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Plants to fill a large container without actually filling the container?

mwtbonesmwtbones Posts: 16
I'm looking to put a container or two at the front of our house. In order to not to be visually lost they'll need to be pretty big, likely in the 24"/60cm diameter range. However, I'd like to be able to move these things without breaking my back and also to swap plants in and out so I was l hoping to use multiple individual pots in a tray inside the larger pot.

I'm in SW Wales, so USDA Zone 9, cool maritime climate. The front of the house is north-facing and shaded. Any suggestions for plants that would mix in together? I was hoping for one or two things with decent vertical growth, a couple of trailing plants and some clump-formers. 


  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    You could try astilbe for height, hosta, heuchera or geranium for a lower clumb effect, ivy or vinca for trailing, and a begonia either trailing or non trailing for colour. You could remove most of them when they die back leaving the trailing ivy and replace with hellebores, azaleas and a bulb or two for Winter/Spring interest.

    The problem as I see it is the watering and feeding. Leaving them in pots won't be as beneficial as planting them permanently in a good JI3 compost.

    I am sure others will be along to advise though.
    SW Scotland
  • mwtbonesmwtbones Posts: 16
    @Purplerain - Thanks. I'm a bit clueless when it comes to decorative and potted plants so just having a thread to follow really helps.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,956

    Use some plastic bottles with caps on to fill the bottom. 
    Utah, USA.
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    If you buy the little trays with caster on (pot movers) you will be able to move your pots. 
    As the pots are really quite big, I would go for the majority of perennial plants/shrubs and just leave a little space for spring flowering bulbs and summer bedding stuff. Perhaps a euonymus which is variegated, a purple heuchera , a bit of the copper coloured grass whose name escapes me, for height and a trailing ivy to pick up the colours of the euonymus. That will give you year round colour and then pop in some fibrous rooted begonias or busy lizzies in the summer, both of which do well in shade. The other pot I would just plant with a sarcocca humilis which is evergreen and give you scented flowers in the winter.  
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    You can also fill the bottom with old jumpers, newspapers, polystyrene or unrotted kitchen waste which will break down over time (with no meat, dairy or cooked food).
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