The Q&A Archives: Outdoor plants and flowers

Question: My mother has several very large pots on the back deck of her house. For Mother's Day she wants us all to contribute something to these pots. They are in sunlight all day, what would be the best plants and flowers to fill these pots?

Answer: Start with a good quality potting soil to fill the pots. Tropical plants boast a wonderful variety of foliage textures and colors. Mix plants with at least three textures of foliage to make a container garden interesting. Along with tropical foliage plants, you can use flowering annuals such as Vinca, Wax Begonia, Ivy Geranium, Bacopa, Calibrachoa, Torenia, New Guinea Impatiens, Verbena, Portulaca and Lantana. Caladium cultivars are available in a great variety of foliage colors, shapes and sizes. They can also help ?echo? the color of flowers in the container. Some combinations you might use include Costus 'Variegatus', Alocasia, Cordyline 'Purple Knight', Clerodendron ugandense, and Hedychium. Or, combine Canna 'Purpurea', Begonia 'Benitochiba', Euphorbia 'Burrows Silver', Rhoeo bermudensis, and Iresine formosa. Or simply choose your mother's favorite flowers and pack each container with several plants. Most of all, enjoy your project!

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