Welcome your guests this spring with a flowering container garden. Choose the best plants for your location and learn about proper feeding and care. Whether your porch receives full sun or lots of shade, read on for the best porch planter ideas.
Container Plants for a Sunny Porch
If your porch faces south or west, it probably receives plenty of sunshine. Below are flowering container plants that do well in full sun –
Petunias are a tropical flowering annual. The petunia’s bright blooms will add color to your entryway. The most popular petunia species include:
Multiflora petunias are known for smaller blooms but put on an abundant show. The flowers often cover the entire plant.
Milliflora petunias are compact with showy, petite blooms. They bloom throughout the summer months.
Grandiflora petunias are the most common species found at garden centers. The large flowers measure 3 to 4 inches in width. The blooms may spill over the side of the container creating a lovely draped effect.
Petunia Care – For maximum bloom, petunias require full sun and regular watering. Fertilize weekly with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. To keep your petunia blooming throughout the season, remove spent blooms. Follow the stem down, behind the bloom, to the first pair of leaves – clip with scissors. Petunias prefer daytime temps between 61 and 75 F, and night temps between 57 and 65 F. They don’t do well when the temperature falls below freezing.
Marigolds are one of the easiest container plants to grow – simple enough for kids to try. The bright blooms come in red, orange, yellow and white. And are guaranteed to add enticing color to your entryway. Marigolds are hardy – enjoying the hot summer sun. Purchase these plants at your local garden center, or you can grow them from seed. Marigolds are available in four species –
African marigolds grow tall, usually 1 to 3 feet in height. Known their large pom-pom blooms and blue-green foliage, they are available in warm tones of orange, red, yellow and creamy white.
French marigolds are a smaller variety – growing 6 to 12 inches in height and 6 to 10 inches in width. French marigolds are available in orange, red and yellow.
Triploid marigolds are a cross between the tall African marigold and the compact French variety. They repeatedly bloom throughout the summer. The richly colored double flowers span 3-4 inches across.
Single French marigolds have long stems and grow in a “wildflower” form. This cheery bloomer has a daisy-like appearance and blooms profusely.
Marigold Care – Marigolds are hardy and grow well in either dry or moist soil. Water potted marigolds daily. Feeding marigolds isn’t a necessity, but some gardeners choose to apply a monthly application of water-soluble fertilizer.
Easy to grow from seed, zinnias are a long-lasting annual that adds bright color to your porch or entryway. Butterflies love zinnias! A wide variety of colors are available such as red, orange, white, yellow, and more. Plant zinnia seeds when temps are above 50 F. Plant them by –
- Sprinkling seeds over the fresh potting soil
- Add another light layer (1/8 inch) of potting soil
- Press down, and water
Zinnia Care – When watering zinnias avoid wetting the leaves and foliage. A soaker hose works well to add needed moisture at soil level. For new sprouts, keep the soil evenly moist. To increase zinnia bloom, remove fading flowers. Pinch back your zinnias for a bushier plant with many showy flowers.
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Shady Porch Planter Ideas
A north-facing porch receives little of the sun’s rays – an east-facing porch usually receives minimal morning sun. These flowers are sure to thrive in planters on your shady porch:
If you’re looking for stunning, brightly colored foliage, look no further than coleus. A wide variety of colors are available – yellow, green, hot pink, purple, etc. Some coleus plants feature eye-catching patterns on a contrasting background. Excellent for a shady porch, coleus will add a bright spark of color to your entryway.
Coleus varieties include –
Beckwith’s Gem coleus features a deep purple leaf, with magenta and bright yellow edge. Beckwith’s Gem is an heirloom coleus that will provide a beautiful contrast to your porch garden.
Campfire coleus is true to its name – the coppery orange foliage resembles a glowing fire. This showy variety is versatile – keeping its autumn-like color in part sun or light shade.
Coleus Care – Keep the potting soil moist – not soggy. Water potted coleus daily, if needed. Feed plants a half-strength liquid fertilizer or a timed-release granular fertilizer. Pinch back young shoots to encourage new, bushy growth.
Wax begonias are showy annuals that grow quickly to fill a planter or hanging basket. The name “wax” begonia refers to the waxy appearance of the leaves. These cheery plants prefer afternoon shade in southern climates. Pinch back begonias to ensure a compact, bushy plant.
Most wax begonias are hybrids grown for a variety of colors and heights. Popular types include:
Barbara Rogers – Large white flowers that hummingbirds adore, plus attractive, dark green foliage.
Charm Pink – Soft pink blooms with leaves in yellow and green
Wax Begonia Care – Begonias prefer a well-drained, evenly moist soil. Avoid leaf spot or fungal diseases by watering them at soil level. When properly cared for, wax begonias can grow to the height of small shrub – 18 inches. They thrive when the roots are slightly crowded in the container, so repotting is rarely required.
Wax begonias can be brought inside for the winter months. Cut them back just before frost and set inside under a bright filtered light. A water-filled pebble tray will provide needed indoor humidity.
When it comes to porch planter ideas, fuchsia is a favorite. The magenta-pink flowers look beautiful in a hanging basket or a porch planter. Fuchsia is a flowering stunner. The blooms drape gracefully over the edge of a basket or pot. They are also reasonably easy to grow. Although it can be picky about temperature and soil moisture, it doesn’t do well in hot, dry conditions. Fuchsia thrives in full to partial shade and in a moist, well-drained potting soil.
Fuchsia Care – Fuchsia loves humidity. Mist your fuchsia regularly, especially when it’s hot and dry outside. They require regular feeding with diluted liquid fertilizer – fish emulsion or seaweed fertilizer works well.
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If you’re looking to add bright, blooming color to your entryway, the above porch planter ideas will guarantee a cheerful, floral display perfect for welcoming friends and family.
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