OYO: Tropical plants in your patio container

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Now that the snow has finally melted off the driveway, it's time to get our patio containers ready to roll. We talk about the traditional "thrillers, fillers and spillers" every year, but this year our yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder from Lewis, encourages you to try something a little different.

Doug says the most important thing you can do when planning your patio container is to spend a little extra money and put a little extra time and thought into the "thriller." That is the focal point, the star of your container.

If you want to try something different in your container, one option is to try using a tropical plant as the "thriller". Hibiscus, spurge, purple fountain grass, elephant's ear, caladium, mandevilla and cordyline are all great tropical options to use as the center point of your patio container.

Doug says that it's important to remember that tropical plants don't like cold weather. If you do use a tropical plant in your patio container, don't let it stay outside unprotected in temperatures below 40 degrees. If the temperature does drop below 40 degrees, either cover your container or bring it indoors.

When putting your patio container together, Doug suggests using something that's white. A white flower brightens and illuminates your overall container.

When building your patio container, be sure to leave about an inch of space between the soil and the top of the pot. Also, don't be afraid to pack the flowers in. In the container we created for today's segment, we used about eight plants in addition to the thriller.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD DOUG'S LIST OF THRILLERS, FILLERS AND SPILLERS, INCLUDING A BLUEPRINT TO HELP YOU MAP OUT YOUR CONTAINER.