Planting Update: 10 Tips for Planting Flowers in Containers

I got my flowers planted last weekend. I posted a little about that and then ended up with some questions about fertilizer and what I do for my plants. I thought I would take some pictures and show you.

I have quite a bit of a shaded area. The first two pictures are of the north side of my house and the last picture is to the east but it’s under my front porch. Everything here gets primarily shade. I buy about 130 starter plants to cover this area. For here I always get impatiens. I get a variety pack I think it’s called cherry blossom…I’m not sure.

I thought I would show you a picture of last summer so you can see how the plants looked by July.

They really get big and fill out nicely.

As far as care for them…I water them regularly and fertilize them about once a week or so. I don’t really keep track. I just fertilize them on a day when I have a little bit of extra time.

I try to get the most bang for my bucket as it’s expensive to buy all of the plants. Rather than buy prefilled hanging baskets, I make my own. I saved my hanging baskets from the previous year, emptied out the soil, put fresh potting soil in them, and planted two individual plants of Supertunias from Proven Winners. I only need two plants for this oversized pot. They look sparse now but in two weeks they will be covering the soil.

This is what my hanging baskets looked like by July of last year. WOW, right?? This year I got one white and one pink plant. Last year I got one dark pink and one light pink. By September the flowers were touching the ground.

Supertunias deadhead themselves. They are super low maintenance. I fertilize these the same amount I fertilize the other plants.

I use Jack’s Petunia Feed for these. You can find it HERE.

The Supertunias are about $4.25 each. With two of them in a pot that makes $8.50 per pot. That’s a great deal for a hanging basket. Yes, I’m delayed a week or two in blooms but before you know it they will be big and beautiful.

In this pot, I have one geranium, one Supertunia, and some alyssum. Here is how these ended up last year.

This year they didn’t have the variegated leaf Supertunias so I got this purply color. Last year I put two geraniums in and this year I just put one in. Again, now they look a little sparse but they will soon be covering all of the dirt.

The rest of my pots all have some form of Sunpatiens in them. I love Sunpatiens. They are fine in sun or shade. I love that. They come in lots of different colors. Like Supertunias they fill up space quickly. Sunpatiens are a new experiment here by the front door. I used to fill them the same as the pots in the above picture but it was too shaded here. This year I got a potato vine and added two Sunpatiens plants. I love these with the variegated leaves.

I also filled these two with white Sundpatiens. These will go out to the cemetery soon for my husband’s grave. I keep them there for about two weeks over Memorial Day and then I bring them back home. In no time these will be 18-24″ across and covered in flowers. They bloom for the entire year. I fertilize these once a week or so too.

I will generously spray these with Liquid Fence. It is a deer and rabbit repellent and it works. If it rains, you will need to spray it again. You can find it HERE. I love this stuff. Deer got my flowers up by the house one year but since I started using Liquid Fence, I’ve had no problems.

I was heartbroken when I saw the deer had eaten my plants. UGH.

This is another variety of Sunpatiens. These are on the north side of the house.

Hopefully, it won’t be too long and my house will be full of blossoming flowers. The picture below is from last year in July. Oh, I love it.

I was standing at the check out at the nursery and thought to myself…oh, this is an awful lot of money to spend on flowers. I think it was close to $150 just for plants…after I throw in some potting soil…another $50. That’s $200 spent on flowers. UGH.

Then I got to thinking…people spent $200 on hobbies all of the time! I will spend lots of time enjoying and caring for the plants from now until mid-October. They bring me so much joy. If I pencil that out, that’s 5 months…that’s $40 a month. It’s not even the cost of one hotel overnight and a nice meal. The $40 is about the price of one bouquet of fresh flowers per month. I’ll take this over fresh flowers any day!! I might cut back or skrimp on other things but my flowers…nope.

