CONTAINER GARDENING ELEMENTS – THRILLER, FILLER & SPILLER

Sunday, September 04, 2022 | The Greenery, Inc.

Container gardening is a great way to enjoy beautiful plant combinations on your patio or by an
entryway. You can enjoy beautiful containers of plants and flowers, even fresh herbs, year round.

There are THREE simple elements to designing a wonderful container garden. Remember these when you go shopping for plants and you can’t go wrong. Each container should contain a:

  • Thriller
  • Filler
  • Spiller

Thriller plants are the big, bold focal points of your container plant designs. This plant provides an eye-catching vertical element. Tall, ornamental grasses such as purple fountain grass or Japanese sweet flag work well, but you can also use spiky blooming plants such as Canna Lily, Asters, Cosmos, Salvia, and Dahlia.

Filler plants are mid-size, mounding, or rounded plants that surround and enhance the thriller and fill the space in the planter. You can use one filler or opt for two or three different plants in your container gardening design. Suggestions include: Begonias, Coleus, Petunias, Lantana, Geraniums, Caladium, and Gerbera Daisies.

Spillers are splashy plants that cascade and tumble over the sides of the container. For example, here are some popular choices: Sweet Potato Vine (available in purple or green), Bacopa, Ivy, Trailing Vinca, and Trailing Begonia.

Remember these tips when preparing a Container Garden:

  • Be sure to use pots that will accommodate the plants when they are fully grown. 
  • Good drainage is a must.
  • Use a high quality potting soil, and place plants together that have common needs. For example, don’t mix sun and shade plants. Plants that require a lot of watering shouldn’t be mixed in the same container with drought-loving specimens.
  • Group plants in odd numbers. It creates a more natural vibe.

For more information or a little guidance to get you started, be sure to stop by The Greenery Garden Center to ask one of our Garden Experts!


Love The Greenery. Great staff that are very knowledgeable and helpful.
We buy all our landscaping greenery there.

Don V.

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