Green Circle Growers Blog

How to Create Indoor Container Plantings with Pizzazz

Green Circle Growers - Thursday, April 14, 2011

Combination plantings are the hot new trend in indoor container design. Mixing several different plants in a single container allows indoor gardeners to create stunning displays with impact. The diversity of plant colors, heights, shapes and growing behaviors allows for an infinite number of interesting combinations when planting indoor containers. To ensure that all of the plants will thrive when combining plants it’s essential to select plants with similar light, water and temperature requirements.

When selecting plants for a combination planter, you’ll produce the most dramatic impact if you give careful consideration to how the plants will look together. Use these design tips to create pleasing plant combinations but don’t be afraid to experiment and come up with your own designs:

  1. Use an odd number of plant varieties; typically 3, although you may want to choose 5 different plants for large containers.
  2. The finished planting should have a roughly conical configuration in 3 levels: a tall center plant surrounded by a bushier medium-height plant to fill-in, surrounded by a low edging plant.
  3. While you want to allow some growing space, buy enough plants so the planting doesn’t appear sparse.
  4. The same “thrillers, fillers and spillers” combination that is so effective in outdoor container plantings is equally effective when designing indoor containers. Select one bold or colorful plant (usually the tall, center plant) to serve as a focal point. Choose a trailing, vine-type plant that will spill over and grown down the sides of the container for the lowest layer. Fill the space between with a high-volume or “bushy” plant.
  5. You don’t have to use flowering plants. All-foliage plantings can be quite arresting. For maximum impact, select green plants with different leaf shapes and hues.
  6. Consider adding edible herbs to your container garden for a display that is both attractive and useful. Particularly lovely displays can be achieved by combining herbs with colorful flowering annuals.