Friday, June 10, 2011

Container Gardening-The Perfect Patio Planter

If you are looking for the perfect combination of foliage and blooms for your container garden, then this is the one for you.  This is a planter idea that I came up with several summers ago, which I have been using ever since. It was the perfect combination, which lasted well into the fall, one that I have to share!

This design can fit to any planter size. I used a 16- inch diameter planter the first time around and increased the size to a 20-inch planter for the following season. It is important to use a good lightweight potting mix meant for containers, and be sure to have good drainage in the bottom. This can be achieved by placing pebbles at the bottom of your container. For a central focal point, I used Asparagus Fern for a wispy appearance. Around the fern is an alternating pattern of five potato vines, three purple and two green. In between the fern and potato vines are pockets of various types of coleus.

I liked the combination of colorful foliage so much last year that I used the same mix again, only switching up the types of coleus for even more color! There are numerous varieties of Coleus to choose from, ranging in color from bright green to shades of orange, yellow, burgundy and deep purple, with many exhibiting striking, variegated foliage.

This combination will add a burst of color and interest to a shady spot, such as under an overhang, and will last all summer long and into fall. Coleus can be pinched back to maintain fullness or be allowed to flower, in which large purple spikes of blooms will rise above the brightly colored leaves. Your planter will be sure to receive lots of attention, and in this's all about the foliage!

Heuchera & Potato Vine

If you are looking for a patio-hanging planter that does not have to be changed from year to year, try using a wire basket with Sphagnum moss and fill it with Heuchera (coral bells). Add a potato vine or some other vine for an added twist. Your hanging basket will re-bloom for several years without having to change it. I have had this basket now for several years and it is virtually maintenance free, except for watering and an occasional feeding with a water soluble plant food. 

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.


  1. Very beautiful combination! they go great together

  2. Love this post. I love the lively mix of plants. The colors are very interesting and beautiful too. I will give this a try :)

  3. My green thumb is brown !:( I need you to come down here and do planting for me!! If that's the only way I can get you..enough said!!!LOL!! Love you!

  4. Gorgeous! I just finished one with potato vine, coleus and petunia. Also, I really like your huechera one!


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