My best advice for people wanting to grow flowers in containers-
1- ALWAYS, every year, replace at least half of the soil in your planters with fresh new POTTING SOIL
2- Buy your plants from a reputable supplier
3- Fertilize once a week with a fertilizer that’s right for the plants. I use Miracle Grow on everything except the Supertunias.
4- Water regularly. Where I live once August hits, I water every other day at a minimum. When I do water, I soak them until water comes out of the bottom of the containers.
5- Make sure the plants you bought are the right plants for where you are putting them. Shade plants really do need shade. Sun plants really do need sun. If you don’t know, I recommend Sunpatiens.
6- Don’t put too many plants in one container. You can fill them with more than the label says but you don’t need to fill them full when you are initially planting the containers. Soil should show when you first plant your starter plants.
7- Regularly deadhead your plants meaning pull off dried-up blossoms.
8- I personally think plants look best and more stunning when they are in a thought-out colorway. I have my plants ranging from white to pink to red…maybe a purply pink in there too but I don’t add yellow or blue. I know it’s odd but for my house, I think the display is more stunning when I stick to that color scheme.
9- Plant your own containers. It saves a ton of money.
10- Take time to admire them. Winter will be here way too soon so enjoy them while you can!!

That’s pretty much everything I can think of for advice on growing flowers in containers. If you have other questions, please ask in the comment section.

27 thoughts on “Planting Update: 10 Tips for Planting Flowers in Containers”

  1. This was very helpful and interesting to me. Thanks so much for sharing the information.
    I would love it if you would do a similar blog post on your garden…what you plant and why as well as how you use your harvest. I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for all the time you devote to it!

    1. Your flowers are beautiful . And believe me you aren’t the only one enjoying those flowers I’m sure everyone in the neighborhood looks that them. Enjoy and money well spent ❤️

  2. Judith Fairchild

    Instead of $40.00 bouquet of flowers you get ongoing show of bouquets all most all the way around the house. They’re beautiful.

  3. Jo, thank you for this post (and of course all of your other posts): I always love seeing your photos of your yard with your flowers in bloom. I appreciate your sharing the information about what and how you plant that results in such gorgeous beds and containers. Wishing you and all of your delightful family a wonderful weekend.

  4. That’s a lot of enjoyment for the money. Would not cover 1 night hotel w/dinner in my neck of the woods!

    Gardening and the results are worth every penny spent. This year my total bill for flowers, pots, baskets is $250. It’s gonna be fantastic!

    Happy Saturday Jo :-)

  5. Thank you for the helpful information. My husband always did the planting. Since he passed, I’ve felt overwhelmed with everything that has to be done.

    I love following your posts.

  6. I appreciate your blog so much! I know people have reported difficulty reading it lately. I use an IPad and since the changes I can no longer find a button for “previous post” or “newer post.” These buttons had initially remained, but now it seems as though that part gets stuck loading. If I get anything, it looks like this: version”:”20211209″,”show_thumbnails”:true,”show_date”:true,”show_context”:true,”layout”:”grid”,”headline”:”Related”,”items”:[{“id”:37237,”url”:”https:\/\/\/quilt-shop-tour-the-little-red-hen\/”,”url_meta”:{“origin”:84628,”position”:0},”title”:”Quilt Shop Tour: The Little Red Hen”,”

  7. Liquid Fence is the BEST! We live super rural and my plants are their salad bar. The only negative is that you need to spray when you don’t want to be outside. Boy, it sure stinks! It’s no surprise that the deer leave my hosta alone!

  8. Jo;
    Thank You so much for the tips. Like above I love seeing pictures of your yard and flowers. That is the info I was trying to find on your blog but the topics at top that is garden related does not have the info you just shared. AGAIN THANK YOU.

  9. You always have beautiful flowers and it adds such beauty to your property. It is so worth it (time and money). Not only do you receive such enjoyment from them, so does anybody passing your house!

  10. Enjoyed hearing about your beautiful plants. We have a lot of shade or partial shade, so we plant impatiens and coleus. Good to know about Supertunias! I have had such awful luck with petunias, but I will look for these in the future. Really, no deadheading? I’ll give them a shot! I think I planted a Sunpatiens this year–threw out the tag already but it looks like yours.

