Containers forum: Painting containers

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 30, 2014 7:23 AM CST
Being somewhat OCD about a cohesive look and color harmony, my hodge podge of containers has been a long standing point of contention. I browse the beautiful lines of containers at garden centers and often dream of replacing all I'm currently using with coordinating colors and shapes, but at the end of the day, I'm just too darn cheap. And pretty containers are downright expensive; Lord knows I couldn't possibly spend my garden budget on pots instead of plants!

So last winter I embarked on an experiment, in desperate need of some garden related activity to get me through until the warm days of spring. I systematically painted all my containers. I'd tried painting a few in years past to see how well they would hold up, with varying success, but I have finally got it down!

Most of my pots are clay, but larger ones are plastic (so I can move them without injury). For the clay pots, I knew that I needed to make sure all the moisture was out of the porous clay before beginning, so I started by cleaning the pots, and setting them near the woodstove to dry for several days (at least 3). Without a wood burning stove to help, I'd recommend placing them in a warm, dry area with good air circulation (a fan would help) for several days.

Then they got a good coat of Kilz primer, inside and out, making sure to coat the drainage holes as well. I allowed the primer coat to dry for at least 24 hours, also near the wood stove.

I followed with 2 coats of outdoor latex, inside and out, allowing for 24 hours of curing between coats, and making sure to coat the drainage holes again. After the final coat, I allowed several days for the paint to cure before potting.

After all that effort, I was on pins and needles for a while after they were potted up and outdoors, but I'm happy to report, they've all held up beautifully! Many are house plants that are still growing happily in their colorful containers, and now a year later, the containers look as good as they did when newly painted.

Plastic pots are a bit more iffy, but I found those with a rough texture took the paint nicely. I used Kilz primer on those also, but didn't bother with the inside of the pots (since plastic isn't porous), and allowed for the same curing time. They have also held up beautifully. Some are still outdoors with perennials in them, and I'm yet to see any peeling paint.

Just wanted to share my method for others who have faced the same problem. Hope you find it useful Smiling
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"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 30, 2014 7:32 AM CST

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These are all placed at our main entrance, where I wanted everything color coordinated. The garden there is planted in the same color scheme, and the color from the containers was nice between flushes of bloom.

"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jan 30, 2014 7:38 AM CST
Absolutely stunning! I love these! And the plants, of course.

👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 30, 2014 7:41 AM CST
The color scheme in my back yard and deck area is "fire colors", reds, oranges, and yellows. There I like the whimsical pop of some lime green too.
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"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 30, 2014 7:42 AM CST
Thanks Tiffany!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
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DavidofDeLand
Jan 30, 2014 8:51 AM CST
What an incredible transformation, and love the matching wheelbarrow!
Well done indeed Neil! Thumbs up I tip my hat to you.
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Jan 30, 2014 10:47 AM CST
They look great together with the flowers to bring out the colors of the pots and vice versa. Love it!! Thumbs up Thumbs up
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Feb 1, 2014 11:23 PM CST

Moderator

Very nice Neil. And I love the choice in plants that you put in each one, great color contrasts. I love them all.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 2, 2014 5:22 AM CST
Thanks David, Susie, and Lynn! The wheelbarrows got a different treatment, as I painted those with soil in them. I sprayed the metal part and used a piece of cardboard to shield the wood handles, and brushed the wood.

Found a few more pics while looking through my files.
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The colorful containers have been a nice way to make plants that aren't really very showy during summer look nicer grouped among the others. Amaryllis and Clivia for example, do well on the shady deck, but are pretty dull in summer. I used to put them in out of the way places, but would forget to care for them- out of sight, out of mind. This way they get a nice dose of plant food with all the others, and frequent watering.

"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Feb 2, 2014 5:25 AM CST
I love this thread. Nice color combos.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 2, 2014 5:35 AM CST
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"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Feb 2, 2014 5:37 AM CST
Thanks Jo Ann! I wish there were more yellow flowers for shade. I found that Abultillon at a local greenhouse and I like it, but it just doesn't show that much color at any given time.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Feb 2, 2014 5:52 AM CST
Those are beautiful Neal!

I love those purple pots!

Karen
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Feb 2, 2014 5:58 AM CST
Is that a red begonia Bonfire?
2 years ago I bought an exotic impatien that was yellow. Yellow Glow

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Feb 2, 2014 6:05 AM CST
Thanks Karen! I keep looking to find more pics of the purple ones, but most I'm finding are later in the summer when the pots are completely obscured by growth. One of the reasons I decided to go with colorful containers is to keep the color scheme in place when blooms are lacking.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Feb 2, 2014 6:07 AM CST
Jo Ann, I believe it is 'Bonfire'. I tried that Impatien a couple of years ago too, but it didn't perform very well. Several years ago I tried one called 'Jungle Gold', with blooms that looked more like Jewel weed, but I haven't seen them since.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Feb 2, 2014 6:13 AM CST
Oddly enough my Yellow Glow didnt make it thru the season either.It was the year of the impatien virus 2012.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 2, 2014 8:42 AM CST
What kind of symptoms did you Impatiens show when they had a virus? Last year mine started out beautifully, got big and full of blooms, then started having yellowing foliage and then losing leaves. I had made my own potting compost and thought perhaps there was some insect or pathogen in it, but the Impatiens were the only things affected- everything else grew beautifully all season.

There is a Torenia I've seen in the catalogs, that has an expanded yellow throat that covers most of the bloom, with a tiny white edge. I've only seen seeds for those, and am not really set up to start anything that early indoors -those need a pretty good head start.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
Image
ge1836
Feb 2, 2014 9:21 AM CST
Thats it. At first I thought I had a slug problem but when ALL the leaves dropped off and the stems went mushy I realized it was virused.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Feb 2, 2014 11:43 AM CST
Uuuuggg...I hate to hear that, Impatiens were always one of those old faithful plants for me! Have you grown them since then? I was already planning to completely replace the potting medium, but sure don't want to have to deal with that again.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

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