What does “mass planting” actually mean? In this technique, specimens are arranged in sweeping installations, frequently of the same or related species, or a small group of well-matched plants, to produce fullness and depth. There are several ways to accomplish this.
In order to create a more diversified and unified mass planting, flower groupings are helpful. Numerous annual and perennial flowers are excellent additions, especially when arranged in complementing groups or with the idea of seasonal beauty in mind.
An area can be densely filled for a lush, natural, yet ordered appearance by using complementing or contrasting colors, fascinating shapes, and engaging textures.
Ways to Add Flower Groupings to Mass Plantings
Dense clusters of flowers are arranged in close proximity to each other in a bed as opposed to adding individual flowers that are widely spaced.
By placing them close together, you can eliminate weeds, maintain cool, moist soil below, require less upkeep, draw the eye through the landscape, and fill in empty spaces to give the landscape visual weight.
This is also a great option for covering an unsightly foundation or defining boundaries within expansive, open acres.
You can choose the flowers you want to include in your mass planting in a variety of ways.
Different species can be planted based on their blooming patterns so that their colors and shapes bring interest in succession throughout the year. Seasonal color and interest are common traits to consider.
Choose one or two species to incorporate in drifts for a beautiful sea of color to cover a hillside or a sizable area of lawn. With this technique, a sizable swath of plants is set up in a way that enhances and animates the surroundings.
Another frequent design is structured borders, where one type of flower makes up the largest grouping and other types fill in smaller spaces or add brighter accents of color.
These types of borders can be put in to frame a sidewalk, skirt a building like a home or barn, or even fill in spaces under trees. A patio, pool, or lounging area might be separated from the surrounding lawn with this kind of structure.
For a cascading effect, you may also cover a space with flowers of various heights. The shorter species are introduced as mid- and front groupings, with the taller kinds placed in the back.
For a multi-seasonal effect, any of these arrangements can be combined with other perennials, such as evergreen foliage that stays attractive and dense even in cooler temperatures.
For added texture and to avoid bare spots or ugly spaces between blooming seasons, mass plantings of heuchera, hostas, liriope, lavender, ornamental grasses, cactus, and even mosses can be intermingled.
Numerous other varieties of shrubs, including azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons, can also be used. We’ll concentrate on flowers here.
Read also: How To Grow And Care For Fennel
How to Plan Flower Groupings
Assessing the terrain is the initial stage in planning a layout. Every landscape or garden has its own unique set of constraints, such as shaded places, topography where water collects or flows off, or structures that must be taken into account.
Considerations including the state of the soil, local weather patterns, and annual rainfall are crucial.
For gardens in arid areas with sandy soil, drought-tolerant species are a better choice, whereas tropical plants are better suited to hot, humid climates.
Just like with any other sort of planting, pick specimens that work with the soil, climate, and other features of your garden or yard. Since they will be living together, it is best to pair your chosen species according to their needs.
Remember that using an odd number of plants makes large plantings appear more balanced.
Even-numbered installations occasionally have an odd or awkward appearance. Instead, arrange the samples in groups of three, five, seven, and so forth.
The following are considered for Grouping:
Groupings can be positioned according to height, as I said, to provide a cascade of blooming color and texture. Using different heights can create a pattern that catches the eye, divides rooms, and fills in empty space to enhance density.
Height can be used to conceal ugly buildings or to build a living screen to enclose a hidden, private garden area.
For this kind of structure, seasonal blooming patterns should also be taken into account, as staggered blooming can seem odd in a cascading installation.
Be sure to take into account the flowering season.
Choose flowers that bloom at the same time if the goal is to have a thick bed of brilliant tones in the spring with greens continuing throughout other seasons.
The kinds you choose should be able to serve two purposes if they do not completely die back during seasons when they are not in bloom. Foliage types and tones will also be important.
Annuals and Perennials
It’s important to choose whether to use annuals, which must be replanted every year unless they self-seed, or perennials, which will come back in subsequent years, just as blooming times should be taken into account.
Perennials might be the best option if you’d prefer not to have to repeat the planting process each year and spend money on new seeds or starts each time, unless you save seeds or let the flowers self-seed.
Mass planting has the major advantage of requiring little maintenance.
Texture and Color
For producing drifts or in bigger settings where a range of mass plantings can be brought together to create contrast, designing your layout based on the available textures and colors works best.
This technique pairs complementary or contrasting colors together to draw the eye even from a distance.
The best part is now about to begin. Time to start planning; get out your gardening journal. Let’s talk about the flowers that are most suitable for bulk planting.
The Best Flowers for Mass Planting
Even while this is a sizable selection, it is not all-inclusive, and there are other additional flora options that may be used to achieve a magnificent outcome.
When planted together, the majority of plants have growth patterns that produce a blanket of color or texture, while some produce prodigious blooms that shoot upward for an impressive appearance with extra height.
Sometimes referred to as goat’s beard, the Astilbe genus includes more than a dozen species.
Hybrid A. x arendsii is very popular in home gardens, and you may find varieties of A. chinensis, A. japonica, A. thunbergii, and A. simplicifolia to choose from as well.
