Not everyone has the space to plant a garden full of natives. Fortunately, container growing is an excellent solution for customers concerned about space.
Native plants can thrive for many years without ever leaving a pot. This method is optimal for those who want to grow plants that benefit local wildlife right on their porch, balcony, or any other area with limited space. In this article, we’ll cover the three shapes of plants you should add to any container garden to create your “nature connector.”
As the name suggests, a ‘thriller’ is an attention-grabber. Not only do these plants possess vibrant colors, but they also can grow to several feet in height. Additionally, these natives are likely to attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making them a desirable choice for those who want to help contribute to local ecosystems.
Some of the most popular thrillers include:
- Prairie blazing star – Recognizable by its striking lavender color, this plant can grow up to 4 feet tall. It attracts several types of pollinators, such as butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.
- Little bluestem – This prairie grass is a favorite of herbivorous insects. Typically, bluestem clumps will appear in spring and grow 1-2 feet.
- Prairie dropseed – As its name suggests, this native grass drops its mature seeds in the fall. Many species of birds enjoy these nutrient-rich seeds, including sparrows and juncos.
Clump-forming plants, known as “fillers,” can be used as a complement to your thrillers. These plants can be used to bridge the gap between the tall thrillers and low-hanging spillers. Get creative and find your favorite native combinations.
Examples of fillers are:
- Yarrow – A hardy perennial, this plant attracts butterflies and can have yellow, red, or pink flowers.
- Coneflower – Pollinators can’t get enough of this long-blooming plant. Make sure it gets plenty of sunlight to allow its bold flowers to grow.
- Aster – Like coneflowers, asters love soaking up the sun. These popular fillers have a daisy-shaped bloom with a bright yellow center.
- Tussock Sedge – This ornamental foliage is identified by its graceful, fine-textured leaves. It’s an excellent choice for containers looking to make bright-colored plants pop.
Finish off your container garden by adding one or two spillers to your filler and thriller. These plants help “soften” the edges around your container and contribute to creating a natural look. Some of our favorites are:
- Wild Strawberry – Compact and stemless, the wild strawberry plant prefers full sun to part shade. Small animals such as rabbits may eat its fruits.
- Trumpet creeper – This beautiful native is a prolific vine that produces flowers that can be red, yellow, or anywhere in between. It’s also one of the fastest-growing spillers available.
- Wild petunia – A highly-adaptable plant, this native is recognized for its lavender/purple flowers. It’s a great choice for ‘blending’ your container garden.
Container Native Plants Your Customers Will Love
It doesn’t take a large backyard, or any yard at all, to grow native plants that help cultivate a more sustainable environment. The only thing needed for these plants to thrive is a small outdoor area that receives sunlight. In most cases, a balcony or patio should be more than sufficient. Encourage your customers to explore the world of container growing if they’re short on space.
If you have questions regarding natives, container growing, or want to discuss how you can obtain the plants your customers want, get in touch with a Forrest Keeling team member today.