Pristine Property Maintenance Ltd. talks potted plants – the importance of versatility, design, and placement!

All year round, we regularly discuss with our clients the best ways to spruce up condominium entrances – while of course working within their budget. When a tight budget puts constraints on the endless possibilities of landscaping, we often recommend that clients embrace planters. There are numerous benefits to investing in planters, such as, they’re a one-time-only cost for the corporation that allows for a high versatility of change ranging from what’s planted inside the planter to where the planter is located on the condominium property. Landscaping companies charge a nominal seasonal cost for the insert that is installed into the planters themselves. As these inserts are seasonal, they can be changed four times a year, which allows for easy refreshment between seasons and maximizes a corporation’s investment.

One of the largest challenges to overcome when planting anything is the balance of dominant sunlight and wind. Not considering these elements is probably the biggest mistake that we see and as a result, plants can die quickly. As Landscape Designers with extensive knowledge, expertise and experience, we take these factors into consideration first and foremost when making any recommendations for planting. Some buildings will get sunlight only at certain times of the day and others will have consistent wind – these considerations must be taken seriously if we want to ensure that we recommend the most suitable materials. At the end of the day, it is better to have a beautiful and natural display of flowers in a slightly imperfect position than half-dead looking plants in a visually ideal spot. This message is one we try hard to underscore in every recommendation we make.

In terms of complementing, our Landscape Designers work on designing the materials for planter inserts in “levels” for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the levels we design will ensure that every plant in the mix has its presence and adds either colour, texture, or order to the presentation. Planting in levels also allows us to install a “showpiece plant” in the middle of the pot (or at the centre-back) to ensure symmetry and that each plant works together in unison to flourish. Levels also ensure that “shade annuals” have the appropriate exposure to sunlight and that “full-sun annuals” have just that. A general rule of thumb is that sun plants typically provide brighter flowers and flower more often and shade plants make great fillers and usually provide the best cover.

Finally, it does not matter what type of vegetation you are planting, flowers need water! Even one weekend without water during hot and dry weather can kill your plants. Our best advice is simple: before you plant, you must plan!

Feel free to contact us with any questions! As we work across the entire GTA, we can assure you a talented and dedicated Pristine Property Maintenance specialist is right around the corner!


DIY Planters Guide



When arranging a full-sun planter, begin with a sun-loving showpiece plant, such as a Mandevilla, Draveana Spike, Dragon-Wing Begonia, Hibiscus or Grass. Plant the showpiece in the center or center-back of the planter.


After the centerpiece is chosen and installed, you will then step down to the four-inch pot varieties. These could be any type of sun Impatien (note that due to the Downy Mildew disease, normal cell pack Impatiens are no longer recommended), Tuberous Begonia, or Gerannium (note that Geranniums need regular dead-heading so while beautiful, they do require a bit more work).


Next, focus on filler plants. We recommend Fiberous Begonias or Marigolds; however, at this stage go with something that catches your eye because you can’t really choose wrong as the four inch pots that you planted in the last step will eventually take over the filler plants. With that said, you will likely need to add additional filler plants to avoid any early-on bare spots, which will likely exist until approximately July.


Next, add the finishing touches. Vines, Ivy, Ivy Geranniums and Lobelia look amazing hanging or draping from planters. These plants will add platform and depth to your planter and also serve a practical purpose because their health is a great indicator of how much (or how little) water a planter is getting.


When working with shade planters, you have far fewer options. You may want to stick to a grass in the centre (ensure it’s a part-shade grass plant) and more leafy annuals like Coleus, Caladium, Ferns and Hypoestes. You may experience success with New Guinea Impatiens, but you might find that they prefer more sun than part-shade. When looking for Ivy, ensure you find a variety that works in the shade (you will likely be fine with most varieties found in southern Ontario).