All Posts   Posted:   July 24, 2019 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education Director

If you've driven past our Portland area garden centers recently, you have probably noticed the large container plantings we have along the streets and in our parking lots⁠—they are really filling out nicely and provide big, bold colorful impact to drivers speeding by as well as up-close interest for those passing at a slower pace. Since most of our containers are quite large, we really have fun with plant combinations, creating arrangements with varying heights, dazzling foliage, and brilliant flowers that last all summer.

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Many of the plants we use are tropical in nature with large, brightly colored foliage (Red Banana, Datura, Elephant Ears/Colocasia, Flowering Maple/Abutilon), making them the perfect 'thrillers' with just the right amount of height and drama to go along with companion 'fillers' and 'spillers'.

For the next tier of plants ('fillers') we might choose Coleus, purple fountain grass, Begonias (Dragon Wing, Bonfire, Illumination), Lantana, or Cuphea; some plants might have a semi-trailing habit, but be mostly upright and spreading.

Finally, for 'spillers' we love sweet potato vine for its fast growth rate and big, lush leaves which compliment any and every flower color. To add a final bit of flower power, we are very fond of Million Bells/Calibrachoa, which look like small petunia flowers; they generally have a trailing habit, are fast-growing, and require very little maintenance. 

Our summer containers are usually planted in mid-May and continue to grow and thrive until frost, giving us nearly 5 months of festive color and vacation vibes. Using a combination of non-hardy tropical plants with summer annuals creates an exotic look and feel that would be difficult to achieve with plants more suited to our climate. Picture large, trumpet-shaped flowers such as Mandevilla or Hibiscus around your deck or pool area, colorful pots of spiky Red Dracaena/Cordyline for flair in your outdoor living/dining area, or brightly colored Bouganvilla to screen an unwelcome view.

When winter comes, you can either choose to let your tropical plants die from cold temperatures or you may try to protect them by providing shelter such as bringing them indoors or into a greenhouse, shed, or garage that doesn’t freeze. Many tropical plants make excellent houseplants if provided with adequate indoor lighting. Hibiscus, Flowering Maples, Elephant Ears and Begonias are examples of plants that will thrive when brought inside.
If you love the bright flowers and bold, exotic foliage of the tropics, you can surround yourself with amazing planted containers for far less than the price of a vacation and enjoy them with your friends and family all summer long! Slice up some pineapple and stick a flower behind your ear… here’s to a little "aloha" in your garden (rainbow emoji).

*Inventory varies by location. Shop our Cedar Hills & Lake Oswego Garden Centers for the best tropical selections.
 

If you've driven past our Portland area garden centers recently, you have probably noticed the large container plantings we have along the streets and in our parking lots⁠—they are really filling out nicely and provide big, bold colorful impact to drivers speeding by as well as up-close interest for those passing at a slower pace. Since most of our containers are quite large, we really have fun with plant combinations, creating arrangements with varying heights, dazzling foliage, and brilliant flowers that last all summer.

    ​

Many of the plants we use are tropical in nature with large, brightly colored foliage (Red Banana, Datura, Elephant Ears/Colocasia, Flowering Maple/Abutilon), making them the perfect 'thrillers' with just the right amount of height and drama to go along with companion 'fillers' and 'spillers'.

For the next tier of plants ('fillers') we might choose Coleus, purple fountain grass, Begonias (Dragon Wing, Bonfire, Illumination), Lantana, or Cuphea; some plants might have a semi-trailing habit, but be mostly upright and spreading.

Finally, for 'spillers' we love sweet potato vine for its fast growth rate and big, lush leaves which compliment any and every flower color. To add a final bit of flower power, we are very fond of Million Bells/Calibrachoa, which look like small petunia flowers; they generally have a trailing habit, are fast-growing, and require very little maintenance. 

Our summer containers are usually planted in mid-May and continue to grow and thrive until frost, giving us nearly 5 months of festive color and vacation vibes. Using a combination of non-hardy tropical plants with summer annuals creates an exotic look and feel that would be difficult to achieve with plants more suited to our climate. Picture large, trumpet-shaped flowers such as Mandevilla or Hibiscus around your deck or pool area, colorful pots of spiky Red Dracaena/Cordyline for flair in your outdoor living/dining area, or brightly colored Bouganvilla to screen an unwelcome view.

When winter comes, you can either choose to let your tropical plants die from cold temperatures or you may try to protect them by providing shelter such as bringing them indoors or into a greenhouse, shed, or garage that doesn’t freeze. Many tropical plants make excellent houseplants if provided with adequate indoor lighting. Hibiscus, Flowering Maples, Elephant Ears and Begonias are examples of plants that will thrive when brought inside.
If you love the bright flowers and bold, exotic foliage of the tropics, you can surround yourself with amazing planted containers for far less than the price of a vacation and enjoy them with your friends and family all summer long! Slice up some pineapple and stick a flower behind your ear… here’s to a little "aloha" in your garden (rainbow emoji).

*Inventory varies by location. Shop our Cedar Hills & Lake Oswego Garden Centers for the best tropical selections.