand down the side, it will feel uneven and scratchy. Because of the clay mix you will also see a whitewashed finish. It looks like a powder coating but what it is showing is the calcium that is in the clay. It turns whitish when fired.
If you seal these pots, which we recommend, it will darken the clay up and not be as noticeable. Because these Chinese clay pots are very porous they will absorb a lot of moisture and will contribute to a faster deterioration of the clay. Of course this is where sealing again will help to prolong the life of the clay.
On a scale from Best to Worse - Chinese terracotta pottery is considered middle of the road. Even though it's rough it comes in some super decorative designs. You will see hex pots, lots of garlands and details. They aren't as defined as the Italian pots but are still unique. We love basket weaves, cherubs, and medallion embellishments.
Seal these planters, store them for winter if possible and you will be very pleased with their performance in your garden for years!