My peonies are blooming, my ivy is green, and I'm loving my roses! But with all the gorgeous stuff going on in the garden, I actually got a bit of a rough start on planting my indoor and outdoor flower pots this year. Luckily one of my team members, Amelia, is a total green thumb and loves to garden at home, so I asked her to help put together a few displays and share a few easy tips for planting late in the season—from kitchen herbs to patio arrangements. I love my flowers and garden but I always feel like a bit of a beginner with things like fertilizer and plant varieties, so I'm so happy Amelia was able to share her expertise. Keep scrolling!
Amelia's Tips for Flower Planters
Hello, I'm Amelia! I'm super excited to share a few of my tips for planting flower pots late in the season. The main things to consider are:
- The size and material of your planters.
- The heat tolerance of your plants.
- The type of fertilizer you use.
- The location of the planter in your garden or home.
All of these things work together to give your plants the best conditions to thrive during the hottest part of the season. Keep scrolling for details...
Size and Material of Flower Planters
For pot size, remember that the hotter the season, the bigger you want your pot to be. If you want something in full sunlight on your outdoor patio, a bigger pot will hold water much better than a small pot. If you only have smaller pots, it's best to place them in partial or full shade, or keep them in a sunny area of your home or sunroom.
Note that certain pot materials cause soil to dry out much faster than others. A small tin or terracotta pot, for example, will not do well in full sun, whereas a wooden or ceramic container will hold water much better.
Whatever the material of your pot, make sure it has adequate drainage! If it doesn't have a hole at the bottom, you can drill one. Sometimes I have luck adding rocks at the bottom to catch extra water, but it still runs the risk of hurting your plants' root structure if you add too much.
Best Flowers for Summer Planters
Some perfect flower options for late-season planting and hot growing conditions:
- Petunia (Also comes in trailing varieties)
- Begonia (Also comes in trailing varieties)
- Sweet Potato Vine
Many of these can be used for indoor planters; just make sure you give them adequate sunlight and don't overwater them.
If you have shady conditions on your patio, shop for these plants:
- Wax Begonias
- Jade (also great for indoors)
And don't forget the herbs! These are great for sunny and shady areas, as well as indoor planters for your kitchen:
^^ This blue painted pot is from Home Depot.
Tips for Planting and Fertilizing
Purchase high-quality potting soil or freshen up your old pots with new compost and mulch. If you’re reusing pots and soil, check for any fungus or pests, and look at the composition: It may be too loose or too compacted and need new material and nutrients (e.g., compost). If water spills out quickly, you definitely need to add new soil.
If your planters have perennials already growing from last year, you can still freshen up the soil without disturbing their roots. Add a layer of fresh compost or potting soil to the top, then scratch in an organic fertilizer to give them a boost.
We used an organic fertilizer with a high middle number, which means it's good for blooms. (You can choose different fertilizer number combinations depending on what nutrients your plant needs.) If you’re getting a late start on planting, I suggest using an organic fertilizer with low numbers like 4-8-3 so you don’t burn your flowers. (A super strong high-number fertilizer like 40-40-40 would be too harsh to add in the middle of June or July.)
Tips for Watering Your Plants
I like to use a hose, a sink spigot with a shower feature, or a water jug to water my plants on the porch or patio. Rachel has her outdoor pots set up on automatic watering, and we just used her kitchen sink to water her indoor planters.
As temps rise, be sure to water during the early morning or late afternoon to let your plants absorb as much moisture as possible. If you water in the hottest part of the day, you risk exposing your plants to disease and pests.
Thanks so much for checking out my gardening tips, and best of luck with planting your new flowers! Happy Summer from Rach and Amelia!