In this post, I’m going to discuss the ins and outs of planting flowers, primarily focusing on planting annuals. I am so excited that it’s spring. We have had such nice weather in Ohio this past winter and spring. I usually do not plant my annuals until after Mother’s Day since our weather changes so much from day to day where I live. I prefer to plant my annuals in flower pots instead of beds. The pops of color are so pretty, and it is easier to water them if they are in pots.
I have used most of my favorite flower pots year after year, and they are holding up just fine. Flowerpots from terra cotta tend to age gracefully, with a pretty patina…. like this one.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on planting flowers, but I usually do some research before buying annuals, and I always look carefully at the hardiness zone (Zone 6 for our area) and the plant tags that tell you whether the plant needs full sun, partial sun, or shade. When visiting a lawn and garden shop in your area, the far majority of the plants for sale will be safe to plant in your garden/flower pots. Just be sure to read the plant tag information. Most experts will tell you to plant in late May in Ohio. Always check the USDA hardiness zone for where you live. If you want to plant earlier than your zone suggests, you will need to watch the weather forecast and cover your plants if there is a frost warning. Gardeners suggest covering with fabric and not plastic. Old sheets work great. If you do cover with plastic, you’ll need to remove the covering shortly after the sun comes up. Most annuals prefer temperatures above 45-50 degrees. Some prefer the temperature to be over 60 degrees.
What colors do you select for planting? This is up to your personal choice, but there are some easy guidelines to follow. Remember…. the color wheel is your friend!!
There are 3 primary ways to use the color wheel when you are selecting flowers:
Select your plants in colors that are across from one another on the color wheel. Yellow and purple, blue and orange, and red and green all look pleasing to the eye.
Select your plants in colors that are next to one another on the color wheel.
A single color, where you keep all the plants the same color, can be quite impactful. You can also integrate different tones of the same shade.
Be mindful of the height and width your full-grown flowers will be. This information is also on the planting tag. Tier your plants so that the taller plants are in the back and shorter specimens are in the front. I love having some sort of cascading plant, like an ivy, which will grow down the sides of a taller urn flower pot.
You may have read on some Pinterest posts the terms Thriller, Filler, and Spiller. I’m not sure who came up with these awesome terms, but I LOVE it! The Thriller will be the plants that have the most height like a spiky type of plant. The Filler will be the majority of your plants that you plant in the urn, and the Spiller will be the plants that cascade over and down the urn.
Container Garden from Judy’s Cottage Garden
This obviously isn’t my backyard, but oh how I wish it were! This shows how beautifully colors work together and how tiering your plants can be so dramatically beautiful!
White flowers are always beautiful. You can mix white with any color or plant a bed or flowerpot in all white flowers. Gorgeous!
I hope your flower gardens grow beautifully all summer long. Water, fertilize and prune them (pinch back to prevent petunias/annuals from getting leggy and to encourage the production of more blooms) as directed, and you will have gorgeous color that will make you and your family happy for many months throughout summer and into the fall!