Container Gardening For Sunny Areas

The Thriller, Filler, Spiller container planting method has been around for quite a while now.  It’s a handy little guideline for designing containers.  For a quick explanation:

  • The ‘Thriller’ is a plant that is tall and stately, drawing your eye up and giving the container height.
  • The ‘Filler’ is a medium sized plant that literally fills in the middle portion of the container
  • The ‘Spiller’ is a plant that cascades over the edge of the container. It extends and lengthens the container planting.

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas that fill all of those categories when planning a container.  We have developed this chart below specifically for sunny areas to give you a start.

You can mix & match the Thrillers, Fillers, and Spillers as they work for what you would like to plant.  With this chart you can combine heights, textures and colours.  Let you creative juices flow.

Have fun with this! And if you need any help or have questions, feel free to contact us via our website or call us at 780.467.3091.

Thriller, Filler, Spiller Ideas For  Sunny Areas


Tall Height:

  • Bananas
  • Cannas
  • Datura
  • Dinnerplate Dahlias
  • Draceana
  • Purple Fountain Grass
  • Juncus Grass
  • Princess Grass
  • Papyrus Grass
  • Ornamental Millet (sheltered)
  • Trellises with vines
    (Cobea, Morning Glory, Mina Lobata, Potato Vine)

Medium Height:

  • Rudbeckia – Indian Summer or Cherokee Sunset
  • Gaura
  • Geraniums
  • Ornamental Kale, Cabbage
  • Snapdragons
  • Marigolds


Tall / Medium Height:

  • Alyssum
  • Begonia – Solenia
  • Euphorbia
  • Evening Scented Stocks
  • Gaura
  • Gazania
  • Gypsophilia
  • Geraniums – Citronella
  • Heliotrope
  • Lillies
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtium
  • Osteospurmum
  • Pansies
  • Violas
  • Petunias
  • Short Rudbeckia Osteospermum
  • Salvia
  • Short Snapdragons
  • Stocks
  • Trachelium
  • Verbena
  • Zinnias
Related:  Container Gardening For Shady Areas


Tall / Medium Height:

  • Bacopa
  • Bidens
  • Calibrachoa/Million Bells
  • Dichondra
  • Euphorbia
  • Gazania
  • Lamium
  • Lamiastrum
  • Gypsophila
  • Helichrysum
  • Sun hardy Lobelia
  • Lotus Vine
  • Lysmachia
  • Mezoo
  • Nepeta
  • Silver Nettle Vine
  • Scaevola (Fan Flower)
  • Sedum
  • Sweet Potato Vine
  • Spanish Daisy
  • Thunbergia
  • Trailing Verbena
  • Vinca
  • Wave Petunias

About The Author

Wallish Greenhouses
Tucked just outside the northern boundary of Sherwood Park on Clover Bar Road, we are known in the greenhouse world as a grower-retailer agribusiness. We specialize in growing annuals and perennials. Presently, Wallish Greenhouses is operated by Glenn & Louise Wallish, and Dan & Sharon (Wallish) Murphy, now a 3rd generation business.