Sometimes you just need to go big and go bold with your container gardens. Whether it’s breaking up the empty space on a wall or creating an outdoor seating area, our Ellis planters are an easy way to define or redefine open spaces. And with summer weather you’ll need plants that can handle the heat and dryness that often accompanies warmer temperatures. Here’s a summer recipe that’s as easy to put together as it is to maintain.
A – 1 Kimberly Queen fern Nephrolepis obliterata (use a 2 gallon or 3 gallon size plant)
B – 3 Yellow “Fresh Look” or similar variety Celosia Celosia plumosa (use 1 gallon size)
C – 6 Red “Bigä” or “Whopperä” Begonias Begonia x benariensis (Use 1 gallon size)
D – 1 “Sweet Caroline Light Green” or similar variety Sweet potato vine Ipomoea (Use 4 inch size)
Digging Deeper on Choosing and Caring for Your Ingredients:
Ingredient ‘A’, Kimberly Queen ferns, are the summer workhorse in the world of ferns. This fern can handle the full summer sunshine and never shows signs of “stressing out.” Unlike the more finicky Boston ferns used more often, the Kimberly Queen can handle the drier soil that begonias and celosia thrive in. This combo will also do well in part shade, but ingredient ‘B’, celosia, may not get as bushy. An added bonus of the Kimberly Queen fern is that it can be brought inside during the winter months and will make a nice house plant when kept by a bright sunny window.
When it comes to ingredient ‘C’, you can use either the green leaf or bronze leaf variety of these large begonias which are a hybrid of an angel wing begonia and a fibrous begonia. Although, if you want to place this in a spot that gets over 6 hours of sun exposure, make sure you use the bronze leaf variety because the bronze leaf begonia typically handles full sunlight better without burning.
For Ingredient ‘D’, any variety of chartreuse sweet potato can be used but the “Sweet Caroline” stays a little more under control and requires less pruning back throughout the summer. You can use the sweet potato vine as your indicator for when to water: when the sweet potato leaves start looking limp, soak the soil until you see water running out from under the planter. For these larger planters, this could take a couple of minutes, but it is worth the time getting the soil totally saturated to train the plant’s roots to grow deep.
Always use a good quality potting soil/container mix when planting and use a liquid fertilizer once a month. Remember when potting up your planter to water your plants deeply before potting them up, especially in the summer. After your planter has been potted, water it deeply because the dry new container mix will pull out the water from the soil of your newly planted plants.
This combination is great to assemble in the early summer months and will also result in instant gratification for your container garden. Enjoy your new and beautiful planter arrangement!
***Pictures courtesy of projects completed by MyFlowerService.com of Cincinnati Ohio.