These rhizome-based perennials produce a dense clump of green leaves and tall, feather-like inflorescences each year. During their bloom season, they draw bees and butterflies, and their aroma has been described as being fruity yet extremely delicate.
These species have fluffy plumage that is covered in small, closely spaced blossoms. The plumes endure for a long time—typically for three weeks or more—because they gradually unfold one after the other.
They can occasionally reach heights of one to four feet, which is pretty tall.
In most areas, they will bloom all through spring and summer if they are planted in a shaded area, though full shade will restrict flowering. With lush green leaves, the colors span from light white to deep burgundy.
Astilbe has a propensity to expand as it gets bigger, so plants will eventually need to be divided. The ideal distance between them is roughly 18 inches.
Several colors and types are available from Spring Hill Nursery via Home Depot, like this pack of three that includes rhizomes for varieties in red, pink, and white.
There are many of varieties and cultivars of begonias, and in regions with acceptable conditions, many are frequently chosen as additions to the home garden. Here, we’ll discuss perennial plants that are popular for mass planting in gardens.
Begonias might not be your best option if you’re seeking for a pollinator-supporting specimen to place in large numbers because the majority of these don’t have a noticeable scent or generate much nectar.
Wax begonias, often known as bedding begonias, are well-liked for bringing flowering color and glossy, waxy leaf textures to beds with lots of other plants.
Begonia x semperflorens and B. x benariensis hybrid cultivars, which have spectacular flowers and a fibrous root system, are frequently found at garden centers.
In most places with chilly winters, these are frost-sensitive and usually regarded as annuals, but they can endure as perennials in Zones 10 and 11.
The leaf of bedding begonias can range in color from green to bronze and is frequently vividly colored in shades of pink, red, or occasionally white. In most zones, they bloom between spring and fall and grow to a height of six to 18 inches.
For the most prolific bloom production, grow kinds with bronze foliage in full sun; otherwise, grow them in partial shade.
To prevent their substrate from drying up, be sure to water them frequently, but make sure the extra moisture drains out properly. In this guide to growing wax begonias, you can learn all about their maintenance.
Another variety that is frequently chosen is tuberculous begonias. They are exactly what they sound like: annual plants that sprout from tubers in Zones 9 to 11. These need to be raised and stored for the winter north of Zone 9.
A stunning example is B. maxima ‘Switzerland,’ which has thick, glossy leaves that are almost black and huge, double, red blossoms that resemble roses. Van Zyverden offers sets of five tubers through Home Depot.
The blooms of the tuberous types may hang downward in a weeping display or have an upright growth habit. The weeping specimens work well in containers or hanging baskets, but the upright specimens are better suited for mass planting.
‘Double Yellow’ continuously bears huge, bright yellow, double blooms like camellias on top of green foliage. This specimen, like others in the Nonstop series, can grow up to 18 inches tall, with a spread of 18 to 24 inches.
3. Black-Eyed Susans
Maybe you’re familiar with Rudbeckia hirta, often known as black-eyed Susan. The United States is home to these natural North American wildflowers.
The flowers of this plant, which is the most prevalent species of Rudbeckia, can be identified by their yellow petals and brown to black centers. Different species and cultivars may have petals that are green, red, or white instead.
Black-eyed Susans are typically found in sunny, open fields or close to the edges of forests in the wild. They can withstand heat, drought, and less-than-ideal soil composition as long as they have full sun and are growing in moist but well-drained soil.
This flower is unbeatable for its powerful, organic appeal.
Any large area can instantly become a meadow thanks to it, and it also draws pollinators of all kinds. Try planting it as a carefree border just past the edge of a forest or scatter it thickly all around the foundation of a barn or outbuilding.
Black-eyed In Zones 4 to 9, Susan is a perennial that forms mounds and spreads via rhizomes. These plants may be cultivated as annuals outside of these zones.
Celosias belong to the Amaranthaceae family, which includes amaranths, therefore it’s not difficult to recognize the similarities. Feather or plume-type celosias are for you if you like astilbe but would prefer brighter colors and have the suitable growing conditions!
For optimum growth, C. argentia plants require full light and well-drained soil. These are annuals that occasionally reappear as transient perennials or endure the entire year in warmer regions.
It’s vital to keep in mind that these plants rapidly self-seed if you’re growing in Zones 9 to 11. You might not need to replant every year. If not, they can be taken out of the garden at the conclusion of the growing season.
Additionally, the colors—oh, the colors! As an added bonus, the leaves are edible if you want to partake. Shocks of flame red, yellow-orange, and deep lavender are typical among those in the First Flame series as well as others.
Although the bulk of them will grow to between 10 and 14 inches, there are dwarf kinds that only reach a height of approximately six inches.
When planting celosia, give it a six to eight inch gap, unless you’re growing the larger varieties, which require about 12 inches.
Keep in mind that they are also prolific seed producers, so you will need to deadhead the spent blooms to maintain a structured bed or shapely border. Otherwise, they will self-sow and proliferate like crazy.
You can choose where to drop seeds instead than letting them spread randomly by collecting them.
You might prefer the option titled “Scarlet Plume.” This cultivar produces gorgeous, vivid red plumes that grow between six and ten inches tall, making them excellent foreground plants for a cascade bed.