You know how sometimes you come across a product that is so simply ingenious that you say to yourself, "Now why didn't I think of that?" That's exactly what I did the first time I saw the Ups-A-Daisy® plant pot inserts.
I have several large containers that I plant each spring and by the time I fill them with potting mix, they are too heavy to move by myself and I've used way more potting mix than the plants in them really need.
Ups-A-Daisy® container inserts solve both of these problems.
Let's take a container I planted a couple of weeks ago as an example. This one measures 20" across the top and is 20" high. It can take an entire large bag of potting mix to fill this thing.
But by putting the right size Ups-A-Daisy® insert into the pot, I can cut potting mix usage in half. For this pot, I chose the 14" size.
This is for containers that measure 18-20" in diameter. It fits about halfway down into the pot, leaving room for enough planting mix for plants to spread their roots as they grow.
See those holes in the insert? They serve two purposes. The first is for drainage and the two larger ones are for your fingers to hold the insert as you place it into the pot. These are especially important when it comes time to take the insert out of the pot, when you change your container plantings. A flat disc placed into a container is very hard to remove without these, especially after having heavy planting mix and plants sitting on top of it for awhile.
So now, with the Ups-A-Daisy® in place, I planted my container.
I've said before that I'm no garden designer and that includes putting plants together in containers. But I was quite pleased with the combination I came up with for this large planter this year. Following the "thriller, filler, spiller" recipe, I used:
- Cleome 'Senorita Rosalita' by Proven Winners®. This Cleome comes in a vibrant shade of lavender and what sets it apart from other Cleomes is that it won't self-seed (the seed is sterile) and it's thornless. I also love the way the color is gradient, going from a light shade to a deep one.
- I added an Elephant's Ear - Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' - for even more drama. This is by Proven Winners® also.
- Alternathera 'Red Threads' - This is a favorite of mine in many locations. I love the texture of the foliage as well as the deep purpley-red color, which complements the dark color of the Colocasia.
I would have preferred to plant a larger size of these in my pot, but they'll grow quickly to bridge the space between the tall Cleome and Colocasia.
- Supertunia® Petunia 'Pretty Much Picasso™' by Proven Winners® - From the second I saw this online last year, I loved it. When I needed a spiller for my container, I knew the color would go nicely with the Cleome, so I bought three of them. They're a Supertunia®, so these will take off and provide plenty of color cascading down the sides of my container.
All together now...
Ups-A-Daisy® container inserts come in nine different sizes from 10" to 18" in diameter, which will work in pots sized from 12" to 24" in diameter (tapered design). It's a favorite of Joe Gardener/Joe Lamp'l (Growing a Greener World), Shawna Coronado (Gardening Nude), Garden World Report's Shirley Bovshow, and now mine!
You can read more about Ups-A-Daisy container inserts and order them on their website.