Planting Flower Pots 101

August 25, 2012 – 05:22 am

I have to chuckle at this title….Planting Flower Pots 101….because truly…that’s about the highest level class I could conceivably be qualified to teach! :-) My SISTERS and my MOM, on the other hand, could teach MASTERS classes!

I, on the OTHER other hand, have pretty much done the same thing for the last 15 years when it comes to my flower pots….so I guess I can teach a thing or two about that. But that’s about it.

It didn’t even occur to me to do a post about it until I was talking with one of my nieces at dinner last Sunday and she was talking about wanting to plant some flower pots but didn’t have the slightest idea what to do. That’s when I figured my limited, albeit LENGTHY, flower pot tradition, might be helpful to some of the beginning gardeners out there.

When I moved into my first house in Utah, my sister Rebecca gave me these three large faux terra cotta pots as a housewarming gift. As you can see, they have definitely seen better days. It was finally time to retire them this year.

Luckily I found these three wonderful replacements on clearance last fall for each!

Anyway, I have basically been doing the same version of flower pots for my front entry for the last 15 years. When you find something you like…you stick with it. :-)

Jillee’s Basic Rule of Planting Flower Pots:

Lots of ONE type of flower in ONE (or two) color(s) = IMPACT.

Opt for annuals that give you a lot of COLOR BANG for your BUCK. Petunias are the PERFECT choice, and I have been doing them for years, but this year I decided to give pansies a try. I’ve always LOVED pansies, but they aren’t nearly as prolific as the petunias!

Here is a picture of my petunia pots at the end of last summer. This isn’t even at their PEAK!

So basically what I do is decide on one type of flower and plant as many as I can fit into all three pots. Usually I stick with the same color as well. There have been a couple of times I have done different colors in different pots, but it loses some of its impact.

This weekend I found of bunch of these pansies that were all in the same general mix of colors and decided to plant them. I just LOVE the colors!

Start with some good potting soil. Doesn’t have to be Miracle Gro…but it was on sale…so I splurged. :-)

Fill the pots ALMOST to the top. If you don’t put in enough soil…you won’t even be able to SEE the flowers…at least at first. They will be planted too low. Plus, you are going to be compressing the soil a bit when you plant each little plant.


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I'd include sweet alyssum with the petunias

I have white sweet alyssum planted with white petunias at the top of my retaining wall, and it's a pretty combination: tiny, snow-flake alyssum flowers with larger, delicate petunias. It would look very nice in the pots next to your mailbox: two alyssum plants and two petunia plants in each pot. I got the idea from an upscale nursery here in Seattle. They had that combination in a gigantic pot, and it looked just beautiful. I don't know if this matters to you as a beginner, but sweet alyssum attracts many beneficial insects to your garden, and that reduces problems with pests.
I've always found the light blue petunias with the dark blue veins to be very pretty

Rambling Star Petunia Seed Pack, 100 Seeds
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  • Fresh seeds
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