Container gardens filled with summer flowers are a fantastic way to add vibrant colors and interest to your outdoor spaces. Here are three of my favorite flowers that thrive in summer containers.

Geraniums

Available in various colors, geraniums are classic summer flowers with vibrant blooms and attractive foliage that do well in containers and hanging basket arrangements.

Growing Tips

  • Container selection. Choose a container with good drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging. The container should also be large enough to accommodate the plant’s root system and provide room for growth. Terra cotta or plastic containers work well for geraniums.
  • Potting mix. Use a well-draining potting mix formulated for container plants. Avoid heavy garden soil, as it can retain too much moisture and lead to root rot. Mix in some perlite or sand to improve drainage.
  • Sunlight. Place the container in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Geraniums thrive in full sun to partial shade. If growing indoors, place them near a south-facing window where they can receive ample sunlight.
  • Watering. Water geraniums regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Water thoroughly until water drains out of the bottom of the container, then empty the saucer to prevent water from accumulating.
  • Fertilization. Feed container-grown geraniums with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring to early fall). Choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for flowering plants and follow the recommended dosage on the package.
  • Deadheading. Remove spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming throughout the season. Pinch or snip off the faded blooms to promote new growth and more flowers.
  • Pruning. Trim back leggy or straggly growth to maintain a compact and bushy shape. Pruning also helps to stimulate fresh growth and more blooms. Pinch off the tips of stems to encourage branching.
  • Overwintering.  In colder climates, geraniums can be overwintered indoors. Before the first frost, dig up the plants and put them in containers. Place them in a cool, bright location indoors, such as a garage or basement, and reduce watering to allow them to go dormant. Resume regular care in spring when new growth appears.
  • Pest and disease control. Common pests include aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. Watch for diseases, including powdery mildew and botrytis. Treat any infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil, and ensure good air circulation around the plants to prevent fungal diseases.

Million Bells

Resembling miniature petunias, calibrachoas are prolific bloomers in various colors, perfect for hanging baskets and containers.

Growing Tips

  • Container selection. Choose a container with good drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging. The container should be large enough to accommodate the plant’s root system and allow room for growth.
  • Potting mix: Use a well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for container plants. Avoid heavy garden soil, as it can retain too much moisture and lead to root rot. Add some perlite or sand to the potting mix to improve drainage.
  • Sunlight. Place the container in a location that receives full sun for at least 6-8 hours daily. Million Bells thrive in bright sunlight and will produce more flowers in full sun.
  • Watering. Water regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Container-grown plants may need more frequent watering, especially during hot weather.
  • Fertilization. Feed with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the growing season (spring to early fall). Choose a fertilizer formulated for flowering plants and follow the recommended dosage on the package.
  • Deadheading. Remove spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming throughout the season. Pinch or snip off the faded blooms with a short stem to promote new growth and more flowers.
  • Pruning. Trim back leggy or straggly growth to maintain a compact and bushy shape. Pruning also helps to stimulate fresh growth and more blooms. You can trim the stems lightly to encourage branching.
  • Pest and disease control. Watch for common pests such as aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, and diseases like powdery mildew. Treat any infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil, and ensure good air circulation around the plants to prevent fungal diseases.
  • Winter care. In colder climates, this pretty plant may not survive the winter outdoors in containers. Before the first frost, bring the container indoors to a cool, bright location such as a garage or basement. Reduce watering and allow the plant to go dormant. Resume regular care in spring when new growth appears.

Lantana

These heat-tolerant beauties produce clusters of tiny blooms in shades of pink, yellow, orange, and white, attracting butterflies to your garden. With a spreading habit, they do well in larger container arrangements or potted independently.

Growing tips

  • Container selection. Choose a container that is large enough to accommodate the root system of the Lantana plant and has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging.
  • Soil. Use a well-draining potting mix with added perlite or sand to ensure good drainage. Lantanas prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
  • Sunlight.  Place the container in a location that receives full sun for at least 6-8 hours daily. Lantanas thrive in bright sunlight and will produce more flowers in full sun.
  • Watering. Water regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Container-grown plants may require more frequent watering than those planted in the ground.
  • Fertilization. Feed with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring to early fall). Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the correct dosage.
  • Deadheading. Remove spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming throughout the season. Pinch or snip off the faded blooms with a short stem to promote new growth and more flowers.
  • Pruning. Prune to maintain a compact and bushy shape. Trim back leggy or straggly growth and remove any dead or diseased branches. Pruning also helps to stimulate fresh growth and more blooms.
  • Pest and disease control: Look for common pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites, as well as diseases like powdery mildew and root rot. Treat any infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil, and ensure good air circulation around the plants to prevent fungal diseases.
  • Winter care. In colder climates, Lantana may not survive the winter outdoors in containers. Before the first frost, bring the container indoors to a cool, bright location such as a garage or basement. Reduce watering and allow the plant to go dormant. Resume regular care in spring when new growth appears.

Mix and match the flowers above with your favorite foliage plants, such as sweet potato vines, asparagus ferns, lamb’s ear, ornamental grasses, etc. Be sure to match plants that have the same growing requirements!

Happy Growing,

Hi There! Susan Here.

(aka the Earthen Mamma)

As a Certified Health Coach, Master Gardener, and Author, my goal is to equip and inspire you to live the healthy and sustainable life you deserve.

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