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Planting Spring Urns

Martha Stewart Living Television

This spring, plant pretty containers with vibrant blooms to decorate your outdoor spaces. Martha plants her urns in early spring with various primroses, ivies, and violas in rich shades of blue and purple.

When it comes to planting urns, there are no strict rules to follow, but remember that spring plantings will not withstand the withering heat of mid- to late-summer. Once temperatures begin to rise, replace the plants with ones that can tolerate summer's heat and humidity.


Spring Urns
Tools and Materials

  • Planter
  • Screening
  • Noncorrosive gravel
  • Varieties of spring annuals and ivies
  • Soil mix
  • Gloves
  • Galvanized tub for holding soil
  • Scoop
  • Watering can

Spring Urns How-To
1. Cover bottom drain hole of urn with screening, and top with 2 to 3 inches of gravel for fast drainage. Fill urn with soil mix, leaving about 1/2 inch below the rim. Mound up soil slightly in center.

2. Arrange your selection of plantings in the soil, leaving enough room between each for growth. Water as you plant, and add additional soil as needed. After all plants are in place, gently water wntire plant. Keep plants well watered throughout the season.

General Soil Mix

  • 3 parts peat
  • 2 parts perlite
  • 2 parts soil
  • 1 part vermiculite
  • 1 part #3 coarse sand
  • 1/4 part charcoal

To 2 gallons of mix add:

  • 2 cups bonemeal
  • 10 tablespoons dolomitic lime
  • 14-14-14 Osmocote, following label instructions

Primula auricula, Primula denticulata (Drumstick primrose), Primula polyantha 'Blue Denim,' and 'White Perfume.' (P. polyanthus types are some of the earliest to flower and can often be found in grocery stores. P. auricula are available from nurseries and fine garden centers.)

English Ivy
Hedera helix 'Golden Tile,' 'Marie Louise,' and 'Tear Drop.'

Viola cornuta 'Imperial Blue,' 'Crystal Blue,' and 'Sorbet Yesterday.'

Look for a good selection of spring plantings at local garden centers. Learn more about ivy from the American Ivy Society.

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