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Planting Spring Pots

May 2, 2019

I honestly can’t even believe I am writing this post because I have never been one to think of myself as having a green thumb.  I have killed succulents, air plants, aloe, and even lucky bamboo.  That probably isn’t very lucky, is it?

Container Gardening:  How to create beautiful flower pots with the Thriller, Spiller, Filler method!  Midwestern Mama #containergardening #flowerpots #annuals #flowers

But, over the past few years, I have planted a random assortment of annuals in pots and placed them around the patio and driveway area and they just bring me so much joy when they are in bloom!  I love the variety of colors and textures and I think it’s fun to mix and match them to get an endless number of different outcomes!

Container Gardening:  How to create beautiful flower pots with the Thriller, Spiller, Filler method!  Midwestern Mama #containergardening #flowerpots #annuals #flowers
Freshly planted in May (left) and the same pot a month and a half later in July (right).

A few tips about planting annuals:

1.  Ideally in each pot you want thrillers, spillers, and fillers.  The thriller is a tall, upright plant, usually positioned in the middle of the pot which adds height to the arrangement.  The spillers are the plants that creep out and cascade down the side of the pot, such as vines.  And the fillers are everything else you plant to give texture and color!

Container Gardening:  How to create beautiful flower pots with the Thriller, Spiller, Filler method!  Midwestern Mama #containergardening #flowerpots #annuals #flowers
Freshly planted in May (left), then mid June (middle), and the same pot mid-July (right)

2.  Choose plants with similar growing conditions.  Be mindful of which plants require full sun, partial sun, shade, etc.  Also take note of moisture levels.  You can’t grow a water loving plant in the same pot as a plant that needs drier soil to thrive.

3.  Make sure your pot has drainage (a hole).  I like to put a coffee filter over the hole, which allows the water to drain out without letting the mud slip out.  Also, if I have a large pot, I will often place large rocks, leaves, mulch, or other soil in the bottom half of the pot, then fill the rest with potting soil.  This helps take up space so you don’t need as much potting mix.

4.  Start with the thriller, planting it in the center of your pot.  Next, plant the spillers near the edges of the container so they will naturally grow over the sides and cascade down the pot.  Plant your fillers last so you can fill in the gaps and make your pot look full.

Container Gardening:  How to create beautiful flower pots with the Thriller, Spiller, Filler method!  Midwestern Mama #containergardening #flowerpots #annuals #flowers

Examples of Thrillers: 
Cordyline
Spike plants
Yucca
Ornamental grasses
Elephant Ear (Alocasia)
Dracaena
Any topiaries
Canna
Mandevilla growing up stakes

Examples of Spillers:
Sweet potato vine
Million Bells
Morning Glory
Creeping Jenny
Aubrieta
Sprengeri fern
Mandevilla
Lobelia

Examples of Fillers:
Impatiens
Geraniums
Coleus
Alyssum
Petunias
Pansy
Begonia
Dusty Miller
Lantana
Pentas
Celosia
Viola
Marigold

What are your favorite annuals to plant?  I love changing things up slightly each year, but I almost always stick to the thriller-filler-spiller method!

Container Gardening:  How to create beautiful flower pots with the Thriller, Spiller, Filler method!  Midwestern Mama #containergardening #flowerpots #annuals #flowers

Container Gardening:  How to create beautiful flower pots with the Thriller, Spiller, Filler method!  Midwestern Mama #containergardening #flowerpots #annuals #flowers

Container Gardening:  How to create beautiful flower pots with the Thriller, Spiller, Filler method!  Midwestern Mama

Niki French

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I'm Niki, founder of Midwestern Mama. This lifestyle blog is a place where I get to share things I am passionate about with people like you! I love fashion, home decor, DIY's and easy meals, among other things. I'm so glad you're here! Read More

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