OYO: Thrillers that will rock your flower pot

Published: May. 24, 2019 at 6:39 AM CDT
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In this week's Owning Your Outdoors we have tips and ideas that will make your patio container the best one in the neighborhood.

To make the big flower pot on your porch or driveway stand out, Doug Schroeder, our yard and garden expert from Lewis, has a simple recipe: Thrillers, fillers and spillers. Thrillers, fillers and spillers are three types of plants that complement each other and, when combined, make a perfect combination for your patio container.

Doug says that before you start you must consider the soil. Soil is the foundation of your container and good potting soil will provide a good foundation that will get your plants off to a good start. If you already have soil in your planter from last season, Doug suggests taking about half of that dirt out and replacing it with fresh potting soil. Your plant's roots will likely not make it more than half way down into your container, so leaving the old soil in the bottom half of the container is just fine.

If you're not in the mood to move dirt, there a new product from Miracle Gro called Refresh. Just mix it into your soil and it replenishes the nutrients that your plants need to grow.

After the foundation is set, it's time to start thinking about plants. And the first one you should think about is the thriller.

The Thriller is a large plant that is the focal point of your container. This year Doug suggests making Cannas the centerpiece of your container. Their bright yellow and orange colors are beautiful. Another, new plant to try this year is Truffula, a plant that has a bright, neon pink flower. SunBelievable Brown Eyed Girl Helianthus is another new and exciting flower to try. SunBelievable will bloom all spring and summer long. Angelonia, Prince Tut Cyperus Grass and Snake Plant are some other great options for the thriller of your container.

After you've chosen the thriller, finish your container with fillers and spillers. The options are endless. For suggestions and ideas, .


Thrillers are the focal point of the container. This is the plant that provides architectural structure in the pot. Good examples are ornamental grasses, spikes or cordyline.

Fillers are the plants in the middle that connect the thrillers to the spillers. Fillers are billowy, mounding plants that disguise the base of the thriller. Coleus, Petunias and Marigolds are good examples.

Spillers are the final element to consider in the patio container. They cascade over the edge of the container. Sweet Potato Vine, Million Bells and Verbena.