Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to fill a planter

You may have noticed that I love flowers.

Yea, just a little.

I love planter pots out on the porch, but they can be so expensive.
They usually start at about $30 and go up from there.


This year I filled mine myself
And it cost about $16 to fill 3 of them.

It will cost you a little more if you have to buy the pots and the dirt,
but once you have it you can refill them each year pretty easily.

You can also winter over your plants inside if you have space in front of a sunny window.
That way in the spring, just fertilize and take them out.
I tried to winter mine in the garage, but the hubs put something big and heavy in front
of them and I couldn't get to them to water. *sigh* 

So I have to buy new plants this spring.
Which is ok because it's inexpensive and I love an excuse to browse the garden center.

Supplies if you are starting from the beginning:

Decorative outer pot - this usually will not have a hole in the bottom.
A great place to look for these is Ross or TJ Maxx and such.
Those stores have them for cheaper then home improvement stores.
If your decorative outer pot has a drain hole in the bottom you dont need the inner pot.

Inner pot - You can see that I have a cheap terra-cotta pot inside of my decorative pot.
This is for drainage reasons. The big decorative pots usually don't have a drain hole in the bottom.
The terra cotta pot is great because you can over water, and your bigger outer pot will hold the extra water and the inner terra-cotta pot will let the water seep through to water the plants.

Potting Soil - self fertilizing

The way you arrange your plants is key

Get one larger, tall growing plant to put in the middle.
I like to use a type of decorative grass.
If you look at the ready made planters decorative grass is almost always used.

Get a colorful - medium height flower to plant next to the grass.
Geraniums are nice, but I have a lot of those so I chose dwarf-marigolds instead.
Make sure they won't grow taller then the decorative grass.

Get two different plants that will grow over the sides of the pot and hang down.
This year I chose wave-petunias, and alyssum.
In the past I have used coleus or dusty miller too.
Those are nice because they don't flower, they just have a
different color and texture for their leaves.
Also, sweet potato vines really grow fast and flow nicely, but they can be hard to find.

I bought 3 grasses and then I got a 6 pack of each of the other plants.
It worked out perfectly because I was filling 3 containers
so I could put two of each plant in each container.

But I ended up using only one wave-petunia in each container.
They grow pretty big so one will be plenty. I will plant the other three in my flower bed.

$2 each for 3 decorative grass
$6 for a 6 pack of wave-petunias
(you can use regular petunias too, they cost less but they don't overflow as nicely)
$2 each for a pony pack (6 pack) of alyssum and marigolds

Total $16


If you are re-filling last years planters don't forget to fertilize!

I use Osmocote. You can get it at your garden center.
I like it because it will not burn your plants, and that's important for planters.
If you are filling your pots for the first time the potting soil usually contains fertilizer,
so you wont need this.

If you are planting herbs or strawberries or things you are planning to eat in these containers,
you may want to fertilize with an organic fertilizer instead.

Your planters will not be as full as the ones you get at the store, but give it time.
In a few weeks they will be overflowing.
Just don't forget to water.



Lauren @ Summit St Joy said...

Thanks for the tips, Rachael! I have so much to learn about plants and such... definitely not a green thumb but hope to get there some day :)
And thanks for stopping by and commenting on the ikea post on summit street!
blessings to you,
lauren @

Kelley @ said...

Hi! Visiting from the Shabby Creek Cottage. Thank you for all the planting tips! Im going to start a small garden with my daughter and I need all the help I can get!

Im your newest follower.. I would love a follow back if you like my site too. And please feel free to share this at my Friday party starting tomorrow!

Denise Casarez said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial.... I am an aspiring green thumb... not quite there yet, but hoping!! Your newest follower...

Denise @


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