Springthyme in the Garden!- How to Make A Spring Color Pot

7 Materials
30 Minutes


With some careful planning, beautiful blooming containers in the early Spring are possible! Here are 6 plants that work well in colder temps!

If you are like me, as soon as the first warm day hits you are ready to race to the garden center and purchase a cart full of blooming plants! Often times, the warm days are short lived and a cold wave comes blowing in! Some of your beautiful plants may not withstand the cold snap. But with some careful planning, you can have beautiful blooming plants outdoors in the early Spring even with the temperature swings!

The USDA has the country divided into various growing zones based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones. The zones range from 1a (Alaska) to 13 b (Puerto Rico). The zones help gardeners determine which plants are most likely to thrive in which locations. You can access the hardiness map here to get information about your growing zone. https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

When I lived in Illinois and Ohio, I was living in the hardiness zone of 6a. I became more familiar with annuals that could be considered frost tolerant. They are also known as cold tolerant. This means that they are annual plants that can withstand light frosts and can normally be planted before the average frost-free date. If temperatures fall much below freezing or if the plants are exposed to hard frosts, some damage to flowers and foliage can occur. The frost-free date for Zone 6a is considered to be May 15th.

If the cold spell is going to last longer or be more than a light frost, you should either cover your plants with a sheet or if possible bring them into the garage or another place of shelter from the elements.

The potting bench pictured above used to sit outside my flower shop, Petals & Porch Posts.

6 of my Favorite Cold Tolerant Annuals:



Dusty Miller


Dianthus & Pansies


How to Make A Container Garden Featuring 3 of My Favorite Cold Tolerant Annuals

For Spring, I decided to do a pink themed cold tolerant patio pot. In preparation, I added potting mix to a 12″ terra cotta pot that I had given a makeover with white Chalked paint.

When designing a patio pot, I try to use the thriller, spiller, filler technique. The thriller is the focal point. The spiller is a plant that will grow or spill over the edge and filler is the plant or plants that fills in the empty spots. For my pot, the petunias are actually filling both the filler and the spiller category.

In order to get a full look right away, I used quart sized containers of snapdragons and petunias. The dusty miller was in a 4 inch pot and I also used another annual called bacopa which is also spiller. Because I used larger plants to start with and I live in Florida, I will probably have to transplant this color pot into a larger pot in about a month.

I placed the snapdragon to the back of the container

Then I added the petunias to the front. These petunias are the Proven Winners Bubble Gum Vista petunias.

After adding the dusty miller and the bacopa, I filled in around the plants with extra potting soil. To finish the color pot, I added sheet moss on top in order to help keep the moisture in.

The Early Spring Color Pot in the Garden

The light is so bright, you can barely see the rustic bunny peeking through the blossoms!

Rustic wire rabbit topiary covered with angel vine.

Suggested materials:
  • Qt container -Snapdragon   (garden center)
  • Qt container - Petunias   (garden center)
  • Small Dusty Miller plant   (garden center)
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Kimberly Snyder
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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