How to create an exotic container display

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug

Takes just:

one hour

Filling a large planter with sub-tropical plants is a perfect way to add instant impact to your garden. It gives you the chance to fulfill your wildest planting ambitions and grow bold, statuesque plants.

Many sub-tropical or tender plants are perfect for planting in a large container, as they provide masses of growth in just one season. The impact made to your garden can be mind-blowing.

There are plenty of alternatives to large cattle troughs, such as tin baths, tea chests or plastic water tanks.

You will need

  • Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'
  • Aeonium 'Zwartkop'
  • Canna 'Pretoria'
  • Dahlia 'David Howard'
  • Euphorbia martini
  • Euphorbia mellifera
  • Hakonechloa macra
  • Cattle trough, or similar planter
  • Crocks and multi-purpose compost

Advertisement

Before planting, put the trough in its final position and stand your plants alongside it. This will help you work out which neighbours work best together and give you an idea of planting distances.

Place a layer of broken pots along the bottom of the trough to provide good drainage. Puncture holes in the trough to allow water to drain away.

Empty bags of compost into the trough until it is two-thirds full. Firm it as you go.

Plant the largest plants first to give you a good idea of the main structure of your container. Bear in mind how big some of your plants will become before you place them in their final positions.

Fill in the gaps with smaller plants, varying textures and colour. Pendulous grass needs to be near the front to allow it to cascade, but bushy plants can be added to the body of the planting.

Plant everything firmly, ensuring the plants' crowns are level, then top up with compost. Water well and if some compost settles, top it up again so the surface remains level.

Advertisement

Transplant undercover or provide protection over winter.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Planting a large container display

How to grow pelargoniums

How to grow marginal plants in a pot

Related offers

Offer

Garden ready plants

Create an instant display in baskets and pots, saving up to £30 with this pick and mix bedding plants offer. Buy any pack of 30 garden-ready plants for £14.99, choose two for £19.98, or any four packs (120 plants) for just £29.96.

Order now

SAVE 20%

Subscriber only content

Save 20% on all pots

Subscribers save 20 per cent on the fantastic range of garden pots and containers, including a great choice of herb planters, at Bakker.com. Simply enter the offer code at checkout to claim your discount. Offer ends at midnight on Friday 2 June, 2017.

Unlock now

Offer

Subscriber only content

Save on potted palms

Create that holiday feel on your patio with these exotic Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis). You'll save £19.99 when you buy two potted plants (approx 1.2m tall), plus two free decorative pots, for just £29.99.

Unlock now