Patio pots offer exciting possibilities for the home gardener, allowing those with limited yard space to grow everything from lemon trees to dahlias. Your patio can easily be transformed into a container garden if you follow a few guidelines. Using a variety of pot types and sizes will allow you to accommodate a wide range of plants. Make sure, however, that these pots can be easily moved, so that you can both water them easily and rearrange them according to your decorating needs. If your climate experiences extreme temperature fluctuations, insulate your patio pots. Fill your patio pots with a mixture of potting soil and compost, as this will ensure that your plants' root systems won't dry out.
Colourful Patio Pots
If you want your patio pots to appear beautiful throughout the year, plant them with a mixture of annual, perennial and evergreen plants. Evergreens like Pieris japonica will appear attractive even in winter, while perennial flowers like anemone and peonies brighten patio pots in spring. Annuals like begonias and marigolds shine in summer, while coleus and some snapdragon cultivars can provide autumn colour. For best results, fill patio pots with plants of varying heights, so that they appear visually balanced.
Mediterranean Patio Pots
Rows of potted lemon or orange trees can give your patio a deliciously Mediterranean look and fragrance. Accent your potted orchard with terracotta pots of Mediterranean herbs, such as oregano, basil and thyme.
Monochromatic Patio Pots
Striking effects can be achieved by planting patio pots with a mixture of flowers and foliage displaying variations of same hue. For instance, to create a "red" patio pot, contrast a dark red Japanese maple with red coleus cultivars, crimson poppies, maroon-coloured chocolate cosmos, and pale red four o'clock s. Keep monochromatic patio pots interesting by using plants with highly distinct textures.
Succulent Patio Pots
Groupings of succulents can create adorable, low-maintenance patio pots. They work especially well in dry climates, as most succulents resist drought easily. Hens-and-chicks, aloe, autumn joy, jade, haworthia, burro's tail, ghost plants and agave can be used to create handsome patio pots. Set off the delicate pale green and grey tones of succulents by planting them in bronze or copper planters.
Large patio pots can be used to grow vegetables. Mix bushy vegetables like tomatoes and peppers with smaller herb plants, such as thyme and chives. For a colourful effect, round pots out with leafy lettuce and cucumber plants. Come summer, your patio pot garden will make for excellent salads.
Water Garden Patio Pots
For an exotic effect, consider planting patio pots with aquatic plants. These plants grow in water, rather than in soil. You should use a mix of floating, submerged and emergent plants. Floating plants, which grow on the surface of the water, include water hyacinth, water lettuce and floating moss. Submerged plants, which grow beneath the surface of the water and keep it oxygenated, include fanwort and wild celery. Emergent plants, which need to be potted and then partially submerged, include blue flag, arrowhead and cow lilies.