How to make a container like this?

palmcitrusbananavaDecember 2, 2012

So it looks like from the picture (pot on the right):
-some stripe leafed canna
-sweet potato vine
-some small purple petunia?
-purple heart plant
-and maybe impatiens? (the red)

Do these plants just go well together in general?
Or is there a cetain way to get them looking this lush/full?

That is one of the most amazing containers I have ever seen, and I was just wondering if I was missing anything?


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zzackey(8b GA)

That seems like an intense anomunt of big plants in a small container to me...

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:30PM
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It is... it's eye-catching, to be sure... but it's a one season, disposable arrangement designed for visual impact only.

It can be done, but it requires very close planting, heavy fertilizing and watering, and a close eye on trimming and making it look just so, deadheading spent blooms, removing dead leaves, etc.

There's a lot of material and roots competing for food and moisture in a small space. And if the weather is inclement, and it's not in a protected area... it can look a little beaten up.

I've done this in hanging baskets, tubs, etc... and it's a one season visual impact planting, is what it is. Not that it's not nice... it does look nice.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 10:06AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Putting a mixed container together is sort of an art. Some of the most interesting mixed containers are examples of following the thrillers/fillers/spillers formula, which essentially includes one or two tall, showy elements to catch the eye (canna), some plants that spill over the edge of the container (sweet potato vine, million bells, licorice vine ....., and some plants to fill in between the two (lantana, perilla).

An eye for what colors go together is a plus. Also, being familiar with texture, so you can vary leaf types/shades for contrast is a good thing. You must also be careful about choosing plants with compatible light needs and those that will all tolerate a similar watering regimen. The larger the container, the easier it is to grow in. After the planting is established and until you get the feel of the watering rhythm, you might try using a plant as a tell - when it first begins to wilt, it's time to water. This isn't the best way to go about it, but it's much better than over-watering, which can quickly destroy the appearance of a container. Fertilizing regularly is a must, as well. Finally, how easy this all is will depend a lot on the combination of soil choice and watering habits, but the more open the soil is (free-draining/well-aerated), the less critical watering/fertilizing habits are - other than the fact you do need to water before the planting gets too dry.

Sometimes grouping several containers together, like in your picture, makes a big difference in visual impact.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Exactly, Al... again, they're lovely! They simply require a little more attention to keep them looking so spiffy!

I'm sure I can't locate the photos right now, but I did a pair of wire baskets with moss liners a few years ago. They were literally packed with annuals. They required a closer eye kept on watering and feeding, but they did turn out nice!

With current pricing of individual "accent" annuals sold, I've not put together any baskets or tubs recently. I can't believe what they want for some of those annuals, now!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Oooh, I love the Gaura. Is that hardy in the ground where you are? And the Rex and the Coleus is nice, too. I like to make up containers, and see what I can come up with, and I am always sad when the winter comes and the frost takes them. Well, I manage to save the boliviensis. If it wakes up again next spring, I'll see about some coleus companions.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:21PM
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I've tried saving some annuals for use the following season, but I've found it's a lot easier to start from scratch!

Amazingly, those Sweet Potato vines actually produce little "potatoes" under the soil, and you can save those for sprouting the following season. I've done that, though the plants were not as spectacular.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:14AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

wow! How pretty tapla! What is the small white flower in the first picture?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 5:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The one with all the stems? Dunno - something I thought would prolly look good in the container. Maybe someone else can bail me out here. ;-)


    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Al - those are gorgeous containers! I think the white one in te first photo is guara. Can you tell me, besides coleus, what other plants you have in the second photo?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 11:50PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Coleus is Queen of Hearts, I think. There is a rabbit's foot fern peeking out from low in the pot, and Asp[aragus plumosa is the fern'like taller plant. On the right is one of the Fusion Series Impatiens.

I usually make about 25 mixed containers every summer, + all of the single specimens I have scattered about.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 5:26PM
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i like what i'm seeing and reading! indeed, the sky is the limit with 'container' gardening. you can stick anything in them, that you want, from Tropicals, to house plant, perennnials, name it, it can go in there. i am an extreme 'over-planter' and am always rewarded by this approach. i do also believe, however, that the foliage is the majority vote, as blooms, they come and go.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 7:13PM
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another one.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 7:39PM
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