Grab an amaryllis bulb kit to fill your home with the stately splendor of these big blooms. Plant several types in the same pot to create a colorful indoor garden. After flowers fade, snip blossom stems at the base. Continue to grow the leaves through winter and plan to set plants outside for the summer if you want to have bulbs bloom again next year.
When early season snow starts to fly, some plants in fall container gardens won’t survive. Ornamental or flowering kale and viola sail through even a dusting of snow. As snow melts, wilted violas bounce right back, while the ornamental kale just keeps looking good. In pots, garden mums and nandina don’t recover from snowfall like this.
Next to Rollins' kitchen garden is a shady space where a previous owner planted bamboo for privacy and a tall stone wall gives the feeling of being in a hidden oasis. Begonias, Japanese maple and geraniums kept in simple terracotta pots mean Rollins can move them around for parties, or bring them inside when the weather gets cold.
When decorating a space, never underestimate the power of plants. Go for a mix of sizes and for a more dynamic look vary the leaf shape. The snake plant on the floor is angular and vertically oriented, while the lush fiddle leaf fig has large undulating leaves. Save yourself a bit of cash by periodically clipping from an interesting shrub in your back yard. Place them in a large pot, add water and you have an instant statement-making centerpiece.
Plant, materials and decor in this space helps to create the illusion of a rainforest. Tropical foliage was planted to give the space an overgrown, jungle feeling. The wicker furniture and raw wood table make occupants feel as if they have set up camp in the middle of this rainforest oasis, while the lanterns and large pots give the feeling of a jungle adventure. All these details combine to create an outdoor oasis that is perfect for relaxing or entertaining.
Shiny, leathery leaves feature finger-like lobes on easy-growing ‘Xanadu’ philodendron. This plant is an upright type of philodendron, forming a bushy plant that can grow 2 to 4 feet tall and up to 5 feet wide in the landscape. As a houseplant, it happily grows to fill a 10- to 14-inch pot over time. ‘Xanadu’ is undemanding and gets by with minimal light and water. Give it spot near a bright window, though, and you’ll be rewarded with a bushier plant. It’s sometimes sold as Winterbourn philodendron.
Make sure the perennial crown, the spot where the roots meet stems, is at the same depth in the hole as it was in the pot. Check the depth by laying a stick or tool handle across the planting hole to the perennial rootball. A level tool handle means success.
You can still grow a tasty crop of spring peas even if you don’t have a big yard. Look for container pea varieties, like this yummy sugar snap type, Little Crunch. With container peas, you may or may not need a trellis; it depends on how tall plants become. Little Crunch grows 24 to 30 inches tall, which makes it a perfect fit for a typical tomato cage. When growing peas in pots, don’t forget to water. Consistent soil moisture—especially once flowers start appearing—helps ensure a sweet harvest. If you battle rabbits in your yard, growing pots of peas can make it easier to beat the bunnies without having to fence a pea patch. Just know that rabbits (and deer) love peas, so you may need to protect pots on an open patio.
Also known as oxalis, this is a versatile weed that grows in sun or shade, moist or dry soil. It’s a clover look-alike, with heart shape leaves and yellow flowers. Blooms fade to form upright seed pods that explode when ripe, flinging seeds away from the mother plant. It also roots from stem pieces. It’s happy to grow in lawns, planting beds, gravel drives or vegetable garden paths. Oxalis is a common weed in nursery pots, so be sure to check before adding plants to your landscape. The best way to beat it in the lawn is to mow high and fertilize to grow a healthy, thick lawn. In planting beds, carefully hand-pull or spray with herbicide.
When choosing dwarf Alberta spruce for pots, consider miniature varieties, like Tiny Tower (Picea glauca conica ‘MonRon’). This little cutie reaches a maximum height of 4 to 6 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. The slow growth rate means you can keep it tucked into containers for a few years. Tiny Tower has bright green leaves that shift to gray as they mature. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 8. At Christmas, you’ll often see mini Christmas trees in pots. These are usually dwarf Alberta spruce and can be planted into the landscape after the holiday.
As summer wears on and container gardens grow large, watering can occupy large chunks of time.
Easy Solution: Enhance soil’s ability to retain water by mixing in water crystals. These small crystals blend into soil and absorb water, turning into a jelly-type material that’s packed with water for plant roots to absorb. Follow package directions for application rates by pot size.
Fuchsia is a showstopper in part to full shade conditions with its dangling, multi-colored flowers. ‘Bellinto Compact Red And Violet’ fuchsia delivers a classic pink and purple color combination in a small plant that’s perfect for pots. Plants grow 8 to 16 inches tall and 10 to 14 inches wide. Look for fuchsia in many different color pairings, including pastel pink and lavender, or white and red. Flowers also come in solid shades, such as orange or deep red. Fuchsia is a hummingbird magnet, so display plants where you can easily view them from indoors to watch the air show.
This variety of rosemary is beloved for its winter hardiness outdoors, but it also makes a fine indoor plant. The secret to success is to avoid overwatering (a clay pot helps) and growing it on the cool side through winter. Harvest leaves as needed to season meats and soups. Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp’
According to Irish folklore, leprechauns enjoy living in seclusion and are attracted to areas where they can bury their many treasures away from prying eyes. To create the ideal leprechaun retreat, surround a miniature fairy cottage with lush green plants, moss, river rocks and, of course, a pot of gold.
Dress up your coffee table with greens, such as Boston fern, and accessories. Since ferns love moist soil, using organic clay pots lined with pea gravel gives you the option to lift the plant and water for easy care, says Karin Jeffcoat, owner of Cote Designs, a floral and event studio in Aiken, S.C.
If you have a collection of pewter serving sets that never get used, why not give them new purpose as floral vessels? Add potting soil inside of a gravy boat or goblet, then carefully pot a flower or plant inside of it. For an extra layer of decoration, cover the soil with dianthus cut to size and held in place with floral pins.
First described in 1882, this bromeliad can be grown on a slap or in a pot. It works as an epiphyte or a rooted-in-soil houseplant. The unusual feature of Aechmea brassicoides is that, when the flower stalks form, they pierce through the inner leaves of the plant. It is also sometimes referred to as Gravisia brassicoides.
Potted evergreens are excellent for year-round use and can be especially effective during winter months for adding a touch of classic holiday charm. Keep the overall look simple by planting the evergreens in pots covered in interesting, organic textural materials such as burlap, linen or birch bark. For a more finished look, cover the top of the potting soil with moss.