Side-planting basic: Choose the Right Plants

Side-planting basic: Choose the Right Plants. Most good plants work in the top of an instant basket. Not so for the sides. These plants are literally ...
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Side-planting basic: Choose the Right Plants. Most good plants work in the top of an instant basket. Not so for the sides. These plants are literally planted sideways, and some like it while others quickly die. Here are the results of our trials for side plantings. Easiest Plants for Side Planting All of the plants shown (left) did extremely well in the sides of the containers. Wax Begonia

Impatiens

Coleus

Wax begonias - I tried many types and all thrived! They are a valuable plant for these containers because, most are grown from seed and are so inexpensive. Coleus - Fabulous! Use the giant coleus both in the sides as well as for a centerpiece. It doesn’t grow as large in the sides. Be careful of the ‘Wizard’ mix because of problems encountered by many in the 2005 season.

Purple Queen Impatiens - Wonderful. All types thrived, including ‘Little Lizzie’, New Guineas, and doubles. Trailing torenia - Wonderful. Lasted longer than the upright torenia.

Lysimachia ‘Outback Sunset’

Ivy

Trailing Torenia

Dragon Wing Begonia

Purple queen - The plant did well, but didn’t look great. It tends to stick out a bit awkwardly, as if it can’t make up its mind whether to trail or clump! Dragon wing begonias - One of the best performers of our trials. They are slower to start than the wax begonias, but have a higher percentage of color in the long run. Pansies and violas - Great! I tried many different types, and they thrived.

Creeping Jenny

Viola or Pansy

Creeping Jenny - Gardeners love this one! Lamium - I loved lamium with different shades of purple. Melampodium - Did well in most instances. Tends to grow a bit larger than many of the others I used with it, like wax begonias and upright torenia.

Viola

Lamium

Variegated Mint

‘Little Lizzie’ Impatiens

Melapodium

Scavola ‘Blue Wonder’

Scaevola - Both the white and the blue did beautifully.

Mixed Performers for the Sides

Upright Torenia

Petunia

Verbena

Sweet Potato Vines (all)

Lobelia

The plants shown (left) rate mixed reviews. The upright torenia, although I used it frequently and will continue to, didn’t live as long as the trailing type. It also drooped awkwardly after a while, requiring a cut-back that took a few weeks to recover from. Trailing verbena did very well sometimes but stopped blooming in others. All of the upright verbena quickly died. Petunias were the most confusing flower we tried - some of them thrived while others quickly died. We had the best luck with Wave Petunias. Proven Winners’ Supertunias, did very well, but a few of them died (after 18 inches of rain from a hurricane!) Sweet potato vines did too well, taking over many of my baskets. I still use them, though, but carefully! Lobelia worked sometimes and died others. I love this plant, and will continue to try to succeed with it. Periwinkles lived in Georgia, but not in Florida - probably because the rainfall is double in Florida. But their form wasn’t ideal - they stuck out awkwardly.

Periwinkle

Plants that Died Quickly in the Sides The plants shown (left) died quickly in the sides of our baskets. However, most did quite well when planted in the top of the baskets. Fuschia

Snapdragon

Marigolds

Marguerite Daisy

We don’t know why they died, and it is possible that other cultivars of these same flowers could do well. We will keep testing, and you do the same. If you would like to share any of your experiences, contact us at [email protected]

Some of Our Favorite Centerpieces Centerpieces, which are planted in the top of the basket, grow like any other container plant, so there are unlimited choices.

Caladiums

Shrimp Plant

We particularly like the ones shown to the left (and shown on the next two pages) because of their upright growth habit which contrasts well with the mounding or trailing growth habit of the plants we use in the sides and along the edges. Centerpieces look best when they are quite full on planting day.

Ti Plants, small

Grasses

Blue Salvia

Dracaenas, small

In larger baskets, we often used plants from three-gallon pots for centerpieces. In smaller baskets, use one gallon-size plants or three plants from 4.5-inch pots. Your centerpiece should be larger than the edge plants, so choose it carefully. For example, we used red salvia as a centerpiece and surrounded it by coleus and begonias. The edge plants outgrew the salvia, but we liked the look so much we just kept pinching the taller plants back! 3

Easy Centerpieces Arranged by Color Yellow

Calif. Daisy

Golden Shrimp Plant

Blue

Blue Salvia (annual)

Purple-red

Penta (over 18” tall)

Purple-blue

Persian Shield

PInk, light

Caladilum

Penta (over 18” tall)

Pink, hot

Caladium

Penta (over 18” tall)

