August Newsletter: Plants of the Month

Plant Profile: Container Planting

Container plants are a great way to provide color in your garden or lanai, where planting plants are not an option. There are a host of great planters out there that come in all sizes, shapes and colors to complement your home or pool area.

When planting containers always keep in mind the same rules that apply to planting plants in the ground- how much sun or shade does the plant need? What are the water requirements- thirsty or extremely drought tolerant? For those that live near the salt water- are the plants sale tolerant and likewise- if you live where there are deer- will they eat my plants.

As far as what type of plant can be put in containers- pretty much anything you want as long as the size of the container will match the growth of the plant. Single large plants such as palms should be kept by themselves to allow for growth whereas mixed planters using flowers can be gorgeous. For mixed planters, a suggestion is always to use a larger or taller plant as your “thriller”, medium size growing plants as your “filler” and of course, something to spill over the sides as your “thriller”. Make sure when doing a mixed planter to keep the plant needs in mind and not mix a sun loving perennial with a shade one, for example.

People who want to have plants around their pool should keep in mind that anything flowering, can and probably will, end up in the pool. There are lots of options for plants around pools that provide drama and color that are just foliage plants.
Here are some great suggestions for containers:

For around pools: Palms like Pygmy Date Palms, Cat Palms, and Lady Palms (more shade)

Foliage plants: Crotons (Many varieties); Persian Shield, Arbicola Trinette, Ti Plants, Copper Plants, Birds of Paradise Orange (even though they bloom they don’t shed); Helichonia (also bloom but don’t shed); Cordyline Red Star; Dracena (lemon lime or Colorama); Foxtail Ferns (sun or shade); Boston, Kangaroo, Macho Ferns, Holly Ferns (all shade).

Planters for your Garden: Palms as seen for pools- sunny locations

Easy care flowers for sunny locations: Salvia (Many varieties) Blu My Mind, Pentas, Gaillardia, Purslane, Portulaca, Baby Sun Rose, Lantana (many varieties), Gaura, Mandevillea or Dipladenia, Angelonia, Crown of Thorns.

When planting containers, make sure you use a good quality Potting Mix/ Soil – it should say that on the bag. Due to so much rain in the summer- I wouldn’t use a Moisture Control variety as it will hold too much water. Make sure your pot is big enough to allow growth, allow for drainage and fertilize using a slow release fertilizer.

Plant Profile: Natal Plum Emerald Blanket

The ‘Emerald Blanket’ Carissa Boxwood is a dwarf variety of the Natal Plum family.  It is drought tolerant and very salt tolerant.  It has a sprawling habit, so it is great for use as a ground cover or as a low hedge.  It is slow growing and also produces fragrant white flowers in the Spring. Average height is 18”-24” and width is 36”-48”.  This plant is an easy plant to grow whether you leave beachside or not.  Makes a great groundcover!