Making the Best Out of Cascading Plants

Retaining walls, hard edges, containers or even slopes in a garden can sometimes give unpleasant, if not ugly views. As such, they may need to be covered or softened. You can decorate a planter, container, or wall with cascading plants and flowers that are grown in the soil above it. Selecting these pants may feel like an uphill battle, but it is nevertheless doable. In the end, you will be able to select flowering cascading pants that will add color to your home and camouflage with the thick foliage of the plant. More importantly, you will be able to overturn that boring retaining wall, planter, pot or hard landscaped slope into something of which you can be proud.

You may have to be patient with almost all cascading plants as they take time to achieve the desired effect. Cascading plants with horizontal trailing habits work well as groundcovers for rockeries and slopes. They also work well as companion plants to upright plants in hanging baskets, window boxes and containers because they spill over the edge, creating a scintillating waterfall effect.

There are cascading plant types that grow upright first and then gradually spread, with arching stems. They grow into full looking plants, perfect for filling a hanging basket or container on their own.  The best thing about these cascading pant types is that they require little maintenance. They can also be planted in the garden as mounted undercover plants that provide height at mid-calf level. If planted in the pockets of the soil within the concrete rings that make up the wall, they completely camouflage a retaining wall. The result is always a colorful, paradise-like, hanging garden.

Nearly all cascading pants tend to be quick, spreading and crawling growers. That is precisely why you should plant just a few of them in a container. Even in a garden, two or three of these plants often provide a carpet of flowers under trees, standards or shrubs. The varieties that work best are those that are heat and drought tolerant as they can effortlessly withstand the hot sun on pavements and slops or when a container is neglected for a day or two.

Portulaca, vincas and petunias are all stars of the water-wise garden. They include cascading or trailing varieties that look soft and aromatic.  But do not be fooled by their looks. They are actually no-nonsense performers that require minimum care. Remember to trim them only when you have to.  They may overgrow sometimes and look more colorful than you expected. While you might be tempted not to trim them, they may overgrow and look bushy. Some people love that effect as long as they remain colorful. It should however be noted that neat, trimmed and well maintained plants often give a backyard or garden the perfect look for executive and casual  outdoor meetings. Like anything else, it all boils down to personal preference and how one takes care of his or her cascading plants. Simply water the plants, trim them regularly and get rid of any weeds around the plant, and see how the garden unfolds day after day.