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South Dakota Home Garden: Flowering Plants

Containers and pots can enhance your deck, patio or outdoor living areas. They also work great to brighten up your front entrance and bring color to your home's curb appeal. There are many different varieties of container plants, so be creative and have fun. Remember to mix in some plants with a pleasing scent - these can be herbs that also work great for cooking. Some excellent herbs for containers in your outdoor living space are lemongrass, rosemary and lavender.

Planting a container can be a bit of a challenge but if you follow the simple rule of planting, it can be quite easy. The rule goes: A thriller, a filler and a spiller.

The thriller plant is your main accent plant for the middle or back of the pot or container this plant needs to be taller than the rest of the plants and it needs to grab attention and have the wow factor. The filler plant is not just “filler.” It will be the main body of your pot. It needs color and greenery and should complement the thriller plant. The spiller plant is the final step, but it is as important as the rest. It also needs to have greenery and colors that match or complement the thriller and filler. The spiller should cascade down the side of the container, completing the top-to-bottom effect of your masterpiece.

Depending on the size of your container, you may need more than one filler plant and more than one spiller plant. Read the label instruction for spacing and height of the plants. You want the container or pot to look full but not overcrowded. Take label instructions for plant distancing and divide by two. This will give plants the space they need to grow but also fill the container. A good rule of (green) thumb is one thriller plant in the center or back for a focal point. Place filler plants around the thriller - two for smaller containers. For larger containers, use three, then alternate the spiller plants with fillers.

South Dakota Home Gardens: Flowering Plants