Spring Annuals for Containers 2016


Every year, Mother Nature likes to play April Fools jokes on us Midwesterners. In 2012, I had lilacs blooming on April 13th and it was 76F that day. In 2013, it was 16F and snowing the day our annuals arrived. In 2014, the weather wasn’t that bad and hovered around the 50’s. Last year, again it was nice when the flowers got planted, however a fast cold snap killed a few of our client’s pots. That’s what happens when you force your landscape company to plant something earlier than they feel it’s safe to do. The client is mad and we get paid twice to do their pots.

Here are some basic tips to make your Spring season pots wonderful!

Be sure your container / pot is very clean to start the season. A good, stiff brush dipped in a 10% bleach solution will do the trick. This will kill off any of the nasties waiting to infect your flowers. This cleaning should take you through the season also. No need to disinfect after each season change. (Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter)

Spring flowers such as; Petunias, tulips, hyacinths, primrose, cyclamen, hydrangea, muscari, snap dragons, ranunculus, helleborus, viola, ivy and diacia are just a few cool weather choices.

Give your display a bit of height with pussy willow or forsythia branches. If cut at the right time (pretty much right before placing in display) they will also bloom, adding to the WOW factor.

These flowers will last until the weather turns hot & then it’s time to switch over to your summer display.

You don’t need to remember a bunch of annual names. The only thing you need remember for a well-presented display is: Thriller, Filler & Spiller! The Thriller is that one large plant that is generally in the center and taller than the rest. Filler are those mid-range sized plants, often of ‘fatter or fuller’ stature. Spiller is just that, plants that hang over the edge of the pot.

Just like autumn pots, these don’t grow any larger than they are now. So design accordingly.

Here are some Spring displays from 2015, 2014 & 2013.

image image image image

Bellis English Daisies – So cute! New this year for us.

IMG_6210 IMG_0977 May 09 3 May 09 2 IMG_0565 IMG_7917 IMG_3604 IMG_7636 IMG_7677 IMG_6273_1 IMG_1293 IMG_7673

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

54 thoughts on “Spring Annuals for Containers 2016

  1. I love container gardening.
    Lot of cool pictures here! The white pansies are really different. Are they new or have they been out for awhile? I really haven’t been to the greenhouses in awhile.
    I guess im going to have to clean off my porch myself. Hubby will not like that. Because it will go into his mess pile. Haha. If he makes the mess…
    Well I should have taught him that at least 15 years ago…
    I do love gardening. Guess I will make my own greenhouse too. 7 years is too long to wait. o_O

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only white pansies I see are half purple. The pure white flower you see in one of the bowls is a primrose. A fav of mine!
      I don’t think the general public gets a great assortment of spring annuals. From a marketing standpoint, blooming flowers sell better than not and the spring bloom times are so short. Many nurseries don’t want to get stuck with the stock. If possible, find a public nursery that also grows stuff for the landscapers. They will have the best inventory and selling it at the right time, ie when things are still in bud.
      I’ve got no advice in the hubby situation. If I did, I’d probably be famous! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol. Sorry. I need to enlarge the picture to look again!
    Are you into growing commercial or do you do it for your yard?
    Here where we moved to has a LOT of natural growing flowers. I am in love with them!! For get my hubby…;)
    Seriously though, we have several colors of the Echinacea growing here. Wild roses ( I need to find their name again. Beautiful miniture pink ones, and a heirloom.
    I think I will start taking pictures of the wild flowers growing. Many are medicinal. And free.
    Here at home, the woman has planted many different flowers. I get a surprise once in awhile. Which is fun.
    They are all heirlooms here. They have a gorgeous scent. A pink hyacinth. Smells so beautiful too. They are on their way out of bloom now.
    I have white peonies. ..so beautiful! I wished they would stay longer.
    Many versions of irises. Some I have never saw before.
    Leeks, onions, and chives…I will probably never run out of.
    I used to sell plants and seeds on Ebay. I miss that. I have been talking to my husband about starting it up again. (I had a hostile takeover of my old seller name by his (his lovely daughter who would steal my stuff all the time.) She was living with us at the time…long story..
    Growing plants is a great passion of mine too.
    Seems like I ought to grow more cool flowers and veggies. This crazy weather makes it almost impossible to set out a veggie garden. Hot..cold…it seems to stay in the lower 40’s now.
    I’m back to writing my blog. Some guy said something..and I erased them all. So check out my blogs again. I will try to be more upbeat and not let people get to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! You sound like you had a lot of fun doing the seed business. Sad that a girl got evil on you there. 😝
      Glad to hear there are many fun plants on your new property. If you need help with ID, I can help. I’m weak in roses tho. … soooo many types!
      I only grow for myself. I work for a high end landscaper, so I get to see a fair amount of interesting plants. I also visit many wholesale nurseries and see plants the general public probably never see for sale.
      I did just redo my front bed. Lots on new, odd perennials. I’ll feature them as they grow.
      I think you’ll like my posts about blooming flowers, I report 2-3X a week with what’s blooming that day. Kinda phenology based, but not as scientific. That’s when you can see me dodging traffic to get photo of a ROW plant 😉 Haha!
      Try not to let a troll dictate your writing! I’ve had a few, but they came to a battle of wits unprepared! 😅😆


      • Here I guess they plant some things that should NOT be planted. Like the Datura in the banks parking lot.
        Those things are poisonous! ! Imagine if a child got ahold of the seed pods. Or maybe picked the flower?? Not to bright of a idea. That one was a white one. I had a double purple one in Florida that I had planted in the back in a not so noticeable location. Kids would make a tea and drink that stuff …and then wonder why they got sick. I think it gave a bit of a buzz they said. It will also make you croak. Goofy kids. Always finding something. 😉
        Oh….I think I have a new (???) Kind of passion flower..I have never saw any that small! I had collections of them (passiflora) and I think I will collect them again.
        They make a great shade. And the butterflies and hummers seem to like them.
        Have you done what they call a “round robin”?
        Where people send plants or bulbs to each other and pass it on to the next person on the list? That would be cool to do.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I lived in Florida for a time and had heard about the Datura rage with the kids making it into tea. I had trumpet vine on a front tree and had to twice chase kids off collecting flowers, that they had the wrong plant. 😲
          I’ve tried to grow hardy passiflora here to no avail. They are a pretty flower tho.
          I have done round Robin trades with my master gardener volunteers. Now that was fun! I still have some flowers that I see no where else. Which is my thang. Have what others don’t want or have.


  3. Weather is getting better! 🙂 I love gardening so very much. There is no better therapy then being close to nature and watching your seeds germinate and blossom into flowers. The sense of life and all the wonderful things that come with it is instantly instilled within anyone who has tried gardening even for few days.
    Just beautiful! ❤


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Spring Annual Flower Containers | Midwestern Plants

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