Take a quick look at your porch or patio.

Wouldn’t a new container arrangement really add some impact out there?

Tired and overgrown container arrangement.

It’s not hard to spruce up the area, but maybe you’ve been a bit worried about your success. Perhaps past experiences have made you doubt your green thumb? Fear not! Even if you’re a plant newbie, we’ve got you covered. Read on….

When plotting out a new arrangement, whether it is to feature flowering plants or just greenery, it’s important to remember there is no right or wrong plant combination. Your new arrangement should reflect your personal preferences and style. Here are six simple steps to create your own lush and lovely container arrangement.

  1. Choose a Pot that Inspires YOU

Start simple. With endless pottery options in a wide range of shapes and sizes, you’re sure to find a pot that fits your space and your vision. Be sure to choose a planter with a bottom drainage hole. This will help prevent overwatering.

  1. Plan with Bold Color

When developing a flower-filled planter, think color…and don’t be afraid of going bold. You may want to think about the season, and pick a complementary color scheme.

  1. Thrill, Fill, & Spill

This container has a thriller, spiller, and filler

With your color palette in mind, it’s time to determine the perfect mix for your planter. Just remember these three little words: Thriller, Spiller and Filler.

  • Thriller: This should be your container’s main attraction. The perfect plant should stand tall in the back/center of your planter. It is best to pick your “Thriller” first and build around it. Examples of thrillers: Egyptian Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) or Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’).
  • Spiller: Here we’re referring to a trailing plant that spills over your container as it grows. Your Spiller can be boldly colored, like a Sweet Potato Vine.
  • Filler: Time to fill in. Adding plants around your “Thriller” and “Spiller” allows you to fill up your container and visually tie your arrangement together. Add simple drops of color through flowering plants, or even add something edible, like Rosemary. Examples of fillers: Coleus, Pentas, and, Lantana.

(*When choosing your Thriller, Spiller and Filler, make sure to consider what lighting conditions your container will receive. Will the spot receive full sun? Partial shade? Varying light conditions must be considered as you pick your plants.)

  1. Time to Plant

Mockup of how you want to arrange your plants before unpotting

After purchasing your plants, it’s time to assemble. Make sure you’ve chosen a high quality, organic soil, such as our PlantVine Organic Potting Soil. The right soil is crucial to ensure the plant receives proper nutrients and will have good drainage.

  • Step 1: Fill the planter halfway with soil. (Remember you’ll be adding multiple plants to your pot, so don’t overfill.)
  • Step 2: Before removing your plants from their original containers, do a mockup of how you want to arrange your plants. Simply place the plants inside the container to determine your “layout.”
  • Step 3: After deciding upon your preferred planting arrangement, it’s time to plant! We always suggest starting with the main attraction (Thriller) first, and then build around it. When you first “unpot” your plant, make sure to shake away the excess soil to reveal the roots. Then place the plant in the new container. As you fill everything in, you may decide you’ve purchased more plants than you actually needed. No worries, this happens all the time. Think how lovely that “extra” plant will look on its own in another spot.
  • Step 4: Once you’re happy with the placement, add more organic soil to the container to firmly pack in your arrangement.
  1. Some Advice on Watering

Click here for a step by step guide on essential watering tips

After you’re done arranging, remove any excess soil. Then, water each plant to begin establishing the plant in its new container. Developing a healthy watering schedule is key to the longevity of your arrangement. For a step by step guide on essential watering tips, Click Here >>

  1. Enjoy!

As you admire your gorgeous new planter, we’d love to see your new creation and share it with our community of plant lovers. Get out that iPhone and snap a few. Please tag us on social media @plantvine. Congrats, you are on your way being a Green Thumb Legend!

(Please note: As your arrangement establishes itself, it is not unusual to experience some plant loss. Should this occur, simply remove the dead plant and replace it with something fresh and new.)

Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Tropical Plants Alive During Winter

Hibiscus brought indoors during winter. *Flowering not guaranteed.

