Container plants your neighbours will envy!
Canadians are finally free from the cold clutches of winter. In addition to craving a touch of warmth from the sun, most of us also seek out colour and some green for our outdoor spaces. How do we make the right choices so our brief months in the sunshine afford us maximum enjoyment from our container plants?
Determine whether your space is in full sun (more than five hours of sun), shade or part-shade (less than five hours). This will guide your planting decisions.
If you want to place your container in an area that receives full sun, choose plants that tolerate drought conditions. Bamboo does surprisingly well in containers. Highly invasive if planted in the garden beds, bamboo provides fast-growing, tall green foliage that works well to screen unsightly views. It has a relaxing, rustling sound on a breeze day, too.
Go bananas! Banana trees love the heat and have fabulously large leaves that make any patio feel like an oasis. Bring the tree inside in the winter months - it won't survive the frosty winter months.
Want a tropical feel with a pop of colour? Try cannas. They have similar lush foliage to banana trees, often with gorgeous variegation, and are topped with fiery blooms.
For smaller scale plantings, tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is still a respectable three feet. Not only will this colourful plant brighten any outdoor space, it will also attract the endangered Monarch butterfly.
If you have a shady area, don’t despair! There are loads of lovely plants for you to enjoy too. Mouse Ears (Xanthosoma Atrovirens) have that island paradise feel and tolerate part-shade. Hostas, especially large-leafed varieties, make bold statements and come in shades from blue to chartreuse. Pair them with stunning coleus, grassy Carex or vibrant begonia varieties and you’ll feel like you’ve stolen away to Mexico! (RMM)