How to Create Swoon-Worthy Combination Planters

Creating swoon-worthy combination planters may seem challenging for the novice gardener. It can be overwhelming when researching online and seeing all the possible combinations and options. But Green Side Up is here to help. Follow our step-by-step guide and learn how to create swoon-worthy combination planters that will wow your neighbors!

Step 1: Select the Appropriate Container

There are many things to consider when selecting a container for your combination planter. The most important thing to look for is drainage holes! If water has nowhere to drain, it will sit in the container, and your plants will suffer. Next, select a container that is the appropriate size for the area where you will display it. The bigger the area, the bigger the pot needs to be.

Step 2: Full Sun or Part Shade?

Knowing the growing conditions of the area where the container will live is vital! For example, if the area receives 1-3 hours of morning sun, this would be considered part shade. It will be considered full sun if the area gets 4-6 hours of afternoon. Once you have determined the growing conditions, you can safely select your plants.

Now that you know whether you need sun or shade-loving plants, you can enjoy the fun part — plant buying! At Green Side Up, we make this part very user-friendly. For example, at our garden center, all shade-loving flowers will be under the shade cloth, and full sun flowers will be in full sun!

In addition to selecting sun-loving plants vs. shade-loving plants, it is essential to consider the water requirements for the plants you choose. For example, if you wish to have a succulent planter, select drought-tolerant plants that do not require as much water. Do not pair these succulent-like plants with plants such as ferns, which need more water.

Step 3: Contrast, Texture, and Bold Colors

Once you have the logistics of water and sunlight out of the way, you can begin building your container! When selecting plants, you will want contrasting colors—for example, the chartreuse of lysmachia pairs nicely with the purple of the Cane Begonia. Throw in an asparagus fern to add green to the mix, and you have a bold planter! This mixture also provides quite a bit of texture to your planter.

Step 4: Thrill, Fill, and Spill!

Perhaps the ultimate goal when creating a combination planter is to add interest from top to bottom. The thrill, fill, and spill combination has always been the ultimate recipe for achieving the most soon-worthy combination planter.

For thrill, select a plant that grows vertically. Typically, this is the focal point of the planter. When selecting this plant, choose one of the contrasting colors to the other plants in the container.

For fillers, select plants that grow horizontally or outward. These should fill the space. But, again, contrast is always the game plan. Impatiens, coleus, and petunias are great options for fillers.

Last, and possibly the most important, is the spillers! This plant should “spill” over the container. These types of plants are considered cascading growers. Choose from plants such as lysmachia, calibrachoa, lobelia, and torenia.

Depending on the size of the container, you may use multiple plants for the thrillers, fillers, and spillers.


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