As Summer begins to wind down, our Plant Lovers from colder climates frequently ask us, “How best can my plants survive the Winter?

Luckily, it IS possible to keep some of your less cold-hardy plants thriving year-round. By having a smart overwintering plan, you can bring your plants through the coldest months. Okay….we hear you asking, “What exactly is Overwintering?” It simply means bringing your cold-sensitive plants inside, or into a sheltered spot.

For example, even a tropical plant like a hibiscus can make it through the Winter. If you live in an area where the temperatures dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, bring the hibiscus indoors. Fortunately, hibiscus are not too picky about location as long as they’re receiving adequate light and water.

Tip: Place outdoor plants on a sunny window sill for maximum light exposure.

Moving a plant indoors is not without some challenges. A plant could experience shock, caused by changes in light and humidity levels. You may even see some wilting or loss of leaves. But trust us, the plants can recover.

Misting leaves, allows your plant to retain the humidity it needs to thrive in a dry environment.

Here’s how to prepare your plant for the move. If possible, start by reducing the amount of sunlight the plant receives. Place it in a more shaded area outdoors. When you move it indoors, find a sunny spot by a window. If such a spot is not available, consider purchasing an artificial grow light. Humidity is another factor to consider. As you might suspect, the level of humidity indoors is far less than outdoors. Here are some ideas to compensate:

1) Situate the plant in your home’s most naturally humid rooms, like your kitchen, bath or laundry.

2) Group plants together, as this naturally increases the area’s humidity.

3) Misting the leaves of more tropical plants will help but be cautious to do so moderately and not overmist!

4) If all else fails, consider trying a room humidifier.

Keep in mind that overwintering plants indoors may impact their growth and bloom. Rest assured, this is completely normal. They’ll bounce back to their beautiful selves when Spring comes and they’re back outdoors.

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ADD A TOUCH OF MAGIC TO YOUR HOME

When you open a PlantVine box, we believe you’ll find the experience to be a bit different from opening other boxes. Inside you’ll find something alive; something that infuses positive energy into a room or a corner of your garden; something magical. From the moment you unbox the plant, you begin to imagine the perfect spot for it. Your creativity swings into play. You’re inspired to design a new look and feel, indoors or out.

Just as with the clothes and accessories we choose to wear, all of us also have a “Plant Style.” We’d love to help you discover your own, or take your interests to the next level. This season, we’re focusing on unboxing the magic of plants that bring fresh elements into your homescapes. We’ve categorized them into Style, Scandinavian Design, Holistic Beauty, and Nature. We’ve hand-picked various plants filled with texture and color to add vibrant focal points to your home and garden.  Here are just a few examples.

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Designing with Style can be a fun way to bring fashionable plants into your décor. For example, considered to be a plant enthusiast’s “must have,” our Philodendron Gloriosum adds strong visual interest with its rich, velvety leaves. Alone, or paired with other bold choices, create your signature style by combining shape, texture and color.

Interest in Scandinavian Design is once again surging to the forefront of décor. Inspired by its clean lines and spare approach, you’ll find many fashion-forward homes in Europe and across the U.S. embracing its minimalist ideology. To highlight and complement, we suggest various Philodendrons, such as the Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera Delicosa), or even the Snake Plant (Sanseviera).  Working with various shades of green and a mix of shapes, these plants become stylistic focal points. Of course, their low maintenance demands are an added bonus.

Consider for a moment the Holistic Beauty and Benefits of plants. Many different varieties bring more to the table than just their good looks. For example, the Aloe Vera has been used for centuries as a “go-to” treatment for minor burns and rashes. The Corn Plant (Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’) has been approved by NASA as an air purifier that effectively removes toxins from the air we breathe. These double duty plants are smart additions to home or office.

