Flower Groupings: Plants For Mass Planting In The Garden

Image by Seán A. O'Hara

By Nikki Tilley
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)

Mass planting is essentially a method of filling in garden or landscape areas with flower groupings of one or more kinds of plants. This is often done to reduce maintenance by minimizing weed growth or to create drama by drawing attention to the area. Staggering or grouping plants together as opposed to lining them in rows is usually much more appealing. Mass planting is a great choice for adding quick color to empty areas too.

Mass Planting Ideas & How Tos

As with any gardening endeavor, mass planting requires planning. First, you’ll need to figure out the size of your planting area in square feet by multiplying the length by its width. Then, depending on how much spacing is necessary for your desired plantings, you should be able to estimate the number of plants you’ll need for the project. Prior to planting anything, it’s usually helpful to amend the soil.

You’ll also want to place each plant in their spaces beforehand to get a general idea of how it will look. Once you find a pattern or look that suits your tastes and desired effect, stick them in the ground and water well. Don’t forget to allow adequate spacing between plants to avoid issues with overcrowding later.

To keep weeds down until the area fills completely, lay down moistened newspaper around plants and within empty areas and then top with mulch. You can also choose to add fast-growing filler plants.

Plants for Mass Planting

Nearly any plant can be used for mass planting schemes. Anything from small shrubs and ornamental grasses to mass planting annuals and perennials will work well. For example, a sunny circular bed can be easily mass planted with groupings of sun-loving perennial plants like:

Mass planting annuals also make good choices and may include:

In addition, you could opt for a mass planting of foliage plant groupings instead such as small shrubs, ornamental grasses, hostas, ferns, coleus, etc. Begin in the center and work your way outward, spacing as required. For shadier areas, choose lighter colored flowers or variegated foliage.

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