Pike Nurseries’ ideas for personalized container gardens.

Local garden experts provide design tips and plant combination recipes.

By Pike Nurseries June 11, 2020

No space? No problem. Container gardens overflowing with flowers add appeal to all sizes of patios, porches and balconies. Container gardens also offer unlimited possibilities of combinations to lend instant color and provide a focal point. Designs can reflect the style of the gardener, so the pros recommend choosing favorite florals and foliage for a personal touch!

Container Garden Care

  • Sun: The most important rule of green thumb for beginning a container garden is to group plants together based on their sun requirements. Gardeners should get acquainted with their space to determine lighting – ranging from full sun with more than six hours, partial sun or shade with three to six hours to full shade with less than three hours of sunlight – before choosing their container garden plants.  
  • Soil: Fill a pot with Pike Potting & Container Soil that contains fertilizer and wetting agents to prevent pots from drying out too quickly. A helpful tip is to place a coffee filter at the bottom of the container near the hole to keep soil from spilling but still allowing proper drainage. Leave two to three inches at the top to mix in Dr. Earth Root Zone – a nutrient-packed organic fertilizer that reduces transplant shock and helps establish roots. Fill in areas around the plants with more potting soil.
  • Water: Gardeners also want to plant species with similar water needs, ensuring no under- or overwatering takes place. Container gardens should be watered two to three times a week, increasing this to seven times a week when temperatures are at their hottest. Container gardens require more attention, so use the touch test to determine water needs; if the top one to two inches of the soil feels dry to the touch, water deeply until it begins to drain out of the bottom. Be sure to rid of access water in the saucer to prevent rotted roots. Water globes and water-absorbing granules are useful tools to ensure plants receive enough water.
  • Fertilize: Fertilize containers every four weeks with a blend of natural and organic compounds in Dr. Earth Annual Bloom to keep annuals thriving or every three months with Osmocote Outdoor & Indoor Plant Food that controls nutritional release.
Design Tips

Beginners and experts alike can use larger plants for an immediate high impact container! A favorite design method at Pike Nurseries is the tried-and-true Thriller-Filler-Spiller technique. Thriller plants with height add drama and a vertical element; plant these in the middle of the container to be viewed from all angles, or placed in the back of the container if positioned against a wall. Filler plants tend to be rounded to make the container look full; plant these in a horseshoe shape if the thriller is in the back or all around if the thriller is in the middle. Spiller plants trail or hang over the edge of the planter; plant these on the edge of the container in front of filler plants.

Combination Recipes

  • Monochromatic: Make it easy with a monochromatic color scheme by using a range of shades of a single color. A popular example is all-white flowers for a bright and clean container that can also be seen at night! For single-color white container gardens, use white angelonia or daisies paired with dusty miller and vinca, as well as bacopa.
  • Complementary: Go bold with a classic combo using complementary colors like red, yellow and blue that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. A favorite combination is red geraniums, yellow bidens or marigolds and blue evolvulus.
  • Analogous: Boost containers with a consistent but subtle contrast using analogous colors like blue, violet and red that are grouped next to each other on the color wheel. Pair pink dahlias with blue lobelia and purple petunias to achieve this look.
  • Textures: Blooms aren’t the only interesting part of a plant! The shape and size of leaves can add drama and dimension to a container. For a foliage-specific container, use caladiums or aspidistra, coleus, heuchera and ferns, plus an ivy or creeping jenny.

In an effort to keep customers safe, all Pike Nurseries locations are now exclusively offering delivery and curbside pick-up. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Customers can complete an online form or call a local store to order, and a Pike Nurseries employee-owner will return the call to personally consult on the request and finalize the order.

Pike Nursery, Buckhead
4020 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: 404-843-9578

Pike Nurseries, Acworth
3602 Cobb Parkway
Acworth, Georgia 30101
Phone: 678-574-5868

Pike Nurseries, Milton
3155 Bethany Bend
Milton, Georgia 30004
Phone: 678-433-9060

Pike Nurseries, Cumming
6050 Bethelview Road
Cumming, Georgia 30040
Phone: 770-205-1737

Pike Nurseries, East Cobb
2900 Johnson Ferry Road
Marietta, Georgia 30062
Phone: 770-640-6468

Pike Nurseries, Suwanee
1105 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
Suwanee, Georgia 30024
Phone: 770-271-5433

Pike Nurseries, Toco Hills
2101 LaVista Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30329
Phone: 404-634-8604

Pike Nurseries, Marietta
1875 Roswell Road
Marietta, Georgia 30062
Phone: 770-977-3040

Pike Nurseries, Johns Creek
5795 State Bridge Road
Alpharetta, Georgia 30022
Phone: 770-813-5050

Pike Nurseries, Lindbergh
2410 Camellia Lane NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30324
Phone: 404-869-2875

Pike Nurseries, West Cobb
3431 Barrett Parkway, NW
Marietta, Georgia 30064
Phone: 770-423-1650

Pike Nurseries, Towne Lake
2475 Towne Lake Parkway
Woodstock, Georgia 30189
Phone: 770-926-3252

Please view other Pike Nurseries articles: Online Advice with Kid’s Corner, Stressless, plant more: Pike reveals top benefits of gardening, Juicy tips for tasty tomatoes, Tips for planting modern-day victory gardensHealthier Landscape, Heat-Loving Plants for Summer, Hottest Pet-Safe Houseplants, Picking the Perfect Pumpkin,  Garden-Themed Learning, and Top essentials for a colorful spring garden.

For more information on Pike Nurseries, follow along with Pike Nurseries on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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