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How To Plant Flowers in Large Planters

How To Plant Flowers in Large Planters

Plants are no longer an exclusively outdoor accessory, as they have made their way indoors and into our working and living areas. If your home or office has a large open area, integrating tall garden planters into the interior design can perk up your space.

Step-by-Step Guide in Planting Flowers in Large Planters

These planters are practical accents since they can be transferred from one place to another under the aesthetic or weather changes. The heat can take its toll on your plants, but with larger pots, the soil volume will keep the roots of your plants cool and protected, thus increasing their lifespan.

This may be an expensive venture, but incorporating it yourself isn’t that hard, and here are steps you can follow:

Step 1: Consider Proper Placement

The very first thing to consider is choosing the right spot. These things are movable but heavy, so save time and energy by deciding where it should be placed beforehand. Make sure it is situated according to its environment as well. You want your plants to thrive and look pretty, but you also need to make sure that they are strategically visible, so pick the best spot!

Step 2: Picking the Right Pot

You will need tons of potting soil to fill up your planter, so that’s something you should consider financially and logistically.

Other than that, the pot should also be sturdy enough to contain the soil. Larger pots, as compared to smaller pots, come with the advantage of moisture retention so that you won’t have to water just as often. 

The volume also allows for more significant and wider root growth, therefore making your plant a whole deal healthier. Other things to consider include:

  • Pot Material – clay pots and fiber-line pots are cheaper but tend to dry out much faster while glazed or plastic containers can hold the moisture longer but at a much higher price tag.
  • Size – this will be determined by how much space you have around it. Large pots are not recommended in cramped areas and are usually placed in gardens where they can be incorporated as the focal point of a landscape.
  • Weight – this must be taken into account if ever you are planning to take your planter to an upper floor. Its weight may cause structural damage, so best be sure by checking how heavy the structure can manage.
  • Drainage – your chosen pot must have holes beneath it to drain out the excess water. Waterlogged soil will damage the roots and eventually kill the plant. You may use ones with drainage holes or drill the holes yourself.
Choosing the Flower Plants to Use

Step 3: Choosing the Flower Plants to Use

There is a multitude to choose from, so where do you look first?

When looking through plant lists and catalogs, you need to understand that these are living organisms. This means that they need to be biologically coordinated for them to have a long life. You can do so by choosing plants with similar water and sunlight requirements.

If you’re planning to make a flower arrangement, this will look nice for the time being. However, it won’t be sustainable in the long run. The crowdedness of the foliage and possibly the roots may present a risk for disease. This idea may work for short-term events like house/office parties, weddings, birthdays, and the like.

If you want the setup to last for a long time, choose the plants that are easy to manage and “neighbor-friendly.” Planting small shrubs will require more soil, but you can also include non-organic materials at bottom 1/3 of the pot. This is also one way to reuse, reduce, and recycle your plastic bottles! 

This traditional approach may give your planter a sparse look in the first month, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Eventually, your plants will fill up your planter, making it a sight for sore eyes.

Step 4: Deciding on the Number of Flower Plants

You can come up with various plant combinations, but we can always start with the basics. 

Going for the traditional way of planting will give your planter a mediocre look in the first few weeks up to a month. It will look virtually empty, but that’s because your plants are using up the space to grow more roots. The increased air circulation will give your plants more breathing room, making them healthier.

For 10 to 12-inch planters, limit your plant count to 3 to 4; as for 16 to 20-inch ones, opt to plant from 5 to 8 plants.

Then again, this will depend on the size and growth speed of the plant, so be careful with choosing plants that grow way too fast. You wouldn’t want one plant ruining the party by taking up all the space.

Step 5: Including a Non-Biodegradable Medium

Working with a tall planter is already a heavy workload. With that, we suggest you not fill up the entire pot with soil. Instead, fill the bottom 1/3 part with light non-biodegradable material such as the following:

  • Milk jugs
  • Plastic water and soda bottles
  • Product containers
  • Soda bottles
  • Plastic foam peanuts inside plastic bags

These planter inserts will give the soil space to breathe, thus decreasing the accumulation of harmful bacteria. This also contributes to the overall health of the plant’s roots.

In the event that soil may wash over and into the crevices, you may wrap them with fabric or a fine mesh.

You may also use rubble such as rocks or broken ceramic and terracotta pieces, but this may make your pot heavier and harder to move. The weight adds to the pot; however, it may keep it stable and prevent it from tipping over.

Step 6: Preparing the Right Soil Composition

Use high-quality potting soil, not garden soil.

Garden soil is heavy and full of components that may affect plant growth negatively. On the other hand, potting soil is sterile, formulated with pumice or perlite, and has both good water holding and drainage capacities.

After putting in the non-biodegradable fillers, put the soil on top of it. Since you have a large container, you may not need to fill it to the brim with soil. Provide a headspace of ½ to 2 inches, but you can play with the small area terrain. Take note that the amount of soil needed may get costly, but having enough surely gives your plants a boost.

When putting in the soil, do not press or pat it in. The air spaces will keep your plants healthy. Once done, you may wet the soil with water so it can settle naturally. You can also add in more soil if there is a need for it.

Step 7: Planting in Sequence

Contrast is key! Find ways to compose the placement of your plants. Make sure that each one has a role, either as a focal point or as a complement. Make use of varying heights to make the presentation look full, with the taller plants at the rear end and the shorter ones upfront. You may also use mid-height shrubs as fillers.

Also, keep in mind that if you’re planting a big plant in a large pot, you will need to change the soil every few years. Not the entire thing though – just the top layer. Add new soil with fertilizer that has time-release properties. In doing so, always look out for the roots. Any damage you may cause could kill the plant. You must also keep the same depth as the plant has been initially placed. 

Step 8: Finishing Touches

Now that you have all that noted, there are a few things you can consider.

Cachepots can add an aesthetic touch to your planter, especially if the ones you’re using looks quite ordinary for your taste. Some of these even come with drainage holes so you won’t need to drain out the excess water frequently manually.

You can add potting soil, peat moss, and wooden shavings around the plants as you please. Just be careful not to overdo it!

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Carlos Warren

Growing up in Texas, I was fascinated by the world of science and invention, thanks in large part to my father's work at Dow Chemical Company. However, my true passion lay in the natural world, and I became an expert in organic gardening and composting at a young age. I spent hours studying the microbiological communities in our family garden, using a microscope to define the quality of the soil. My love for farming and gardening led me to explore new techniques and methods, constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible.