By Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners
Have you been planting the same flowers in your front porch pots for years simply because you’re not sure what else will work? You’re not alone! Many people are hesitant to try something new, but this is your year to freshen things up. We’ll show you five ideas for decorating sunny porches with patio pots here—ideas that have been proven to work so you can plant them with confidence.
To make a big color splash that can be seen from the curb, plant Supertunia® petunias. It’s easy to spot these large, cascading flowers from a distance and since they come in nearly every color of the rainbow, you are sure to find a few that match your outdoor décor.
Supertunias flower best in at least six hours of sun per day and thrive with consistent moisture and feeding. Mix some continuous release plant food into the soil at planting time, then supplement with water soluble plant food every third time you water. A huge timesaving advantage over other petunias is that Supertunias don’t need to be deadheaded, meaning you won’t need to pick off any of the spent flowers to keep them blooming all the way through the fall.
Cool blue tones and white containers are ideal for smaller front porches. Color analysts explain how cool colors recede, which makes a space feel larger than it actually is. If your porch feels a bit cramped, try using a cool palette of blue, purple, silver, white, green or chartreuse.
Our Neptune container recipe includes plants that flower best in at least six hours of sun per day. These types of annuals are a bit less hungry than petunias which need to be fed more often. Mix some continuous release plant food into the soil at time of planting, then feed every 1-2 weeks with water soluble plant food.
2 Superbena® Stormburst Verbena
2 Superbells® Yellow Chiffon™ Calibrachoa
2 Laguna® Sky Blue Lobelia
1 Rockin’® Playin’ the Blues® Salvia
Optional small pot: 1 Snowstorm® Glacier Blue™ Sutera
Cheerful, sunny yellow flowers are popular this year, perhaps since the Pantone Color Institute has named “Illuminating” yellow as the 2021 Pantone Color of the Year. If you haven’t tried it yet, maybe this is the year! There is something about the color yellow that is uplifting and welcoming—a beautiful sentiment to convey to guests you greet at your front entrance.
These terra cotta urns and bowls are filled with a mix of argyranthemums and calendulas which come in a variety of yellow and orange shades. Argyranthemums are taller, bushy plants that can be positioned behind the shorter, mounded calendulas. All grow well in full sun to part shade, which means you’ll need a minimum of four hours of sun (preferably afternoon sun) to get this look. They also bloom best in climates where the temperature tends to cool down at night during the summer. Mix some continuous release plant food into the soil at time of planting, then feed every 1-2 weeks with water soluble plant food.
Love the look of “Illuminating” yellow but prefer a mix of flowers in your porch pots? Try our Rockin’ Out recipe which features bright yellow Goldilocks Rocks® bidens mixed with purple and white plants. With Goldilocks gettin’ her grove on and Superbells Holy Smokes!® calibrachoa as flashy as the painted faces at a KISS concert, you will totally be Rockin’ Out with these fun plants! A pair of these energetic pots flanking your front door will let all your guests know that yours is the party house on the block.
We’ve paired our Rockin’ Out recipe here with additional plants that enjoy a minimum of six hours of sun per day and won’t wilt if you miss a day or two of watering. Mix some continuous release plant food into the soil at time of planting, then feed every 1-2 weeks with water soluble plant food.
Sun and drought tolerant plants in AquaPots® self-watering containers
If your climate tends to be warm and dry, choose varieties that are heat tolerant and can handle the lack of humidity in the air. Succulent plants, grasses, and others with thicker, more durable foliage tend to be a good fit for such spaces. We’ll tell you about the plants we used here, then head on over to find more options on our Heat Is On idea board.
At this front entrance, we filled AquaPots ceramic self-watering containers with a mix of sun and heat loving annual plants that prefer a minimum of six hours of sun per day. At time of planting, we added two scoops of continuous release plant food into the pot’s water reservoir. Those nutrients will keep the plants fed all season long without the need for additional fertilizing.
Large Planter in Front
1 Purple Fountain Grass Pennisetum
4 Mojave® Red Portulaca
Meteor Shower® Verbena
Truffula™ Pink Gomphrena
Want to find more container recipes for your porch pots? Use our container garden recipe search tool to explore 1000+ recipes by color scheme, pot size, a favorite plant, sun/shade requirements and more.
Find oodles of inspiration in our all-new, 40-page Gardener’s Idea Book. Request a free copy here.
By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
To learn more, click here .
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