Interesting plants perfect for large pots
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This week, Ken Lane, The Mountain Gardener of Watters Garden Center in Prescott, offers tips on interesting plants perfect for larger pots. Learn about the best tall plants for growing in pots, hardy plants for outdoor pots, tall potted plants for outdoor privacy, and more!
Spring trees begin to flower with this problem. Trees are noble works of nature, and we are humbled by their greatness. While walking through the redwoods of California or admiring the massive structure of a Texas oak tree. It’s often as simple as lying down in the cool shade of a tree-lined eastern street. We are amazed by the magnificence of the trees. We feel this every spring and wonder if everyone feels the same way.
The plant season begins when the first snow melts. The easiest gardening is in containers. Tall plants transform ordinary container gardens into living art, adding height, variety and drama. My rule for designing stylish containers is “stir, spill, fill.” Combine a tall, “sexy” focal point with plants spread out along the sides of your container to soften the edges. Filler plants bridge the space between them. Very little potting soil should be visible when the design is complete. Plants will touch foliage to foliage.
Start with a tall, “exciting” plant, and the rest of your work will be easy. Here is a “Go-To” list of tall plants that thrive in container gardens.
Insider advice – The larger your container, the easier it is to grow and maintain. The more soil your container contains, the longer these tall beauties will last for years of enjoyment.
Alberta spruce, Picaea glauca, is an ideal front yard container and raised bed tree. The lush growth also means it is an excellent screen plant that will not overcrowd spaces. Try spot spirals or poodle specimens on entryways and patios without planting space. A beautiful choice for woodland gardens or behind water features.
Tree of the life, Tree of the life, as the centerpiece of the container garden is elegant, sophisticated and low-maintenance. Choose one that keeps its shape well without a lot of pruning. A good choice is ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae, a semi-dwarf cultivar that grows in a narrow pyramid reaching about 7-12 feet tall. Plant it in a large pot of potting soil, and it will bloom for many years.
boxwood, boxwood, are often grouped together in foundation plantings or to form low hedges. Dwarf boxwood trees are popular for use in formal country or English-style landscapes. They respond well to pruning, making them popular as topiary and bonsai plants. The fun of using this plant is pruning it to be anything you want.
The art of tree pruning They are living sculptures! These creations combine art and plants for eye-catching display in home gardens. Like giant outdoor bonsai, these unique silhouettes provide interesting textures and dimensions to the landscape.
Aloe vera It thrives in a shallow clay pot. Locals refer to this native wonder as the Arizona century plant. It is rumored to release a 12-inch flower from its heart once every 100 years. I find that they bloom every 10-15 years when properly cared for. They prefer a bold, well-filtered aloe vera blend.
Autumn sage, Salvia, is the tallest flowering sage plant that signals spring with a continuous broadcast of flowers through the fall. Hummingbirds and gardeners fall in love with this knee-length pant that deserves a prominent spot in the hottest parts of the garden. Javelina is deer resistant.
Fountain grass, Penisetum, waves merrily with the slightest mountain breeze, adding instant drama to the otherwise gentle yard. The plants look great as standalone specimens and make handsome partners when combined with trailing plants such as sweet potato vine.
Gardenia It is known for its strong scent and grows best as a patio specimen in partial shade. Gardenia roots don’t like to be disturbed, so choose a larger 18-inch container for years of evergreen yard enjoyment.
Roselle – Oversized blooms and bright neon colors make this tropical hibiscus a yard favorite. Provide plenty of sunshine and bi-monthly feedings for Watters Flower Power to keep this bold bloomer popping through the fall.
Lavender It is almost synonymous with perfume. The most famous aromatic herb is potpourri. Its flowers and leaves, especially after drying, have a wonderful scent. Lavender therefore bridges the gap between plants with aromatic foliage and those with strong-smelling flowers.
Roses They are very easy to grow in the dry mountain air, but they love it here. It thrives in larger containers at least 18 inches wide. Try Easy Elegant, Knockout and Carpet roses for a lasting fragrance every month through the growing season. Feed every two weeks with Waters Flower Power that has flowers larger than your shrub.
Rosemary Quickly forms a hedge of aromatic evergreen foliage. The profuse clear blue flowers add a charming effect. The leaves can be used as a delicious herb in cooking. Plums are well pruned but are also excellent in their natural form without pruning.
Yucca It is a gorgeous Southwestern native that produces 4 sticks of bright trumpet flowers that are irresistible to hummingbirds. Bloom towers over the hill with sword-shaped foliage. Indispensable for sunny hydroponic gardens used to grow evergreens.
Join the garden fun! Free garden classes are offered every Saturday from 9:30 to 11 at the Watters Garden Center where we delve into growing better. Check out this spring schedule posted at: WattersGardenCenter.com and look for the “Garden Class” link. You can also visit the garden center for a program.
February 4 at 9:30 am – Prepare the soil for growing success
February 11 at 9:30 AM – Mountain fruit trees and heavy harvest
February 18 at 9:30 AM – Gardening for newcomers
February 25 at 9:30 AM – Evergreen plants that bloom early
March 4 at 9:30 am – Spring garden to-do list for better gardens
Garden Lessons Schedule for February 2023
Until next week, I’ll be helping gardeners grow better here at Watters Garden Center.
This article was written by Ken Lin. He can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contact him through his website at WattersGardenCenter.com or Top10Plants.com.