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Container Gardening Tips


Let’s get this straight. I am no expert gardener by any means. However, over the years I’ve learned what works for me. And what doesn’t. A lot of what I know comes from trial and error. Anybody out there in the same boat? So in case you might be a new gardener, or maybe a frustrated one, I thought that I might share a few of my tried and true container gardening tips with you!

miracle grow potting mix

Always start with great soil. I learned a long time ago to start with a great foundation.

My flowers always thank me!

Miracle Gro Potting mix (not an affiliate) is my go to every time. And, once I get the flowers potted, I fertilize them every two weeks with plant food.

It makes a HUGE difference.

pool noodle pieces in planter

Soil is heavy, so if I’m planting in a large pot, I always put something in the bottom of the pot to take up a little room, like cut up pool noodles.

I fill up my pot about 1/3 of the way, then put potting soil on top. The pool noodles don’t absorb moisture and are light weight. This saves on the cost of soil and makes it easier to move the pot for cleaning.


Thriller, filler and spiller.

The perfect trifecta for planting arrangements. Ever heard of this? If not, it’s a simple reminder of one way to plant your flowers for maximum wow factor. The thriller part of the equation is a plant that you would put in the back or the middle of your planter.

A thriller ( see #1) is a plant that is going to be taller than the rest. It will also be “showy”. I like to use grasses and tall wavy, flowing plants for thrillers.

A filler ( #2) is exactly what it says it is. A plant that fills up the middle space. I like to use medium flowering plants in this area.

Geraniums, Periwinkles, Abelia, and Daisies are some of my go to’s.

plants in blue pot

As you can see here, I have a tall grass for my thriller. And Geraniums, Periwinkles and Abelia for my filler.

Now I just need to add my spiller.

plants, pot, entry

And finally, the spiller. ( #3) A spiller is planted in the very front or on the edge of your planter. I like to use colorful trailing plants or frilly ferns here.

Some I like to use are Air Ferns, Creeping Jenny and Sweet Potato Vines.

As you can see here, I have all three – a thriller, a filler and  a spiller- in this pot..


Don’t pass up buying discounted plants. I was at the grocery store and these geraniums were on Sale for $1.99. They regularly sell for $5.99.


I checked them over and they had no disease. They were just a little windblown and need to be put on a pot.

plants, flower pot, watering can, bench

I simply cut off any dead leaves or spent flowers, put them in a pot and gave them a little food. As you can see, they are doing beautifully and are about to flower like crazy!

Which brings me to my next tip.

Dead head.

Always remove spent flowers. That way your plant can focus on growing healthy leaves and new flowers.

geraniums in black metal container

I always use the Thriller, filler and spiller rule of thumb with a couple of exceptions. The first being mass plantings. Sometimes, the planter just calls for one massive group of one flower.

Like this one.

All of those bright pinky red geraniums look fantastic against that dark metal planter!

plants, chinoiserie planter

The second reason I use only one type of flower is when you are using a small planter and there just isn’t any room.

Other than that I almost always use the trifecta.

plants in flower pots

My container gardening tips are pretty basic, but if I adhere to those tips I always have good luck with my  container plants.

 I hope these tips help you too!

Until next time…

Container gardening tips

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  1. Thank you for the recommendations! I am loving your blue pot!! Where were you so lucky to find one like that?

    1. Bridget the blue pot came from Costco… I think $40.00? They have had them the last 2 years here… It’s a steal for sure!

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