Ah spring and the onset of summer . . . Anyone who loves a garden knows exactly how we at Beneva Plantscapes feel. This is the time of year here in Florida when we look forward to perennials blooming, when the most vibrant flowering plants seem to come alive, bursting with color from our container pots and in our garden beds. While there are many, many flowering plants we could hold up as iconic of the season, we’ve narrowed it to five that you can easily incorporate into your outdoor and even indoor garden scheme via container.
You’ll recognize this one straight away from its soft red petals contrasting with dark little green leaves. The flowers can be so abundant it’s a wonder the rest of the plant can hold them up! These bloom in the spring but will last weeks once they bloom, unfolding slowly at first. Give them acidic soil (a mix of soil and bark works best) and ensure that there’s a viable drainage hole at the bottom of the container, which should also provide your azalea with lots of space. Expose your plant to lots of sunlight during the day, and if you can swing it, offer it some shade in the afternoon.
Who doesn’t love bougainvillea, with its streams of vivid pink flowers climbing up walls and fences, signaling the arrival of spring? This tropical vine flowers beautifully, and three times at that–once in spring, summer, and fall. You can start it in a small container, keeping the roots a bit crowded. Load it up with regular potting soil, add some drainage holes, and then let it go. Once some time has passed, keep the soil on the dry side. Offer your bougainvillea fertilizer on the regular, and prune as you see fit. This vine is a natural climber, so position your container in an area where you’d like to see a vibrant wash of color.
The fair gardenia is beloved for its singular scent. To grow these beauties in a container, load your pot with acidic soil. Since gardenia love full sun, you can show them off on your patio, near a window in your home, or in a sunny spot on your front porch. These sun-lovers aren’t water-lovers, however, instead preferring their soil on the dry side. We say keep it damp and put some mulch over the top, adding fertilizer every couple of weeks. You’ll also want to prune and shape the dark, rich leaves to keep your gardenia bush polished and contained.
We love how you can use a container or plant box to train jasmine, a shrub and vine that belongs to the olive family, to climb up a wall or a fence. There are over 200 species of jasmine, but for container growth we love Star Jasmine, which is hardy and will bloom all year long at different times. It’s got that wonderful jasmine fragrance and can thrive in the shade and the sun. Fertilize it seasonally and ensure that your pot has drainage holes. Add a trellis or other structure that will conduct the jasmine up and out. It does well with acidic organic potting soil mixed with compost.
There’s nothing quite like a hibiscus shrub, with its large-petaled flower that comes in all of those warm-weather hues like orange, red, peach, and even purple. Hibiscus is distinctive for its five-lobed capsule embedded with seeds, making it a “complete” flower in that it has all four parts and can propagate itself. The two types, Tropical or Chinese, both adore our warm and humid climate. They will do well in a container on a patio or deck, as long as that container has plenty of draining holes and the hibiscus gets full sun for 6-8 hours a day. Bring your hibiscus inside during the winter, and when it isn’t blooming, enjoy some hibiscus tea!
Let Beneva Plantscapes help you with plant installs and rentals. We’d love to see you flower up your doorstep, patio, and interior this spring.