More than the other two elements of a well-designed mixed container, the Thriller and Filler, the Spiller gives a lush look to your finished planter. This element makes even a seasonal container look like it’s been growing year after year. Cascading perennial ground covers are the usual choices, and make quite a show with shots of chartreuse and variegated foliage. This year, expand your options and discover five of our favorite container garden spillers.
Sometimes called pennywort, creeping Jenny spills a wispy trail of chartreuse drops when you tuck it into the rim of a container. It’s a tough perennial, thriving from zones 2 to 10. If it survives the winter where you are, trim it back in spring for another season of color.
Sweet Potato Vine
This tuber produces a heat-loving cascade of heart-shaped leaves in lime green. Look for newer varieties in purple for a dramatic element in your container. These sweets, by the way, are not edible. Sweet potato vine can handle shade or sun. Like many annuals, it may need an extra drink of water on the hottest days of summer.
Cascading stems of English ivy add a classic touch to window boxes and containers. Drought tolerance, hardiness and evergreen foliage are more reasons to include ivy in your containers. It grows best in partial to full shade with well-draining soil. It can also be easily propagated and spread to more containers. (It's spreading habit can be a negative, too. Keep English ivy under control by planting it in containers and pruning it back each year.)
Tip: Window boxes are another variation on a container with the same requirements. Opt for high-quality, well-draining soil and regular feeding and watering.
You can always rely on Supertunia as a versatile performer, able to fill in a display or cascade over the edges. Keep them watered consistently for full, healthy blooms. Rejuvenate them in mid-summer with a subtle trim to keep them from getting long and leggy.
Tip: Lay the Supertunias on their sides so the flowers drape over the edge of the container and the soil-covered roots are sideways. Cover with potting mix and complete your arrangement.
Now that you've discovered five of our favorite container garden spillers, you can give your planter a fresh look. Opt for varying hues and foliage to add dimension. Ready to fill your planter? The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.