And what about those plants that get re-connect you with Nature itself? We have suggestions that bring a garden-full of birds, butterflies and wildlife right to your door. Case in point: Milkweed or Yellow Elder are natural attractors for butterflies. Sweet Viburnum or Pink Bougainvillea will bring the birds. Adding any of these will also bring… compliments from neighbors and friends.

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We’re Planting Some Unique Ideas for Dad’s Day Gifting

Father’s Day is just ahead. This year, don’t wait for the last minute to get Dad the same old, same old. After all, your Dad always has your back, so why not show him he’s front and center in your heart and in your thoughts?  The plants we’re spotlighting below send Dad the message that your love for him grows each year. Lush and alive, choose one as a perfect addition to Dad’s outdoor landscaping or his special interior spaces.

Idea #1 The Old Man Palm (and how perfect is this?)  Dad loves a good pun, and we’re certain he’ll love a great palm. Wonderfully low maintenance, this slow growing Cuban palm can reach 20 feet tall in the garden. Container friendly, it can also thrive indoors. Looking for something different for your Old Man? Look no further.

#2 – Is Dad a chef? Is he the guy who loves to make his own salads, sorbets, marinades, chutneys or cocktails? Even if he’s not a “foodie,” we’re certain Dad will appreciate the gift of a Meyer Lemon tree. Sweeter than regular lemons, Meyer Lemons have a discernible orange flavor. They’ve got more sugar and less acid than other lemons, and thus have a softer flavor than their famously sour siblings. These brightly colored lemons bring beautiful color into the yard while conjuring up a “taste” of the tropics.

#3 – With a nod to the Village People, you’ve always known your Dad was a “Macho, Macho Man, Who lives a life of freedom, Machos make a stand.”

So, take a stand, with a cool choice for your one-of-a-kind Dad: the Macho Fern. It can grow indoors or out, though it prefers light shade (as too much sun can scorch the fronds). The Macho Fern is also a smart choice for Dad’s office.

#4 – In your family, you’ve always relied on Dad. His love and support is a constant on which you depend. Just like a leopard, you know he’ll never change his spots. That’s why we’re recommending the Giant Leopard Plant this Father’s Day. Known for its giant heart-shaped shiny leaves, its colorful daisy-like flowers grow through late summer. The Giant Leopard does best with a couple of hours in the sun, along with slightly moist, well-drained soil. It’s a perfect gift for your Cool Cat of a Dad.

When you were a kid, you probably hit Dad up for some green (as in some $$$). Now it’s your turn to give him the gift of green, a plant that grows more beautiful as time goes by. Make it a Father’s Day he’ll remember.

One-of-a-Kind Gifts for a One-of-a-Kind-Guy

Spring is right around the corner – which happily means more color for our gardens!

This is an exciting time of year for plant enthusiasts. In our minds and hearts, we envision blooming flowers basking in those welcome warmer temperatures. So, even though it may still be a bit chilly, this is the perfect time to start working on your existing garden, or to begin a new one.

You’ll find a fabulous selection of spring plants located at the “Shop Plants” section of our website. Click through and prepare to be entranced. Our PlantVine experts have selected lovely picks to add glorious color to your garden.

One of our most popular Spring picks is the Mandevilla. It’s so simple, but a true show stopper available in a great array of colors. For those who wish to “boldly go,” consider the reds and pinks. If you’re thinking something a bit more subtle, look to the white, appropriately titled the “Mandevilla Bride’s Cascade.”

Another choice for a pure pop of color is the Bougainvillea, available in your choice of a tree or bush – and in a rainbow of vibrant hues: purple or pinkBy adding these plants or others on our website’s Spring Plant Picks, you’ll be adding that perfect punch of color wherever you place them.

Happy Planning and Happy Planting!

Our Top Flowering Picks

Whether March comes in like a Lion or a Lamb, when the month finally arrives, we all begin to look forward to Spring and the lovely flowers those warmer temperatures bring.

