Container Style: Strong Soloists and Outstanding Companions

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When it’s time to plant up your summer pots and planters, it’s easy to fall back on tried and true combinations. This year, we encourage you to try something a little different. Consider including some summer-blooming bulbs such as cannas, callas, elephant ears and begonias. Here are some suggestions to jump-start your creativity.

Combinations That Create a Perfect Harmony

Wondering how to compose a great-looking container? Use the concept of thrillers, spillers and fillers. Thrillers are the plants that are most dominant and usually grow the tallest. Spillers are the plants that hang over and down the sides of the pot. Fillers are the mid-height plants that weave the others together.

Left: In a mid-size container, caladium can be used for the upright element and act as a thriller. Pair it with impatiens as a filler and creeping jenny as the spiller. Center: Yellow Canna is indeed a thriller! The upright foliage and flowers make a great centerpiece for any container. Add lime coleus and begonias to complete the look. Right: Hostas are good container plants and they pair well with shade-loving impatiens and sweet potato vine.

Container design sketches

In a mid-size container (above left) caladium can be used for the upright element and act as a thriller. Pair it with impatiens as a filler and creeping jenny as the spiller. A yellow canna (center) is indeed a thriller! The bold, upright foliage and tropical flowers are a great centerpiece for any container. Add lime coleus and begonias to complete the look. Hostas (above right) are good container plants for a shady patio or front porch. They pair well with shade-loving impatiens and sweet potato vine.

Container Style

Here are three more container gardens that mix plants of different heights. All are easy-to-grow, summer-blooming bulbs. Elephant ears and caladiums (far left and center) grow well together because they have very similar needs for light and moisture. Caladiums and cannas are another easy and stylish blend. You get decorative foliage as well as vibrant flowers.

Solo Containers Take Center Stage

Sometimes it’s better to keep it simple. Do one thing and do it well. If that is more your style, there are lots of bulbs and plants that can easily hold their own in a container.

Border dahlias in pots are perfect

Decorative border dahlias have the blooming power of full size dahlias, but their compact size makes them a great choice for containers.

Eucomis

Eucomis (commonly known as pineapple lily) produces large flower spikes with green topknots. Bloom time is late summer. The flowers are long-lasting and guaranteed to get lots of compliments. The bulbs can be stored indoors for the winter and be replanted the next spring.

charming containers

Begonias (above left and center) have large, rose-like blooms and are ideal for containers. Liatris (above right) has grassy foliage and tall stems with fuzzy purple blooms. They grow well in containers and always attract butterflies!

No matter what your style, we have plants to fill your pots.