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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Jones

The "Spiller, Filler, Thriller" Method

Spring is our favorite time of year. And spring annuals are on of our favorite aspects of spring! Because our spring annuals last throughout spring, and all of summer, we find it very important to design your spring annuals and Memorial Day planters stylishly. We always follow the "Spiller, Thriller, Filler" method.


This method calls for three distinct types of plants. The “spiller” is a cascading, or trailing annual that spills over the side of the planter. Some of our favorite “spillers” include million bells, cascading petunias, sweet potato vine, bacopa, verbena, and silver falls, though there are too many “spillers” to name.


The “filler” is a clumping, medium height annual that eventually fills the empty space of the planter, creating depth. We always look to geraniums, new guinea impatiens, diascia, osteos, and many others to act as “fillers”.


The “thriller” is the most interesting of the flowers in the planter. This should be the tallest of the flowers, and it often has an interesting color, or appearance. Coleus, spikes, ornamental grasses, and angelonia are good examples of interest

ing “thrillers”.


We also find it very important to stick to a color theme. We recommend choosing a color theme with two to three colors. This helps the planter look more cohesive, and organized.


If you have a very large planter, you may want to fill the bottom half with drainage stones to help with drainage, and prevent sinking. We recommend using potting mix with vermiculite to fill the rest of the planter. These are the small white beads in the soil. It helps to absorb excess water, and it releases the excess water as needed. This helps to prevent overwatering and root rot.

The “Spiller, Filler, Thriller” method is one that we find very useful for designing your annuals year-round. Happy Spring planting everyone!


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