The look of an IOTA planter only starts with the container. What you put in it matters just as much as the container materials. When doing plant selection for your planters, there are a number of factors to consider:
- Where will the container be sited?
- What is the function of the container?
- How much maintenance will the planters get?
- Is there a drip irrigation system or will the plants have to be hand-watered?
- Are there a lot of people around the area where you’re specifying the pots?
- Will someone be changing the container plantings for the seasons, or should they be planted to last the entire year?
There are great variety of plant choices for every type of container, depending on the circumstances where it will be planted.
Plants for Privacy
One of the most frequent uses for IOTA garden pots in public spaces is to create outdoor rooms, screened by plants. If you’re looking for plants to create privacy, you want to choose dense evergreens or thick grasses.
Here are some good choices:
- Acacia ‘River cascade’
- Pittosporum ‘Golden Sheen’
- White abelia
- Teucrium fruticans
- Conifer smaragd
- Viburnum tinus
Plants for Ornamental Value
Of course, all plants add charm where they grow, but some are more interesting and better-suited to containers than others. Here are some hardy plants that look lovely in IOTA garden planters.
- Lavender—in particular, lavender topiaries complement the slate Monaco cube-shaped planters.
- Viburnum—some viburnum plants are evergreen. All have lovely flowers and deep green foliage that looks good with IOTA granite planters.
- Ornamental grasses—the lovely, wispy look of ornamental grasses looks lovely in summer and winter. The weeping nature of these plants softens the harder edges of stone containers.
- Salvia and sages—these hardy perennials are tough enough to withstand being picked at by passers-by, are semi-evergreen, and produce lovely flowers and fragrant foliage.
- Shrub roses and rose standards—rose topiaries look elegant, but are actually very tough plants, well-suited for containers in public places.
If there’s no drip irrigation where the containers will be situated, you’ll need to specify drought-tolerant plants for the pots. Drought-tolerant doesn’t mean they need no water at all, but they’ll survive more readily with sporadic watering. Plant these for your garden pots in hard to reach places.
- Rosemary—this perennial herb grows into a small hedge and thrives in an arid climate. For a little extra color plant trailing verbena around the rosemary plants. (Rosemary topiaries are especially pretty in IOTA pots.)
- Sedum—’Autumn Joy’ is a popular cultivar, but there are many other sedum choices. This plant can get by with just a little water every other week. The leaves are green, blue, or burgundy (depending on the selection). They are a bit fragile, so they’re better plants for areas where people can’t pick the plants apart.
- Agapanthus—there’s almost nothing more dramatic than the large blue flowers of agapanthus. When the plant isn’t in bloom, though, the strap-like leaves look like a thicker version of an ornamental grass.
As long as you match the plant type to the situation where it will be planted, you’ll have happy customers and happy plants. Do a bit of research when specifying what goes in the container. A bit of extra legwork goes a long way.
If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to share them in the comments below.