Containers forum: What plants would you plant in this planter?

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Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Oct 13, 2014 5:31 PM CST
Hi, I am a rookie to the plant growing. Just a few days ago, I traded my big husky dog house for this big heavy ceramic planter (18"W x 18"H).
Thumb of 2014-10-13/fiat/7ef0be
Now I am wondering what kind of plant(s) I can and best plant in it? I live in zone 9b - the central valley of CA - like desert weather: hot&dry in summer and cold at night in winter (some rain too). Since this pot is huge and heavy (definitely even heavier when filled with soil), I have no plan to move indoor any time. So it will sit on some spot in my uncovered patio (partially open to east and south); then could be moved (rolled) to the patio side under the small overhang when it rains. That said, I have very few in mind of plants for the new home. I suppose the possible candidate categories include flowers (e.g., Iris), trees (e.g., ?), and low profile plants (e.g., Hostas). Some may suggest doing a collection of various plants? Or even plant bulbs in layers? I welcome all suggestions and ideas. Thank you. (Oh, I think I have the luxury of waiting for the right planting time for any chosen plants.)
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
[Last edited by fiat - Oct 13, 2014 5:32 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #716703 (1)
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 13, 2014 6:59 PM CST
WOW gorgeous pot.

I would go with something structural. (New Zealand Flax) Phormium 'Maori Queen, or any of the flax with color. I see a lot of New Zealand Flax in pots around San Francisco. I do not know what bulbs grow in your area. But I love Hyacinth because of the fragrance.


My other suggestion is going off in another direction. Sunny Knockout Rose, in the front with a Yucca ‘Color Guard’. The rose blooms all seasons and the fragrance is great. This combo you would not have to move it at all because it would be totally hardy to the temps in your area.

I would get the smaller rose size and you would be able to leave it in the pot longer without having to pot in a larger size pot.

http://www.brighterblooms.com/product/sunny-knockout-rose.ht...
http://www.gardensplendor.com/corp/yucca_colorguard.html
[Last edited by Cinta - Oct 13, 2014 7:03 PM (+)]
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Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Oct 13, 2014 8:11 PM CST
My first suggestion (and I always bring this up at garden clubs), is decide where your pot is going to be placed before planting. It will be heavy. however, you don't have to fill the whole pot up with potting soil, just make sure you have a good drainage hole. I always put a piece of landscape cloth over the hole to prevents slugs, etc., from crawling up. Coffee filters rot away too quickly. Then, if it's a very large pot I put some empty plastic soda or water bottles in the bottom to displace some of the soil (leave the caps on). The plant usually doesn't require a huge pot full of soil. I don't use packing peanuts -- too messy if you need to repot, and some of the newer packing ones are now water soluble.

Then you can have some fun picking plants. I always like the "thriller, filler, spiller" effect. A taller plant in the center, with about three other kinds (same variety) around this and then a couple of plants that spill (hang over the sides of the pot). I like Cordelyne as the taller plant. I've used Pentas, Salvias, Snapdragons, Petunias and other annuals just for the color. Creeping Jenny makes a lovely spiller. You could also think of a dwarf fruit tree.
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Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Oct 13, 2014 10:48 PM CST
Thanks, Cinta and Elfie. Both of your suggestions are taken for well consideration and deep study. Elfie's advice on preparing for pot use are surprisingly helpful for me, a beginner. Cinta's links help me for quick browsing at the suggested plants. You are all very helpful. Thank you. (I'll respond when done enough homework)

Since I am just starting to grow plants (houseplants), don't know much about plants especially those plants names are like a new language to me. If anyone could show pic related to the plants suggested, it would make me lot easier to catch idea and to be inspired. Appreciate all your help and advice.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 14, 2014 1:19 PM CST
The plant database here is excellent:
http://garden.org/plants/

You can choose plants to look at, or use the advanced search feature to find plants within selected parameters.

Your climate is too foreign to me to feel comfortable suggesting anything, but I wish you luck!
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Oct 14, 2014 2:57 PM CST
These are currently my plants in containers, which you can try to plant Schefflera, Yucca, Calamondin, Crassula ovata, Crassula ovata 'Gollum', Cycads,Lantana, Aeoniums, Plumeria.

Except for Plumeria, you can leave these plants outdoors year round, rain or shine. All are drought tolerant, though Calamondin would really love a bit more water for nicer blooms and later on fruits.

If you can find mature sizes of the succulents, then they can easily go into your container. My plants started smaller and have just grown bigger hence fitting in the bigger containers they are now in.