4

Easy Centerpieces Arranged by Color White

Caladium

Penta (over 18” tall)

Grass (over 18” tall)

Rust

Grass (over 18” tall)

Green

Grass (over 18” tall)

Red

Caladium

Red Penta (over 18” tall)

Red Salvia

Burgundy

Ti Plant

Coleus ‘Kong Scarlet’

5

Coleus ‘Kong Rose’

Easy Side and Edge Plants, Mounding Yellow

Melampodium

Lysimachia ‘Outback Sunset’ Coleus ‘Mardi Gras’

Coleus ‘Pineapple’

Pansy or Viola

Coleus ‘The Flume’

Blue

Torenia ‘Sunbright’

Pansy or Viola

Purple-red

Impatiens

Purple-blue

Coleus ‘Dark Star’

Impatiens

Pansy or Viola

PInk, light

Wax Begonia

Gumdrops Begonia

Double Impatiens

Impatiens

Double Impatiens

Impatiens

Coleus ‘Painted Pink’

Pink, hot

Dragonwing Begonia

6

Easy Side and Edge Plants, Mounding White

Wax Begonia

Double Impatiens

Impatiens

‘Little Lizzy’ Impatiens

Pansy or Viola

Coleus ‘Kong Scarlet’

Pansy or Viola

Coleus ‘Defiance’

Double Impatiens

Impatiens

Coleus ‘Crime Scene’

Coleus ‘Kong Rose’

Rust

Coleus ‘Crime Scene’

Coleus ‘Freckles’

Coleus ‘Wizard Scarlet’

Coleus ‘Crime Scene’

Coleus ‘Life Lime’

Lime

Coleus ?

Red

Dragon Wing Begonia

Wax Begonia

Burgundy

Coleus ?

Coleus ‘Mrs. Harding’

Orange

Impatiens

Impatiens ‘Little Lizzy’

Viola or Pansy

7

Easy Easy Centerpieces Trailers Arranged Arranged by by Color Color White Blue

Caladium Trailing Torenia

Penta (over tall) Scaevola ‘Blue18” Wonder’

Grass (over 18” tall)

Rust Purple-red

Grass (over 18” tall) Trailing Torenia

Green Purple-blue

Grass (over 18” tall) Trailing Torenia

Wave Petunia

Red Pink, light

Persian Shield Wave Petunia

Burgundy White

Ti Plant Wave Petunia

Penta (over‘Whirlwind 18” tall) White’ Scaevola

Pink, hot

Wave Coleus Petunia Giant

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Easy Trailers Arranged by Color Green

Creeping Jenny

Ivy

Variegated

Ivy

Lamium

Mint, Variegated

Container Index: Centerpieces Plants Begonia 'Dragon Wing'

Bromeliad

Bok choy

Caladium

2

Container Index: Centerpieces Plants Coleus

Crotons

Dracaena spp.

3

Container Index: Centerpieces Plants Geranium

Grass, Acorus spp.

Grass, Carex spp.

Grass, Juncus spp.

Grass, Liriope spp.

4

Container Index: Centerpieces Plants Grass, Pennisetum spp.

Impatiens, Double

Impatiens, New Guinea

Mona Lavender (stops blooming in hot weather)

Pentas (continued on next page)

5

Container Index: Centerpieces Plants Pentas (continued from previous page)

Perilla

Persian Shield

Salvia, Annual Red or Purple

Salvia, Blue

6

Container Index: Centerpieces Plants Shrimp Plant, Golden

Snapdragon

Ti Plant

Zinnia

7

Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Begonia 'Dragon Wing'

Begonia, ‘Gumdrops’

Begonias, Wax (continued on next page)

8

Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Begonias, Wax (continued from previous page)

Coleus (continued on next page)

9

Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Coleus (continued from previous page)

10

Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Coleus (continued from previous page)

Creeping Jenny

Impatiens (continued on next page)

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Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Impatiens (continued from previous page)

Impatiens ‘Little Lizzie’

Impatiens, New Guinea

12

Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Impatiens, Double'

Ivy

Lysimachia 'Outback Sunset'

Melampodium

Ornamental Cabbage or Kale

13

Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Pansies

Petunias (‘Easy Wave’ and ‘Supertunias’ only - many others died - trials continue...)

Plectranthus, Variegated

Sweet Potato, Black

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Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Sweet Potato, Margarita

Sweet Potato, Tricolor

Syngonium

Torenia, Trailing

Torenia, Upright (continued on next page)

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Container Index: Side and Edge Plants Torenia, Upright (continued from previous page)

Vinca Vine

Violas

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