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Ten Tips for Creating a Colorful Spring Container

It’s finally time to start adding some color to your containers! You can design your own containers that are full of the colors of Spring and beautifully Easter-ready! Whether you have large containers on your patio or are looking to fill a smaller hanging basket or window box, read on for 10 practical tips and design ideas to give your containers the most impact.

Tip #1- Layer for Impact.

When thinking about building out your container, consider creating a beautifully dramatic, textured look by incorporating three layers- a thriller, a filler, and a spiller.

The thriller is just what it sounds like- a taller plant that is the focus of the container, drawing the most attention. The thriller can either be centered or asymmetrically placed toward one side of the container. Thrillers are usually over six to eight inches high in order to visually set themselves apart from the other components of the container. Occasionally they’ll reach several feet high, as in the case of using stems or an evergreen like boxwood.

The filler is a mounding plant, whether an annual or perennial, that adds color and texture. It surrounds the thriller and works as a layer of middle-sized height. Some commonly used fillers like pansies and violas are lower growing, so in order to balance their low height, use a wider bowl as your container, or just choose a thriller that isn’t too tall. It’s all about balance.

Lastly the spiller is a trailing plant that can easily flow over the edge of the container and draw the eye downward. Herbs, vines, or other trailing plants work wonderfully as spillers!

Tip #2- Select plants with similar sun or shade requirements.

How do you go about choosing your thrillers, fillers, and spillers? First think about where your containers will be in your landscape. Will they be in a shady place by the front door? In full sun near the driveway? Or in a hanging basket under the porch? The location of your container will determine if you can select plants for full sun, part shade, or full shade. All of the plants in the container need to have the same exposure requirement in order for your container to stay thriving as long as possible!

For this time of year, the plants you choose must be able to withstand any last cold snaps that Missouri weather might throw your way. Even though plants in containers fare better at this time of the year than they would in the ground, it’s still best to choose plants that you can be confident will withstand the cold and still give you the beautiful spring color you’re looking for!