Container Gardening Guide and Spring Porch Makeover

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Spring has finally arrived in the Midwest and I couldn’t be more excited! After the seemingly endless Winter, I could not wait to get outside and clean up our front porch. We have a small little area that I love decorating each season, and Springtime is no exception. With the birds singing and the weather finally warming up, I got to work getting all of my container gardens planted and ready for the sun!

My husband and I rent our home currently, but that doesn’t stop me from planting flowers and shrubs each year! Container gardens are the easiest way to add some beautiful plants or shrubs to your porch, patio or deck, without making anything permanent! It’s also a great way to satisfy your green thumb even if you don’t have the yard or room to plant.

First Editions® Plants has over 125 different varieties of plant varieties and premium assortment of shrubs and trees to choose from, which made picking plants for our front porch so easy. I was able to use their retailer finder to locate a nearby nursery that carried everything I needed. All I had to do was look for the purple pot and I was set!

I ended up coming home with three different shrubs to plant in containers on my front porch. The shrubs that came home with me were First Editions® Little Devil™ NinebarkVanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea and Superstar™ Spirea. All of them together look fabulous on my front porch!

Container Gardening Guide

When I was out shopping for our porch, I started thinking about the details you have to consider when choosing which plants to pair together. Sometimes putting plants together can be a little bit tricky, but with the right tools and knowledge you can learn how to pair any type of shrub or plant together in one or more containers.

Hardiness Zone

Knowing which zone you live in is key to understanding which plants will grow best in that particular growing condition. I currently live in hardiness zone 5, but when we lived in San Antonio, we were in hardiness zone 8. We could easily grow more tropical plants because of the warm winters. First Editions® Plants have been thoroughly tested for hardiness so you can feel confident that they will flourish in your specific growing conditions.

Sun, Partial Sun or Shade

Before deciding on what plants to buy for your containers, it’s crucial to know the space you are planning to put them in. Does it get full sun, only some morning or afternoon sun, or does it stay mostly shaded all day? You may need to pay attention to the sun pattern for a few days to know for sure the type of light it gets.

Different plants require varying types of lighting. Some shrubs and plants are shade lovers, meaning they prefer shade and may burn or wilt in too much sun. Other plants love the sun and want to spend most of their day soaking up rays. Then there are the plants that want the best of both worlds, meaning they prefer a mix of sun and shade. This may seem like a daunting task to figure out, but don’t worry! All of that information is easily found on the First Editions® Plants tag!

Container size

This is something else that is a very important factor in how well planted container gardens will do. Check the tags to see how big each plant or shrub will get. If they grow tall but not wide, then a narrower pot should do well. However, if the plant grows wide a larger round pot would be best. You can find the growing heights and widths on the First Editions® Plants tag too!

When deciding on container size, take a good look at how big the pot is that the plant comes in when purchased. A good rule of thumb is to double the size of that pot, but going a bit bigger than that is great too. It’s also important to make sure the pot has good drainage holes on the bottom to let extra water out. If you don’t see any drainage holes, you can add your own.

I also like to keep my larger potted plants up on a stand with wheels. That way if the plant doesn’t seem to be doing as well in one spot on the patio, it’s easy to move it around. Once the dirt and plants are in those large of pots they can get very heavy!

Color and shape

When it comes to pairing plants together, whether they will be in the same pot or in different pots like mine, try to vary the colors and shapes for the biggest impact. Pairing a tall, narrow plant together with one that is shorter and wider adds visual appeal. Varying the colors of leaves and flowers helps add interest and different bloom times can help keep your porch or patio blooming all year! You can find information on flower color, blooming times and growing habits on the back of the First Editions® Plants tag.

Putting it all together

You can easily just grow a shrub in each container, but if you want to really go all out and get the biggest visual impact, try pairing the shrubs with annuals. Always take into consideration the above tips, and make sure your container is large enough to accommodate all of the plants. If you run into trouble or have a question about any of the First Editions®Plants, check out this handy guide to pairing shrubs. First Editions® even has Let’s Ask Amy, a guru available to help with any question you have concerning your plants.

Also, be sure to follow them on social media for even more ideas on landscaping and container gardening. Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

What plants are you excited to add to your gardens this Spring? Let me know in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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  1. I love in northern WI and we have lots of deer in our neighborhood. Planting tomatoes and green peppers in a container kept on our deck is our best option. Anything off the deck is considered deer candy!

  2. I have been looking into roses, and I’d like some climbing flowers like hummingbird vine to attract them!

  3. I’ll be honest and admit that I’m not adding any plants to my garden this year. I do not have a green thumb at all.

  4. I added wild flowers, but they did not do well. I have a small veggie garden that is doing awesome though and I would like some gardenias because my Hubs LOVES the way they smell.

  5. My daughters and I love getting our garden ready. We’re really big on our herbs and love our hydrangeas and peonies!

  6. I’m really excited because we are planning to actually put in landscaping around the front of our house this year. I’m not sure yet what we are putting in flower wise but definitely a few shrubs as well. I need to make up my mind ASAP though because the plan is to get it done next week!

  7. I really love our peonies so I’m excited to see those blossom as well as our vegetable and herb garden!!

  8. I would love to add Tulips or more herbs to our garden. We grow Roses but I want more variety.

  9. I love container for the garden. Your garden is lovely and loved that you shared at Dishing it and Digging it link party last week. You are one of the features in this coming Sunday’s party. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I’m super excited for my rose garden as well as my may apples and fire pinks. We’re getting our vegetable and our herb garden ready so we’re definitely excited for those as well 🙂

  11. I’m excited to add Daffodils and daisies to my gardens this Spring.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  12. I am excited to grow Clemantis, Daffodils, tomatoes and tulips. I would like to try and grow cucumber and carrots this year but I don’t know if I will have room.

  13. I transplanted a huge hydrangea from my parents house and it lived!! I’m also planning on adding some Black eyed Susan’s, poppies, purple cone flower and I’ve got a hanging basket that I’m not sure what to put in yet!

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