Planting Flower Pots Thriller Spiller Filler | Container Gardening Ideas

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To provide visual interest to a container garden, follow the concept of planting flower pots “Thriller Spiller Filler”. In that, you have to combine plants of different heights and sprawling habit in each pot.

Thriller Spiller Filler diy

1. Thriller

Thrillers are tall, upright plants that add the height to the arrangement. Thrillers are the great way to add a vertical aspect to your containers.

Thriller Plant Options

  • Ornamental grasses
  • Alocasia
  • Canna lily
  • Yucca
  • Aster
  • Coleus
  • Cosmos
  • Dracaena

2. Fillers

Fillers are covering plants that spread to fill the gaps between the Thrillers and spillers.

Filler Plant Options

  • Geranium
  • Impatiens
  • Petunia
  • Pansy
  • Coleus
  • Dusty miller
  • Begonia
  • Pentas
  • Lantana

3. Spiller

Spiller plants are those that spill over the edges of the container and cascade down.

Spiller Plant Option

  • Allysum
  • Million bells
  • Fuchsia
  • Helichrysum
  • Sweet potato vine
  • Mandevilla
  • Nasturtium
  • Morning glory
  • Bacopa
  • String of pearl

How to arrange plants

Image Credit: Space Gardening
Image Credit: Space Gardening

Step 1.

In order to organize the arrangements of plants in a container consummately, start with the thriller-type plants. Plant them in the center of the pot, so that they will not cover other plants and can be viewed from all sides. Thriller plants must be the twice of the height of the container.

Step 2.

Surround thrillers with filler plants. You can flower fillers or foliage fillers or both if your container is big. Choose great fillers, they will connect both the thrillers and spillers and add interest to the arrangement.

Step 3.

At last, plant the spillers (trailing plants) near the edges of the container so that they’ll grow naturally across the sides of the container.

A Tip


When planting pots in thriller spiller filler style, care to grow plants with similar growing requirements. Choose plants that need a similar amount of growing conditions, location, sun, water, shade and climate to thrive.

For example, you can’t grow a moisture loving plant with the plant that needs dry soil in order to grow.

A Few Arrangements


spiller filler thriller 5

There is no reason you can not include edibles in your arrangements.

Thriller: Semi-dwarf mandarin
Spiller: Million Bells (Calibrachoa)
Filler: Thyme


spiller filler thriller 6

  • Thriller: Evergreen Miscanthus and Coastal Woolybush
  • Spiller: Sweet potato vine and Bacopa
  • Filler: Sand Hill Sage and Wand Flower (Gaura)



  • Thriller: ‘Rose Altissimo’
  • Spiller: Bacopa, Glacier Ivy
  • Filler: Purple Lilac Vine

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  1. May is the month to assemble pots and containers for the rest of the growing season. They aren’t just for summer; spared an early frost, tender container plants can still look great at the end of October, so it pays to devote some time and resources to getting them right.


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