Schefflera
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Schefflera abricola
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Yucca
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Calamondin tree - has nice jasmine like blooms, I grow this for the little fruits, good for juice and marinades.
Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/d90d03
Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/96e2c5 Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/899d30

Crassula ovata
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Crassula ovata 'Gollum'
Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/f2a3eb

Cycad
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Lantana
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Aeonium arboreum
Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/4b5e88 Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/e4924a

Plumeria 'Celadine' - you may have to uproot the plant during winter, let it sleep indoors and bring it out again during Spring. It is dormant anyways during winter time.
Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/778670 Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/efad88

Other plants, like hostas and coleus, both will be gone by late Fall to winter, hostas are perennial, so will return in late Spring; while Coleus, you need to get cuttings or get a new plant for Spring.

Hostas are nice too, however I find that in our area, has to be in the shadiest part of our garden, will easily fry in our summer dry heat.
Then it is always a victim of slugs and snails, and by late Fall to winter, it will be an empty container, it will just come back next Spring. I would suggest you get the mini hostas, so it is not too crowded in the container. That was my mistake before..I was just experimenting which hostas will thrive here.
Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/a72852

Coleus grows well too in containers, so many cultivars to choose from, but they go kaput during Fall, unless you are able to get cuttings and grow them indoors for next Spring: otherwise, just get another Coleus seedling during Spring:
Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/8415bd Thumb of 2014-10-14/tarev/dd0dfd

Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Oct 14, 2014 11:23 PM CST
Great selection of options!
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Oct 15, 2014 12:06 PM CST
Tiffany, Thanks for the link of plant database. I bookmark it for good use and will check up all suggested plants I want.

Tarev, Thank you so much for presenting your potted plants that are close to my area. A brief scan of yours, first thing came my mind is the "Calamondin tree" (guess you know why). I'll dig in it more for further consideration.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Oct 17, 2014 5:45 PM CST
Ok, a little response to your kind suggestions: First, I am kind no fond of "color leaf" plants; shinning ever green leaves are my favorite (so nz flax and Cordyline fruticosa maybe as secondary consideration, BTW Cordyline fruticosa could grow to 10' tall!). Secondly, I must consider my zone, weather and environmental conditions. If consider combination pot setting, all plants better be tough/strong/resilient and drought/rain-tolerable. So (my personal inclination) a knockout rose could be the center piece, surrounded by some phenomenal Lavender, then rimed (spiller-ed) by ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea variegata). If I choose sunny knockout rose, there will be triple mixture of fragrance. So maybe a Double red knockout (no fragrance) be considered (I favor red more than yellow anyway). That's my thoughts so far. Oh, I wonder how would be possible and appreciable if put a Calamondin tree at center and combine with Lavender and ground ivy? Any thoughts or corrections? Thanks
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Oct 17, 2014 6:13 PM CST
I would not add anything with the Calamondin tree, the other plants will just compete with the moisture. Your container is not that big.

Good luck on whatever you choose Fiat..that is the fun or challenge later on..finding which one will work with your location and your watering needs. Smiling
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Oct 17, 2014 7:44 PM CST
Thanks, Tarev. I definitely turn to your input if decide to grow the Calamondin tree.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
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qwilter
Oct 21, 2014 6:20 AM CST
since you are new to growing & this will be outside year round, do something temp for now

Get an empty pot & turn it upside down in the planter.Or get a piece of chicken wire & scrunch it up & shove in there. Then get some plants, in smaller pots, & place inside planter, on top of the fillert. This time of year, put a Mum out there. Come the holidays, a poinsettia. Pots of Spring bulbs in winter.
Solves the problem of a too heavy to move pot, & you can experiment with plants.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Oct 21, 2014 11:40 AM CST
Jean, your suggested approach is a Great Idea! It will help a lot to see what one would want or don't want without committing...
I will be using the same approach on a pocket plant space by burying into the soil, some specimens (still in pots) to see if they will survive the extended sun exposure, fall/winter temps and neighborhood deer family. Then whichever specimens have good survivability, will be permanently planted in early spring. I know I will lose some specimens but just need to do the experiment.
[Last edited by webesemps - Oct 21, 2014 11:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Oct 21, 2014 12:18 PM CST

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Wonderful idea Jean. Thumbs up
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
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qwilter
Oct 21, 2014 1:09 PM CST
It's how I plant all my lg planters. Easier to move them about & I'm not stuck with a plant after the season is over.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Oct 21, 2014 11:28 PM CST
Thanks, Jean. I am pondering your idea of utilizing/experimenting the big planter to winter-over some plants until I decide which plant will take home in the planter next spring. Thanks
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Oct 22, 2014 12:20 AM CST
valleylynn said:Wonderful idea Jean. Thumbs up


I agree Thumbs up

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