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There are few things in spring I look forward to more than spending time outdoors. Early morning coffee, burgers on the grill and there is nothing better than that first adult beverage at the end of a long day at work. After you have picked up the sticks pulled the weeds and cleaned the patio furniture it is time to decorate our outdoor living spaces. Now you can do the same old boring planters you have always done but aren’t you ready for something new, something different and something exciting?
Planters in hot sunny locations can be a challenge but there is a ton of cool plants that like it hot. The most popular, sun loving patio plant is the colorful and floriferous Hibiscus. Bright flowers of red, yellow, peach, and pink continually appear all summer long. Short braided trees make awesome centerpieces in combination planters.
The most popular new plant is Mandevillia ‘Giant Red’. Pink and white Mandevilla have been popular for quite some time due to their large and profuse flowers and tolerance to hot conditions but the new Giant Red is brighter and bolder. Great by itself or in combination with other sun loving plants Mandevilla are non-stop blooming machines.
Oleander is another heat loving tropical plant that blooms all summer long in combinations of pink, white and/or red flowers. There are several other out-of-the-ordinary blooming trees to consider when planting patio pots… Lantana, Duranta, Flowering Maple and Allamanda are all great accents in mixed patio pots.
Flowering plants are great but don’t underestimate the effect foliage color and texture can provide for patio planters. The leaves of Crotons, Acalypha (Copper Leaf) and Cordyline provide stunning color all summer long while Palms, Bananas and Alocasia offer a tropical resort feeling to your deck or patio. Looking to go tropical? Check out the giant Red Banana that can grow over 10’ tall, the new Golden Banana, Alocasia Polly, Lady Palm or Phoenix Robelini Palm.
Those of you who live among the trees need not be left out of the fun. Fuschia trees highlight large patio planters in shady areas with hanging blooms of pink, white and purple. Macho Ferns convey the feeling of peace and tranquility while Gardenia trees offer large, white, heaven-scented flowers. A pot full of Caladiums is always a hit in the shade while Maidenhair Ferns are simply irresistible. Old-fashioned Angel Wing Begonias are available in a wide array of sizes and shapes offering unique flower and foliage color combinations.
Want to be on the cusp of plant and flower trends? If so you will need to have a mixed succulent garden this year. Sedums, Hens and Chicks, Echiveria and countless other succulent plants are colorful, interesting and easy to maintain even the hottest and sunniest of locations.
So many plants so few pots… what is a plant nerd to do? I hope you will be inspired to try decorating your patio with something a bit unusual this summer… you’ll be glad you did.
Now go outside and have fun in the dirt!