Learning Center


How to Create Interesting and Successful Combination Planters!

Shade combination planter of impatiens, heuchera, creeping jenny and maidenhair fern

This is the best time of year for inspiration!  But sometimes it’s difficult to narrow down all the options and create an interesting, lively container to perfectly complement your space.  So… let us help!

If you already have a container to plant in, measure it before you go shopping. If you don’t have a planter, consider style options as well as sizing.  You want it to fit in proportionately with your existing space.  Also, think about where the planter will be; do the plants need to be tall or cascading down the sides, or both?  Next, figure out how much sun will the planter be getting.  Got it?  Okay, now that you are sufficiently armed with all kinds of good info, it’s time to shop!

At The Good Earth, we separate our plants based on the sun requirements, so if you need plants for a shady area, head to the shade!  If sun plants are what you are looking for, pick up one of our sun hats, and begin the search.  The Proven Winner series of plants have been carefully selected for their hardiness, and offer a variety of striking textures and colors.  Mixing some of these in with a larger statement piece such as a perennial or tropical in the middle works very well.  Generally speaking, it’s important to have a plant for height surrounded by filler plants, and spot in some trailing plants. Here are several great color and texture combinations:
Shade combination planter of maidenhair fern, new guinea impatien, hosta, polka dot plant and heuchera

For shade:
1. Green Spice Heuchera, Impatiens, Moneywort (top image)
2. Maidenhair Fern, New Guinea Impatiens, Hosta, Heuchera (middle image)
3. Impatiens, Maidenhair Fern, Torenia (bottom image)

For sun:
1. Angelonia, Bacopa, Moneywort, Wave Petunia
2. Red Star Cordyline, Ageratum, Silver Frost, Million Bells
3. Chinese Fan Palm, Verbena, Sweet Potato Vine

Shade Combination planter


Don’t underestimate the importance of good soil! We started growing our perennials in a new potting mix a few years ago and it was so successful, we decided to bag for our customers to use too!  Look for Good Earth brand potting mix next time you are here!

To get the roots established well, use Espoma Bio Tone with mycorrhizea at planting.  Throughout the growing season, apply water soluble fertilizer such as BR-61 or Ferti-Lome Premium Bedding Plant Food to radically increase blooming and strength.

If the planters are located near a sprinkler line, it might be possible to run a drip line off the system for consistent watering.  Talk to the Good Earth Wet Tech, our sprinkler technician, for advice and estimates.  Otherwise, plan to hand water several times a week as needed.

Are you getting excited?  Well, we are too!  See you soon at The Good Earth Garden Center!  If you have more time, check out our combination planter board on Pinterest for more ideas!  And don’t forget, you can always bring your planters in and we can plant them for you…or come to your house and plant them, whichever you prefer!