Mixed planters are sold in garden centers in the spring. For a price, you can buy the pot, soil, and annuals already assembled, planted, and allowed to grow together. However, by buying the materials yourself, you can save some money. This article will detail how to make an annual planter.
First, acquire the pot. Look around the yard to see if you have any decorative pots from previous years just lying around the yard. Decorative pots can cost upwards of five or ten dollars in garden centers so utilize any you have. If you don’t have any pots, ask friends and relatives if they are getting rid of any or simply buy them from the garden center.
For soil, you can buy a bag of potting soil from a garden center, or use soil from around the yard. Soil from the yard may contain diseases and usually is too heavy for planting annuals in pots, so at least mix in a good amount of organic matter. Therefore, the best option is to buy potting soil. You can put gravel, stones, or sand in the bottom of the pot if you desire to save on soil.
Lastly, acquire the annuals. You will want three types of texture and three colors, although green counts as a valid color for plants grown for leaves such as dracena spikes. A small planter will fit three plants. For a medium planter, buy five plants. Seven plants can fit into a large planter.
Use a plant such as a dracena, coleus, or similar plant with upright growth for the center of the pot. Contrast a trailing plant such as a wave petunia. Lastly, balance these out with a geranium, new Guiana impatien, sweet potato, or a wave petunia of a different color. Try to have all three types of plants either similar or different rather than two looking similar with an odd one out. Place the plants together and see if they go together well. For a medium planter, plant a center plant then the two of each other type of plant next to each other to make it look like three plants. For a large planter, alternate between the different plants for two sets of three around a contrasting center plant. Of course, the garden center is not the only source of plants. Lamium, archangel, and similar perennials can also grow well in annual planters and can be dug from the yard.
By following these general means of acquiring the materials needed to put your own annual planter together. You still have to spend money, but can save on the bottom line. Keep the pots in the shed or garage to preserve them in winter, so as to be able to use them year after year. With proper selection, your planters will look as good as the ones already made in the garden center.