Ask Linnea: Summer Containers

Q: What perennials are great for containers in the summer?

Many perennials can be placed in containers now and then transplanted to the garden in November. This gives you time to establish your plants and think about where they might make a permanent home.

For the shade container try Columbine, Coral Bells, Helleborus, Hosta, Ajuga, Bleeding Heart, Tiarella, Lamium, Ligularia, and Veronica.

For full sun to part sun, try: Delphinium, Jacob's Ladder, Clematis, Ceratium, Campanula, Aster, Pennisetum, Lamium, Stokes' Aster, Gaillardia, Echinacea, Dianthus, Hen and Chicks, Sedum, Liriope, Coreopsis, Shasta Daisy, Lavender, and Creeping Thyme.

Start by filling your container with potting soil. Plant any combination you desire, as long as the plants are sun or shade compatible. Think about bloom time so that there will be something flowering in the container the entire summer into the fall. Fertilize with an all purpose organic fertilizer until August. Keep an eye on the plants' water needs during those hot summer days. I check my containers every day and water when the soil is dry halfway down.

Container gardening allows you to make bold statements of color and design, playing with the contrasting features of plants. Enjoy!

See you at the East store and the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market, where I'm happy to talk with you more about various perennials.