3 Potted Plant Arrangement Ideas for a Gorgeous Patio Garden

Fill a space with beautiful color and texture using containers that rival earthbound flower beds—especially in spots where planting is difficult.

Potted plant arrangement ideas soften hardscapes and add living beauty that's easily changed up through the seasons as the plants grow and fade. Plus, they allow you to mix plants that wouldn't usually mingle together in a single pot or garden bed. Maximize all the gorgeous potential by artfully arranging several containers together, especially in spaces where you don't have soil or get much rain, such as on your porch or patio.

To make your potted plant arrangement ideas look like an expert landscaping project that lasts all year long, make sure to follow a planting theme, such as a mix of colorful annuals and perennials, a monochromatic look created with flowers and foliage, or even a lush arrangement of tropical houseplants.

mix of plants in container garden grouping
Joseph Wanek

Mix-and-Match Potted Plant Arrangement Ideas

If you choose plants with similar care needs, it's easy to create a container garden with all your favorite annuals and perennials. For the most impact, use a variety of textures and sizes when you're planting. Even if you choose plants that look entirely different, you can tie the grouping together with neutral containers and repeat some plants in several pots. Vary the sizes and heights of each planter, with taller ones in the back so each plant can be seen from various angles. It also helps to choose a few large statement planters that can help anchor the entire grouping.

Like any garden, you'll need a few plants to serve as focal points. In this grouping, creamy white foxglove flowers, purple salvia, and a tall bird of paradise all draw the eye. Then, you can fill in the spaces in the middle with bright foliage plants like heuchera to make your grouping look lush and full.

all red and pink grouping of container garden plants
Joseph Wanek

Create a Monochromatic Grouping

One cohesive potted plant arrangement idea is using plants with a similar color palette. For this grouping, shades of red and dark pink add brightness and color to a plain patio. A tall, dark pink cordyline makes a nice focal point in the back, while burgundy heuchera and red caladium fill in the front. Smaller cordylines echo the color and shape of their larger cousin. The 'Aloha Kona Hot Orange' calibrachoa flowers pick up the reds and yellows in the foliage around them.

If you don't have planters that are different heights, you can still elevate some of your pots in the back by stacking them on a cinderblock, an upside-down pot, or even on steps if you're arranging the containers on your porch. This also gives you more options for rearranging the containers because you can swap out which pot is elevated above the rest. Using neutral planter colors and styles keeps the focus on your brightly colored plants. Try to use an odd number of containers; this will make the group more pleasing to the eye.

tropical grouping of houseplants in containers
Joseph Wanek

Try a Tropical Houseplant Container Collection

Even if you don't live in an area where it's possible to grow tropical plants outside year-round, you can create a temporary tropical container garden for the summer with a few favorite houseplants. When the weather turns too chilly to keep them outside, you can bring them indoors for the fall and winter (use lightweight planters to make them easier to move). Start with the largest plants, such as a towering fiddle-leaf fig and glossy rubber tree. Then, fill in with medium-sized plants, such as sago palm, snake plant, and taller cacti. Finally, complete the grouping with a few shorter plants in the front. Succulents and cacti are perfect for this position because they'll stay small and add interesting texture and colors to the group.

The best potted plant arrangement idea is to vary your plants' size, texture, and height. If you're using plants with mostly green foliage, try using a few different colors of containers to add a little more brightness to the group. If you use a similar planter style, they'll all blend well, even if the colors are different.

How to Keep Your Containers Looking Fresh

Make sure you choose plants that have similar needs. For example, if you're trying to fill a sunny spot on your patio, don't toss in one plant that likes shade alongside several sun-loving containers. It also helps to choose plants with similar watering needs so you can water all of them at once.

Shortly after planting, a clever potted plant arrangement idea is to cluster containers closely to create a sense of fullness. As plants mature and fill in, spread pots apart. Keep your container garden looking its best by moving plants in peak bloom to the forefront of the garden or elevating them above their neighbors. Likewise, slip plants past their prime to less prominent positions. Every four weeks or so, add a balanced fertilizer to your pots to help give plants the nutrients they need for healthy growth.

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