Updated April 5, 2023
Beautiful planters filled with flowers, plants or a combination of both, are a great addition to your home and one of the best ways to create ambiance and curb appeal. Having outdoor planters full of your favorite flowers can create a more beautiful home and add a level of coziness. Greenery is a great way to bring in a breath of life to any indoor or outdoor space. As we head into warmer months, we are sharing a few tips and tricks for picking out the perfect plants to create beautiful planters for your exterior. Walking into a nursery or big box store can be overwhelming with so many options to choose from, so here are some fool-proof ways to choose something to help you create a unique design and enjoy throughout the season.
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Choosing the Perfect Planters
Select a Few Planters that Coordinate Together
First, when choosing your planters, try options that coordinate together and look for similar colors or textures. If you’re aiming to achieve a symmetrical look, choose two planters of the exact same shape and size. For an asymmetrical look, use similar materials and colors but in varying sizes. An asymmetrical look is great for adding a casual feel. But, stylish planters symmetrically planked on either side of your front door is a classic look that instantly gives your home curb appeal. Regardless of the combination you choose, there are many materials and sizes of beautiful planters out there.
Here are a few of favorite options:
Choose a Good Planter Style
A good planter has a drainage hole and extra room to allow for the plants to grow. Choose durable planters that are made from materials that can withstand different seasons. Using a ceramic planter is a great idea due to the soil being able to absorb moisture better and not dry out as quickly. A concrete planter is also a good idea for slow water absorption. These types of planters are a great option to give off a high quality look and create visual interest. Metal planters are extremely durable, so they can work well, too. Terra cotta pots and plastic pots absorb water quickly. So, if you use those, plan to water them often. The good news is with many different planter styles at many different price points, the possibilities are endless.
Selecting the Right Size Planter for Your Plants
When selecting the right-sized planter, choose a pot about 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the pot the plant came in. This helps the plant have room to grow without overloading it. A pot that is too small will limit growth and the plant will not get the correct amount of nutrients it needs. However, if the pot is too large, the soil can be too moist which can cause root rot.
How to Pick the Best Plants
Consider the Color Palette
Choosing plants is a little science and art. You need the scale and proportion to be balanced among the plants, as well as consider the growing conditions like how much sunlight the space where the planter is going gets. Take a moment to choose colors that will be cohesive not only together, but with the surrounding decor. Choosing a few different plants in different shapes and sizes within the same color family makes everything flow together and even creates a focal point for the exterior of your home. A few color schemes that work well for a coastal-inspired home are all-white, purple and chartreuse, and pink. You can choose to have a more monochromatic look or add a pop of color.
Thriller, Filler, and Spiller
For placement of the plants, there are some ways to ensure the balance and scale are proportioned to optimize the overall look. This “trick” is called the Thriller, Filler and Spiller.
Place a larger statement plant in the back center of the planter. This is called the “thriller.” The largest plant should only be about half the size of the planter in width to allow for more plants around it. A few great examples of the thriller piece are hydrangeas, geraniums, roses, topiaries, climbing vines with trellis, or wispy grasses.
Fill in with a smaller plants in front of the thriller. These are the “fillers.” Placing 2-3 of these around the thriller fill in some space and add more depth and interest to your pots. Make sure to leave some space between the filler plants. These plants should be a smaller size – typically at least half the size of the larger plant. Try to choose plants that grow somewhat upright so that they will fill in the space around the base of the larger plant. A few good examples are foxtail fern, euphorbia, coleus, penta, or lantana.
Add in a trailing plant around the outer edge of the pot. These are the “spillers.” These can be foliage or flowering, or a combination of both. A few examples include vinca vine, creeping Jenny, sweet potato vine, lobelia, or verbena.
How to Care for Your Plants
After you’ve chosen your perfect planter, it’s time to prep for the plants or flowers themselves and keep them alive! There are a few key pointers to remember to ensure that your new curated creations will thrive.
First, layer pots with rocks or other materials to help with draining and root growth. Excess water can cause mold at the bottom of your planter so this step is imperative in making sure your plants don’t mold. Next, add good potting soil to give your plants a good foundation.
The last thing you’ll need to remember is to water and care for your plants appropriately. Too much soil moisture can cause plants to drown so make sure to not overwater. Only water when the soil feels dry. so that you can enjoy them all summer long.
Beautiful planters can elevate the look of your home’s exterior. You don’t have to have a green thumb to create the perfect planter! These tips can give you a solid foundation of where to start and how to mix. If you’ve used any of these tips let me know as I’d love for you to share your planter photos with me on Instagram or below in the comments!