Let’s focus here on Pollinators: those insects, (like bees and butterflies), birds and critters so important to helping your garden grow. Pollinators move pollen from the male part of the plant to its female part. In doing so, they make growth possible.

The Lantana, Hibiscus and Anthurium are show stoppers that add beautiful color to your garden while attracting those crucial pollinators.Choose the Lantana in white, purple, yellow, or even confetti (a blast of different colors together). Though the Hibiscus is one of the most common tropical flowers, that doesn’t stop it from being one of our most popular plants. And – so many colors to choose from! Lastly, the Anthurium can be a dramatic addition to your garden in a choice of vibrant shades.

These amazing plants are guaranteed to bring the color you’re looking for in your outdoor scapes, and those all-important pollinators so necessary to a flourishing garden. Happy March!

Add a POP of color to your garden

Those of us with hope in hearts know that Spring is on its way.

This year, why not plan for some very welcome visitors in your garden? Let’s spend a moment familiarizing ourselves with several plants sure to attract butterflies and bees.

Milkweed has traditionally been one of our most popular butterfly plants.

Our Butterfly Flower Milkweed (Asclepias spp) and our Giant Milkweed (Calotropis Gigantea ) are perfect choices. Milkweed grows five nectar cups with incurved horns around the petals. This allows butterflies or caterpillars to move easily from one leaf to the next, collecting fallen pollen from the plant’s horns. Milkweed is also where Monarch butterflies prefer to lay their eggs.

In the last several years, those of us who love gardening have seen an alarming downward trend in the bee population. That’s why committed gardeners and environmentalists are paying more attention to attracting bees, by planting their favorite flowers and plants. As we all know, bees are one of the most important pollinating insects – so central to our gardens’ well being. This year, let’s plan to make our outdoor spaces more welcoming to these crucial critters.

Happy Planting!

Popular Plants for Spring:

No doubt about it, the season has changed. Though some gardeners may be sad to see all those glorious summer colors fade or go dormant, there are many vibrant options available in fall. Three of our top picks…(Drum Roll, please): Crotons, Orange Bird of Paradise, and Yellow Elder. Now, we know many of you do not live in southern climates, and planting outdoors when the temperatures start plummeting is not an option. Please be assured: our favorite Fall Trio grows brilliantly indoors, too.

Crotons

These beautiful shrubs are available in a range of styles and colors. For Fall, we love those varieties featuring beautiful hues of reds, orange or yellow. Crotons are a perennial shrub that can grow quite tall in their full-size form. But, you’ll also find a selection of dwarf crotons on our site. Click here to find some favorites!

Orange Bird of Paradise

The subtle gray-green leaves of this plant burst forth into some of the brightest and most beautiful orange blossoms you’ll find anywhere. Named for its similarity to a brilliantly colored exotic bird, these beauties grow well indoors or out. Native to areas of Florida (and one of the state’s most popular flowers), the Bird of Paradise is a magnificent focal point for any area with its year-round blooms. You’ll find it grows best in Zone 10, but it’s open to a bit of flexibility, as long as you bring it indoors when the weather turns cold. Click here to shop!

3 GallonYellow Elder

One of the most popular plants on our site now, Yellow Elder is a unique option that is amazingly flexible. Looking for a tree? It can be a tree. Looking for a bush or a trellis? It can do that, too. You’ll fall in love with its brilliant yellow flowers. If you live in warmer areas, the Yellow Elder can perform as a shade plant when grown up a trellis. If you’re looking to bring it indoors, simply trim it down into a small bush. Click here to view more!

The Yellow Elder grows in several different zones: 7 through 11. It blooms throughout the spring and into fall. It has a high tolerance for heat but does not thrive outdoors when the weather turns cold.

No matter what your plans are for the fall season, don’t think your gardening hobby must go into winter hibernation. We’ll help you look for new ways to bring the garden indoors. With any of our Fall Trio, you’ll have something to enjoy in a pot inside now, then take back outdoors when Spring comes again.