A deck flower pot adds color and texture to your outdoor space. Once you choose a container that fits the space and style of your deck area, you get to fill it with plants. Choosing the right flowers depends on the growing conditions, available space in the pot and personal preference.
Annuals vs. Perennials
The idea of flowers that come back each year is appealing, but perennials often bloom only for a short period. Warmth-loving annuals add beauty to your flower pot all summer long. Most annuals have colorful flowers that bloom throughout the growing season. The foliage also tends to stay green throughout summer. Examples of flowers that last the summer are marigolds (Tagetes), scarlet sage (Salvia splendens) and coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides).
Assessing the growing conditions of the potted flowers is a key step in choosing the specific varieties. Choose a location on the deck for the flower pot. Check out the amount of daily sunlight the area receives so you know if you should choose plants that need full sunlight, such as scarlet sage, or plants that grow in shade, such as primrose (Primula vulgaris). For the easiest care, choose flowers that have similar requirements for sunlight, fertilizing and water.
Number of Plants
The size of the container ultimately helps decide on the type, size and number of flowers. An odd number of plants is often used to create a symmetrical balance. The University of Illinois Extension suggests one core plant in the middle, such as a tall foliage plant or ornamental grass, surrounded by two, four or six flowering plants for an odd total number. Look at the mature size when choosing potted flowers. All of the flowers you choose need to have enough space to grow in the container you choose.
Contrast comes in the features of the flowers, including the height, flower color, foliage color and textures. For the best variety, choose one or two plants each from these growth patterns: those that grow tall, bush out horizontally and cascade over the side of the container. Height can come from plants such as feather reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora) or flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata). Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) and petunias (Petunia x hybrida) are examples of flowers that fill out the base of the container garden. The morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) is an example of a flower that will cascade over the edge.