The Q&A Archives: Container Flowers for a July Wedding

Question: I am planning to use 4 to 5 clay pots filled with plants as table centrepieces for my July 26th wedding. The guests will take the pots home as favours at the end of the evening. I would like to know: a) what plants to use; b) when to plant the pots; c) what is the minimum size of pot to use? Helen Maclean Toronto, Ont. Canada

Answer: I would recommend you purchase some colorful annual plants to fill your containers. It's a little easier--and more reliable--to plant transplants instead of starting from seed. You can really choose any size container--probably no smaller than 6" in diameter would be best. Remember, the smaller the container, the more often it will have to be watered. Also, clay pots are porous and will require more frequent waterings than plastic or glazed ceramic pots. Since you will probably have a lot to do in preparation for the big day, I would recommend choosing easy, reliable flowers. Impatiens would make a pretty centerpiece. They need light but not full sun. Petunias are an old favorite, and very easy to grow. Pansies are also a sweet-looking flower.Both of these need full sun. Nasturtiums, marigolds, and zinnias (small varieties) do well in containers. Allysum is a delicate flower with a nice aroma; it would look nice mixed in with one of the larger flowers. You can plant them any time now, though if you are growing them outdoors they will need protection from any frost. (If you plan to grow them indoors I recommend growing them under lights or in a greenhouse.) Burpee sells a variety of "Sure Start Plants", see pages 12-15.

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