Whether outdoor growing space is limited or spacious, container gardens add color, fragrance and form to your surroundings. Yet selecting combinations of plants that look good together, share similar basic needs and grow well in containers can be time consuming. FBTS Container Kits do the planning for you. Each grouping contains two to three types of plants -- including many salvias -- that are harmonious container companions.
We offer plant combinations for three sizes of pots:
- Large -- at least 24 inches in diameter
- Medium -- 16 to 24 inches in diameter and
- Small -- 12 to 16 inches.
We recommend pots made of terracota or other materials that allow plants to breathe, as Salvia require well aerated roots. Plastic or glazed ceramic pots can be used as well with care given to watering frequency.
FBTS Container Kits are designed for three levels of exposure:
- Full sun -- Six or more hours a day of direct sunlight
- Partial shade -- A condition varying from the dappled light under a deciduous shade tree to a location, for example, with morning sun and afternoon shade, and
- Full shade -- No direct sunlight.
Some of our container collections are filled with plants mostly grown as annuals in the U.S. Annuals die at the end of a single growing season when winter frost kills their roots.
Perennials. Plant combos labeled "perennial" include die to soil line after frost, but put in repeat performance the following spring in areas where their roots can survive winter temperatures. We can't guarantee winter survival of containerized perennials. However, overwintering techniques -- such as storing wrapped containers in garages or on cool sun porches -- may keep their roots alive to grow again.
Estimates of what perennials will survive winter in what parts of the nation are based on U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones
. The range of zones for each FBTS Container Kit indicates winter temperatures that all the plants in the kit can survive. However, some plants in a kit may be capable of thriving in colder zones.
Thriller / Spiller / Filler
These terms are FBTS shorthand for each plant's role within a grouping.
- Thrillers are the central focus of containers.
- Spillers have relaxed or spreading foliage that should be situated for trailing over the edge of containers.
- Fillers are complementary sidekicks that add interest but don't upstage the thrillers.
Hummingbirds love bright-colored tubular flowers containing quality nectar. Container gardens are fine with them, especially in sunny settings. Nevertheless, reds and other hot colors lure them to shade.
Container Kits that are attractive to hummingbirds are shown with a in the Details part of their descriptions pages.
Butterflies have excellent color vision and visit flowers in a broad range of colors. They need petals on which they can perch while drinking nectar. Long, thin, tubular flowers aren't made for them.
Container Kits that are attractive to butterflies are shown with a in the Details part of their descriptions pages.
Container gardens need well-aerated potting mix that doesn't compact easily when watered. Mixes vary from one region of the nation to another. However, good ones for salvias include mineral matter which improves drainage along with the usual ground bark or pine needles, peat moss and perlite. We also prefer mixes containing beneficial bacteria and fungi for healthy root growth.
Standard mixes with a "balanced" combination of N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) are fine for salvias requiring what we refer to as "rich" soil. However, choose mixes with less nitrogen for plants that like low fertility, such as species native to semi-arid lands. We suggest the use of a balanced liquid fertilizer at a low rate.
Although you do need to water container gardens more frequently than plants in the ground, be moderate. Overwatering can drown roots and cause rot, especially in non-terracotta pots, such as ones made of plastic or other materials that don't allow plants to breathe.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about using our Container Kits.