What Will Grow in Your Planter? Few Tips to Select Plants

An amazing range and variety of plants exist in the world and all of them can be adapted to fit in your garden planter. It really depends on what the surrounding environment is where you intend to keep your planter and what type of plant you prefer. 

planter tips

There are the shade-loving foliage plants which are good for indoors, there are the flowering plants and there are the groundcover and climbing plants which make wonderful accents.

Of the foliage plants, some are more adaptable than others; this is the same for flowering plants and groundcover.  Use a plant where you feel it works well and where it will get what it needs to survive. 

The shade lovers do well indoors while the flowering plants need lots of sunlight. You can get sunlight or light to flower plants indoors by placing their planters next to a sunny window or making use of grow lights. 

If you make the wrong choice and plant a shade-loving plant outdoors that isn’t used to the sunlight you may end up burning the poor thing up and vice versa with the flowering plants. 

Following is a list of possible plants that you may enjoy using in your garden planters.

Foliage Plants:

Norfolk Island pine
It’s called a pine but it looks like a fern. This plant is popular amongst florists and it may be popular with you.  It likes partial sun and average room temperature.  Watch out, because this one likes to climb.

Japanese Laurel
This is a plant with green shiny leaves that are speckled in white or yellow. They are very attractive and prefer colder temperatures and partial light.  These are slow to grow but they will eventually reach heights over five feet

Dwarf Fan Palm
Lovers of the tropical atmosphere will like this palm plant with fan-like leaves. It is compact but it will grow up to five feet tall in a planter.   Keep it in slightly cool temperatures around fifty-five to sixty-five degrees and give it good light.

Flowering Plants:

These pretty seasonals come in a couple of varieties. They like their soil to be alkaline and like a cooler temperature between forty and sixty degrees.  You can keep the plants overwintered in a sunny porch or cellar and they will bloom forth for you when the warm months return.

Add a touch of elegance to the planter and can be kept year-round. They do grow over five feet so make sure they’ve got the space.  They do like it a little cool between forty and sixty degrees in temperature.


Spider Plant
The spider plant is an excellent planter vine.  Its leaves are long light green slivers with a pale white or yellow stripe down the center. They tend to hang over the edges of the planters and if you are lucky they will grow small tufts of baby spider plants that can be split and placed into a new planter. They like partial shade and room temperatures.

Grape Ivy
The lovely darker green vine is relatively low maintenance as all vines tend to be. It likes the partial shade and room temperatures between sixty-five and seventy-five degrees.

Kangaroo Vine
This vine has glossy dark green leaves and occasionally produces small clusters of berries. It prefers the full shade and can stand a fifteen-degree temperature variance from fifty to sixty-five degrees, but will do okay slightly out of that range.

Plants can usually be found at your nearby greenhouse, or garden center or from online stores and catalogs. You may even find a good deal on a plant towards the end of the gardening season, especially if you are planning on keeping them indoors during the cold months.

Selecting and Arranging Plants in an Interior Planter

It can be lots of fun to pick out and arrange the plants that go in your planters.  You need to focus on both what is best for the plants and what works well in the area where you are placing the planter. 

When placing your planter you should take into account the;

  • temperature
  • humidity in the air
  • light
  • proper ventilation

Though it may seem as if your home maintains the same temperature throughout, it really does vary quite a bit. The area near your windows can be as much as 20 degrees higher or lower than the average temperature of the rest of the home. So make sure that you test the average temperature of an area before you place your plants there. 

Also, homes are built with people in mind, not plants, and many plants find the interior of the home to be extremely drying. Try not to place plants near a heater vent or other dryer areas. During the winter months work to keep your plants hydrated by spritzing them.

All plants need light to grow and thrive. However, some need more light than others and others need less. Make sure you know whether your plants desire full sun, partial sun, or shade in order to grow well.

Ventilation is important to ensure your plants get the air they need to stay healthy. Make sure your home has plenty of ventilation but make sure you don’t leave the plants where a sudden draft can cause a temperature drop.

Selecting and Grouping Plants

Do remember to select plants for your interior planter according to how much time you have to devote to them. It can be incredibly depressing to buy a high-maintenance plant only to have it wither and die on you.

When arranging groups of plants in your planter you can really go artistic in combining color and textures, foliage and flowers, and of course that ground cover. 

Decide if you want taller foliage or shorter foliage.  If the planter will operate as more of a room divider you will probably lean towards taller foliage. 

Take in the colors of the room where the planter is to be placed. You can really create a striking effect in a darker corner with brightly colored flowering plants. 

If your home is rented you probably have white-washed walls you can soften the harshness of that artificial whiteness by placing feathery foliage against the walls.

Here are some basic guidelines for grouping your plants in a garden planter.

  • Select plants with differences in color and texture to create an interesting contrast in the planter.
  • Make sure you have varying levels of height so some plants set off others
  • Choose colors in your plants that will either complement or set off the colors of your room

Installing Plants in the Planter

You can install plants in your planter in a few different ways. There is the option of installing plants directly into the open soil. You can also keep the plants in separate pots inside the planter and fill in the spaces with a layer of pebbles. Some people also prefer to place a covering of peat moss or vermiculite over the potted plants to add decoration and help keep moisture in.

If you have tall foliage remember to stake your plants so that they grow properly and don’t tip over.