GARDENING GODDESS: Red, White, and Blue Container Garden: You Can Grow That!

GARDENING GODDESS • BY KATHY JENTZ

Since July is the month to celebrate Independence Day, I thought I would share this container I created for the occasion. Very easy to do and you can grow that!

I took a large container, you can use anything with good drainage holes and at least 18″ wide. In this case, I have a pot left from a small tree planting.

So that I did not use a fortune in potting soil and to keep the container fairly light, I filled the bottom in with empty plastic soda bottles with the tops screwed back on.

I then add a layer of bark mulch over the bottles and fill in the next third with good potting soil.

Next I placed my plants. To the back is a “Big Blonde” Coleus from the Stained Glassworks™ collection that take a good deal of sun. To the left, I placed a red Verbena. In the middle front, a white Wave petunia, and on the right a blue Lobelia (it looks more blue in real life). I then filled in around the plants with more potting soil and watered everything in well and placed it in a sunny, high-traffic corner of my garden.

Red, white, and blue plant combination for Independence Day.

Red, white, and blue plant combination for Independence Day.

In the middle I stuck an American flag. You can, of course, eliminate the flag and let the red, white, and blue speak for themselves.

You can also substitute other plants that may suit your climate better or that are more available to you. For the red, you could do a red coleus or zonal geranium or a Fire begonia. There are lots of white annuals from impatiens to alyssum to snapdragons. For the blues, you could go into the purple range of petunias or pop in a sage.

For large containers like this, you will want to check daily to see if it needs watering. Also, add a liquid fertilizer to your watering about every two weeks. Pinch back any flower spikes forming on the coleus to keep it full. The three flowering plants I selected are basically self-deadheading, but if you see anything looking tired or damaged, you can cut it off or shear it back.

About the Author

Kathy Jentz
Kathy Jentz is editor of Washington Gardener magazine and is a long-time DC area gardening enthusiast. Washington Gardener is all about gardening where you live. She can be reached at @WDCgardener on Twitter and welcomes your local DMV gardening questions.