The Secret Ingredient.
I was at a Speaker’s Bureau recently and was meeting with various garden clubs. I had created a container to have on the table that would showcase my work. A woman stopped and admired it, “Dear, that is just beautiful. But it doesn’t go outside?” I assured her that all my containers were meant to go outside. “But, that’s a houseplant” she gasped, pointing at the sansevaria. I thought for a bit and said, “It’s time for summer camp!”
Which leads me to an often overlooked component in great container gardens. Houseplants.
There are so many wonderful houseplants out there. And while I do not have any in my house (because by the time fall and winter roll around I want to be done taking care of things) that doesn’t mean I am immune to their charms. In fact, I use them extensively in my outdoor containers. Calathea, gardenia, spider plant, zz plant, sansevaria – these are all great options for summer containers.
Can you spot the houseplant in each of these photos?
Planting a houseplant outside is really no different than planting annuals or perennials or vegetables. Make sure you give the houseplant its basic needs: good soil, and the right light and moisture and it will reward you by performing as well outside as in. Keep in mind if your houseplant is part of a combination in your containers it needs to get along with the other cast members. In other words, don’t plant pothos or philodendron (low-light lovers) with sedum or portulaca (high-light lovers). When the weather cools and it’s time to bring the houseplants in I always recommend giving them a good shower to remove any hitchhikers.
When shopping for your spring or summer containers why not look in the houseplant department? Or if you already have houseplants why not send them to summer camp for a few months? You may be surprised by the “wow” factor they can add to your containers.