Tip 1: Group containers for big effect.
Container gardening is so easy—but just one container can feel kind of lonely. Plant multiples of the same container or group varying sizes to perk up your patio with color.
Pack containers with showy, easy-care annuals such as petunias, bacopa, and sweet potato vine—these and other annuals offer lush foliage and flowers all summer long.
Other colorful container picks include:
Lantana—an easy-care flower that doesn’t require lots of water.
Hibiscus—a tropical with large showy flowers.
Scaevola—also called fan flower—a heat tolerant, cascading plant.
Group containers - tall, medium and small ones, to make a stunning deck focal point.
Tip 2: Create a color theme.
Choose flower colors that complement your house, deck or outdoor furniture. For example, these flowers sizzling in hot hues of red, orange, and yellow.
For a hot palette choose flowers such as red verbena, orange marigolds, and yellow sunflowers. If you want to create a more subdued look, plant with cooler colors such as blue salvia, white bacopa, and gray-leafed licorice plant.
Tip 3: Go low maintenance.
Spend more time relaxing or entertaining on your patio—pick plants that need little care. For example, succulents don’t require a lot of water, have few pests and diseases, and look great all the time.
Succulents offer texture and color. Plants include:
Sedums—low growing and colorful options
Sempervivens—tightly clumped hens and chicks
Echeverias—which offer fleshy and colorful leaves
With such easy-care plantings, you can spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less time fussing over your flowers.
Tip 4: Plant for privacy.
Create a secluded haven on your deck by planting small trees in containers to block the view of neighbors. Try these:
Evergreen trees such as arborvitae, cypress or juniper.
Flowering standards such as roses: Knock Out is an especially disease resistant rose.
Tree-form versions of popular shrubs such as lantana and hibiscus.
Tip 5: Attract butterflies to your deck.
Pack window boxes, railing planters and containers with butterfly favorites such as butterfly bush, zinnias, and verbena. It’s a guaranteed way to have live entertainment outside your door—while giving nature a boost, too.