May 15, 2017
A little imagination, a decorative container and appropriate plants can turn a bare spot into a splash of color.
Consider using a container of annuals to add color to a backyard deck or a paved entrance way. Or what about that area under the tree where grass doesn’t want to grow and where it would be difficult to till without damaging the tree’s roots and the tiller? How about the dry spot where there is no irrigation but where it would be more practical to occasionally hand water a well-placed container of colorful caladiums?
A wide variety of flowering annuals work well in containers. But be sure to select plants based on the exposure. Some annuals quickly bake from full sun exposure and others become leggy and bloom poorly in a shady location.
Impatiens and begonias do well in shaded places and remain in flower almost continuously. Caladiums also do well in containers in shady areas. They don’t bloom but they have colorful leaves.
It’s more difficult to grow container plants in full sun but there are some annuals to consider for sunny spots. Periwinkle and all types of portulaca are heat tolerant and do well in full sun.
There are many other annuals that can be successfully grown in containers. You might like to try ageratum or salvia. In addition to annual salvia, there are numerous perennial types to try. And there are sun-tolerant begonia and sun coleus varieties for full-sun places.
To learn more, you may wish to attend an upcoming seminar titled Creating Container Gardens using Flowers and Foliage being held at the Okaloosa County Extension Annex from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17. The Extension Annex is located at 127 Hollywood Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach.
Okaloosa County Master Gardener, Lee Vanderpool, will demonstrate how to combine a variety of plants to create beautiful container gardens. Emphasis will be on using plants with similar growing requirements but with varying height, texture, color and form. This seminar will feature many plants well-suited for growing in containers and a nice selection of plants will be available for purchase after the program. The mini plant sale is only for those attending the lecture.
There is no cost to attend this seminar but space is limited so registration is required. Please call the UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office at (850) 689-5850 to register.
Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent, Okaloosa County