Creating a great combination planter seems simple: Just select a group of plants you like and put them together, right? Well, yes... And no.

When it comes to gardening, a single misstep can turn your botanical dreams into an irreversible nightmare. Not to worry, the experts at The Good Earth Garden Center have you covered from start to finish. Check out their tips for creating the perfect combination pots:

1. Measure your planting container before shopping. If you don’t have a planter, consider what style you would like and how large it will need to be. You want it to fit proportionately with your existing space. Think also about where the planter will be. Do the plants need to be tall or cascading down the sides, or both?

2. Figure out how much sun the planter will get. This step is crucial. No matter what style of planter you're going for, the plants must have similar sun needs. For example, torenia might look amazing with lantana, but their sun requirements are so different that they won’t be happy planted together.

3. Choose the container before the plants. This will help you know how many to get and which bloom or foliage colors will contrast the best. Even better, this helps establish the style you're leaning toward. Make sure there is a drainage hole in your container so excess water can escape.

4. Pick your plants. Arguably the most fun part! A good rule of thumb is to place colorful, blooming annuals around a larger statement piece in the middle. If you're not sure where to start, The Good Earth team has carefully selected all kinds of plants that do well in this area, as well as a variety of striking textures and colors. And if you're brand new to the lingo, check out this planting technique blog post for a fail-proof method. 

5. Mix it up. Plant annuals and tropical plants in with hardy perennials, shrubs and trees for more interesting container gardens.

6. Choose a quality potting mix. Selecting a good potting mix is very important. You want a mix that drains well, promotes root growth and general plant health. Always use a professional grade potting mix, because you're aiming for professional results. 

7. Don't forget fertilizer. In order to get maximum blooming and lush growth, it's important to fertilize. This is especially true with container gardening because of the constant watering, which can sometimes leach out nutrients before the plant has a chance to fully absorb them. Two great fertilizers are BR-61 and Ferti-Lome Premium Bedding Plant food, which both encourage blooming and plant strength.

Want more ideas before shopping? Check out this variety of colorful combinations to ignite your green thumb. 


The Good Earth Garden Center began in 1974 primarily as a retail store and growing facility and has since developed into a full-service garden center. Their online learning center offers an array of gardening and landscaping tips, such as how to ensure plant recovery after a hard freeze and much more. For more information, visit The Good Earth Garden Center website.