Good day to you friends! I am so happy to be back with some of my top tips for planting up a welcoming outdoor pot for your patio or front door! My name is Ashlea and I blog over at This Mamas Dance– where I document my adventures in DIY, mothering and most recently, starting up a cut flower farm! After such a long winter here in Canada, that seemed as though it would never end- I am so thrilled to be back in the garden getting my hands dirty. There are a few things that I have learned over the years when it comes to planting outdoor pots and planters. Annuals work hard for us in the garden- and with the right care can provide beautiful blooms all summer long! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to create balanced and full, outdoor potted planters.
How to Create Beautiful Planters with Annuals
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Step 1: Fill a Clean Pot with Potting Soil
Tip #1: Start with a clean pot and fill with fresh potting soil. It is important that you specifically use a potting mix to ensure proper drainage and nutrients for the plants. For many years I made the mistake of re-using my old potting soil year after year. However, I now recommend using fresh soil as after a season of packing a pot full of flowers, all of the nutrients from the soil have gone into the plants, so there is really nothing left for the next season. Using fresh soil will ensure that your flowers have enough nutrients to put out many blooms!
Step 2: Add in a Slow Release Fertilizer
This makes all the difference in potting up annuals! Tip #2: By using a slow-release fertilizer, you will end up with larger plants with plenty of blooms! This is my secret to beautiful plants. I also like to feed my pots throughout the summer with an all purpose liquid fertilizer, but if I get busy or forget, I know my plants are still getting nutrients throughout the season.
Step 3: Select Plants with Similar Light Requirements
Be sure to take note of how much sun or shade your planter will get throughout the day, and choose plants that are well suited to that area: full sun, part sun, or full shade. Most annuals will show the light requirements on the plant tag.
Tip #3: You may have heard of the recipe for creating gorgeous planters: always have a thriller, filler and spiller. Consider color, not only of the flowers, but also of the foliage. (Or look here for some beautiful recommendations!)
Step 4: Plant up the Pot
Lately I like to group the same flowers in a mass, instead of making everything perfectly symmetrical, especially because I know this pot will flank a doorway. For pots that will be viewed from all sides you may choose to plant using a more symmetrical design. Thats the lovely thing about the garden… it’s yours to enjoy!
Step 5: Water the New Plants In
Be sure to give the pot plenty of water as the roots get established, and check it often throughout the summer. Don’t forget to fertilize it regularly to promote even more blooms. You can also pinch certain plant varieties back to encourage new growth.
Some of my favorite annuals for pots in sunny spots include:
sweet potato vine
Some of my favorites annuals for pots in shadier areas are:
I hope you’ve been inspired to pot up some of your favorites for summer! And perhaps learned something new.
Build your own planter:
Ashlea is a wife, mother of 3, and blogger behind the Canadian lifestyle and DIY blog This Mamas Dance. Her blog offers a mix of tutorials, home building projects, coastal cottage style and a healthy dose of encouragement. When she isn't writing, rearranging furniture or feeding the small pack of wolves referred to as her children, she can be found teaching ballet or sipping a hot cup of tea.