Making showstopping planters year after year is easy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

“Just use your imagination,” said Vanessa Nelson, horticulturalist for the City of Andalusia. “When doing pots, the sky is the limit. Mix and match colors and plants for the best look.”

As the south Alabama temperatures rise, so does the need for its residents to see the colorful landscape of pinks, purples, yellows, reds and greens. Right: The pots behind Andalusia City all show there’s no right or wrong when creating beautiful.

Below: Nelson, assisted by retired biologist Thagard Colving, gives simple instructions that will make all your neighbors “green with envy.”

Get good and dirty

Fertilization is the key to good soil and that’s where you should start, Nelson said. She recommends using time-released fertilizer that reacts faster as the temperature rises. “It will really make your colors pop,” she said.

Pick and choose

Make sure you’ve got at least one “wow” plant. For Nelson, that includes everything from banana trees to elephant ears. Choose plants that will work well with the size of the size of the planter, too. Remember this is your planter’s focal point.

Pop goes the color

“And for your colored plants, use your imaginations,” Nelson said. “Mix and match. Just make sure you stay with the same requirements, meaning if it says full sun, make sure all the plants are for full sun.” Here Ginger Hassell holds a tray filled with petunias and other annuals.

And the secret is…

But make sure you don’t forget the water, Nelson said. “All that effort will be wasted if you don’t give your plants water. That’s the secret to perfect pots – water.”