5 Tips for Gardening with Large Planters

When it’s time to choose new planters for your porch or patio, think big!

Large planters are a simple way to transform the look of your front porch and add instant curb appeal to your home. Choosing a large planter ensures that everyone can see your beautiful flowers from the street, allows you to grow multiple plants in a single pot and makes it easier to grow strong, healthy container gardens.

Check out this article to learn several helpful tips for arranging and planting flowers in large containers.

How to planter flowers in a large planter placed on the deck

How to Plant Flowers in Large Planters

Choose Your Location

Have you ever tried to lift a planter filled with soil? It’s not easy. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to move the planter without the dumping out all the soil. This is not good for your plants… or your back.

It is important to decide where you want to place your planters before you begin to plant your flowers. Take note of the amount of shade and sun your plants will receive and look for plants that will thrive under those conditions.

To make sure your planters really pop, select a planter in a color that will complement your home’s siding.

Choose the Right Plants

After you’ve decided where to place your planters, it is time to choose your plants.

No matter what type of plants you choose, you must make sure they can grow in the location you selected. Check the plant tag in the greenhouse to determine how much sun each type of plant requires and look for plants that match your growing conditions. You should also choose annual plants (plants that you will replace every year) or plants that are slow growing otherwise your plant will outgrow its pot before you know it.

If you plan on growing multiple plants in a single planter, follow this simple mantra, thriller, filler, spiller!

No, it’s not a magic spell to make your plants grow. It’s actually the types of plants that you need in order to create a perfectly designed planter.

  • Thriller: Thrillers are tall, upright plants that will serve as the centerpiece of the planter. These plants typically have some eye-catching feature like bright colors, dramatic leaves or unique shapes. These plants should be placed in the center or near the back of the planter. Ornamental grasses, canna lilies, salvia and elephant ears all make great thrillers.
Thriller plants that'll decorate your large planters

  • Fillers: Fillers, on the other hand, are the opposite of thrillers. Fillers are billowy, medium height plants that cover the base of the thriller. These plants add volume and texture to your planter. When choosing fillers for your planter, try flowers like petunias, geraniums and gerber daisies.
Filler plants will add volume and texture to your large planter

  • Spillers: Last but not least, your planter needs a spiller, a vine-like plant that will tumble over the side of the container. These plants should be placed close to the edge of the planter so its tendrils can “spill” over the side of the planter. Some popular options for spillers include ivy, sweet potato vine, and trailing lobelia.

Spillers are a must when you plant flowers in a large planter

Use Filler Material

One of the biggest challenges of using large planters is filling them with soil. Due to their large size, it takes a lot of soil to completely fill the planter. Not only does this make your planter extremely heavy, it also wastes a lot of pricey soil because most plants’ root systems won’t be able to reach the soil at the bottom of the planter.

How do you solve this dilemma? Simple. Fill the bottom third of your planter with a lightweight filler material. The filler material will take up space in the planter so you don’t have to fill your planter with expensive soil that your plants will never be able to use. You can use a variety of materials to fill up the bottom portion of your planter, just make sure they are non-toxic and won’t break down during the growing season.

Some popular filler options include:

  • Packing peanuts
  • Aluminum cans
  • 2-liter soda bottles
  • Milk jugs
  • Tin cans

After you’ve filled the bottom of your planter with your filler material, cover the materials with a piece of landscape fabric. Then, fill your planter with a lightweight potting soil and plant your flowers. Your plants will have all the soil they need without the extra weight.

Easily Change Your Soil

After spending so much time planting your flowers, the last thing you want to do is dump out your planter to change the soil, but every year you will need to add new soil in order to keep your plants healthy. Don’t worry, you won’t have to completely dump out your planter.

Once a year, simply remove the top layer of old soil and replace it with new soil mixed with a time-release fertilizer. Blend the new soil into the old soil as much as you can without disturbing your plants’ root systems.

Do Not Overwater

It can be very easy to overwater plants in large planters.

Bigger planters contain large amounts of soil, so it takes longer for the planter to dry out. The topsoil may appear dry while the deeper layers of soil are still damp. If your soil is too damp, your roots can’t get oxygen to your plant which stresses the plant and makes it more susceptible to diseases.

To determine whether your plant needs water, stick your finger deep into the soil, all the way to the second knuckle. If the deeper soil layers feel dry to the touch, it’s time to water your plants again.

You should also pay attention to the weather. When temperatures are cooler, it will take more time for the water to evaporate from your planter, so you won’t need to water your plants quite as often.

Make a Statement and Grow Strong Healthy Plants with Large Planters

Are you ready to give your deck or porch a new look and grow beautiful plants and flowers?

Check out our selection of Sunnydaze planters to find the perfect large planter for your deck or patio.

These tips will help you easily choose and arrange the perfect plants and keep them healthy all season long.  Follow these simple tips and you’ll be on your way to growing beautiful container gardens in no time!

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