  11. Pamela Dempsey

    Oh, Jo! Your flowers are always so beautiful ! I am interested in the white planter that Kalissa’s husband made for you. It’s so beautiful filled with your impatiens I enjoyed your video with Kalissa the other night!

  12. Sherry Whalen

    It will be lovely! Thank you for the tip about the ‘Liquid Fence’. I haven’t planted many flowers lately and I have to have my vegetable gardens fenced, we are in town and don’t have many deer, but we almost have to kick the rabbits out of the way when we go out in our yard – there are so many! I took my houseplants outside for the summer and already the rabbits have bitten off leaves – they don’t seem to eat the leaves, they just bite them off – so I need to do something to protect them. The rabbits spent the winter eating our shrubs and raspberries too. We’ve had a lot of snow over winter and a lot of rain this spring so I have planted very little in my garden so far. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    1. Jo, somehow I missed the previous blog you mentioned at the beginning of this post (the one about fertilizer). Could you tell me what you use to fertilize your container flowers? I have read a little about the Supertunias but have never seen photos like yours. I will probably have to drive to a Colorado nursery to find them. I am excited about the Sunpatiens and will have to look for those also. Your hard work now will look magnificent later.

    1. Here is a search engine that allows you to type in your zip code and then you can find sellers of Proven Winner Supertunias.

  13. Beryl in Owatonna

    I use Miracle Grow also. I mix it in every gallon of water I fix. I use it all of the time inside also. I have one violet that I have split up twice into 4 or more plants and it blooms nearly all of the time! I love it. Others don’t grow as quickly as that one does.
    I have trouble with squirrels digging and/or burying things. Last year they dug up a couple of Coleus and just left them in the pot. They also pulled a window bird feeder off my window. GRRR!
    I think I put too many plants in a container…will have to re-evaluate my containers!
    Thanks for your help!!

  14. Your planters always look stunning, Jo! It’s amazing how just two plants in a pot can make such a fantastic display!

  15. My plan this year was to plant my own flowers in my hanging baskets. When I went to purchase the plants they were going to cost me more to purchase separately. I was so sad. But I did get some very nice pre made baskets this year. I may have to start traveling to find cheaper plants to plant next year

  16. In front of the house I plant “Profusion Zinnia” directly in the ground where it’s very sunny. This variety is bushy and shorter and not every greenhouse has them. They’re so hardy & don’t need a lot of deadheading. Impatients and trailing petunias in window boxes.
    No one should deny themselves things that give them small joys. My quilts are scraps so they’re not a big investment. Every 2 months I take one to a longarmer for finishing and I plan to keep doing that because it makes me happy to be surrounded by them.

  17. Your yard looks amazing year to year and I hope to find the Supertunias here in TN. I really don’t enjoy deadheading plants and these would be perfect. I usually plant miniature Zinnias across the front of our home, which brings the butterflies & bees joy. I will have to try the liquid fence for the critters that like to eat my plants. I look forward to your yard posts this year.

  18. Karen in Ohio

    I am a Master Gardener Volunteer and you are right on with your information and tips. Beautiful flowers and planting. You have excellent taste! Iowa is colder than Ohio. We had a late frost so we have been moving with caution but now have the green light. Enjoy the planting and the money was cheaper than therapy!

  19. Bonnie Hendrickson

    I have tried just about everything and the deer, rabbis & squirrels eat and destroy all my plants. Then I read about mixing up raw scrambled eggs and water and spraying the plants, 10-2 and now they leave them alone.

  20. Jo, your garden always looks beautiful. I live in CA and am having trouble even finding impatient and the price of the petunias are $8.99. I think I need to move to your state. I look forward to pictures later in the summer.

  21. Your flowers are beautiful. I live in an apartment and only have room for African Violets.
    I’m not seeing the previous post, next post, availability any more. I only get one post a day and used to enjoy being able to check the others. Is that no longer available?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top