Annuals for Planters in dry, windy conditions

(Question)

I have dry and windy conditions. I would like suggestions for annuals for planters. The planters are deep and 2-3 feet across.

 

 

(Answer)

How exciting to be planning your container garden!  Preliminary considerations include:

  • whether the planters will be in shady or sunny areas.  This is key to selecting your plants.
  • the type of planter is also important when selecting what to grow.  Planters come in all shapes, materials and sizes, and I’m not sure what yours are made of.  Some containers, e.g., terra cotta or wood, dry out quickly, while plastic or glazed pots retain water better. Metal or dark coloured planters can attract heat and “bake” the plants.
  • protect the plants as much as you can from strong winds, which dry the soil as well as the plants, and can also directly damage the plants.  Try and position the planters to minimize exposure to the wind.
  • use a soilless potting mix designed for containers, as soil used outdoors in the garden tends to be too heavy
  • incorporate a slow-release fertilizer when planting
  • water the plants frequently, when the surface of the soil is dry. You should  In order to select the right plants for your site, you also need to consider whether your containers will be in a sunny or shady area. Don’t crowd the planter with too many plants, they will compete for available water and some will lose out and perish.

A couple of helpful references from our website include several plants you might want to consider:

Also, what kind of plants do you want to grow? Flowers, vegetables, herbs, native plants or a combination of some of these?

  • The University of Illinois Extension’s Successful Container Gardening includes links to all sorts of information on containers, including suggestions as to plants that will thrive.  For example, it is important to select plants that have similar moisture, soil and light requirements, although there are strategies to get around this if needed.  They also advise on choosing/combining plants, considering colour themes, etc.
  • Habitat Acquisition Trust has a lovely article, Container gardening with native plants  – with terrific information about container gardening in general and strategies to keep water in the containers, like mulching and adding pretty pebbles to the top of the soil.  They also recommend several native plants for containers.

All the best with your planters!