Create Beautiful Planters for your Porch & Patio this Summer

I absolutely love the ambiance of a planter filled with flowers along my porches and patios. Having a planter full of your favorite flowers can create an extra homey feel to your outdoor areas. Greenery also brings a breath of life with each new season. So, as we head into summer, I wanted to share 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 my fool-proof ways to choose something you’ll love and enjoy throughout the season.

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Choosing the Perfect Planters

1. Select a Few Planters that Coordinate Together

First, when choosing your planters, try options that coordinate together. My approach is to 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 character!

Here are a few of my favorite options:

2. Pick a Plant Color Scheme to Create a Cohesive Look

Just as you spent time choosing your perfect interior colors, take a moment to choose colors that will be cohesive not only together, but with surrounding decor. Choosing a few different plants within the same color family makes everything flow together. A few color schemes I tend to lean towards when picking planters for my coastal-inspired home are all-white, purple and chartreuse, and pink.

How to Prep Planters to Receive Plants

After you’ve chosen your perfect planter, it’s time to prep for the plants or flowers themselves. 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. This is imperative in making sure that your plant won’t mold at the bottom of the planter. Next, add potting soil to give your plants a good foundation.

planters with potting soil and flowers

How to Place the Plants

Once you’ve laid the rocks and potting soil, you’ll need to arrange your plants or flowers in the container. Here are some tips for this part:

  1. Place the larger 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 for the thriller piece are hydrangeas, geraniums, roses, topiaries, climbing vines with trellis, or wispy grasses.
  2. Fill in with 2-3 smaller plants in front of the thriller. These are the “fillers.” Make sure to leave some space between the filler plants. These plants should be smaller in 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.
  3. Add in a few trailing plants. 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.

The last thing you’ll need to remember is to water and care for your plants appropriately so that you can enjoy them all summer long. If you’ve used any of these tips for choosing and filling the perfect planter, let me know! I’d love for you to share your planter photos with me on Instagram or below in the comments!

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