Design & DIY

Create a DIY Rio tropical planter in four simple steps

Looking to create an easy, show-stopping, long-lasting planter to display at the cottage? It’s easier than you think to put together a stunning piece that your lake neighbours will ogle. Choose a colourful tropical theme, anchored by the gorgeous, low-maintenance Rio Dipladenia flower, and follow these four simple steps for a truly sensational planter.

Choose a planter and fill it with soil

You’ll want to select a large, deep planter with drainage that can hold a lot of soil. Look for something at least 16 to 18 inches wide. Make sure you select a potting soil that is specially designed to nourish plants inside a container. Then pack the soil into your planter, filling it nearly to the top but leaving a little space for plants.

Choose a tropical centrepiece plant

For the centre of your planter, you will want to select a tall, sturdy plant that makes a big impression. Try a Red Star Spike, a tall, red plant with long-lasting foliage and an upright nature to provide energy and texture. And because it rarely sheds foliage, it’s good for deck and poolside planting. Bird of Paradise or Majesty Palms are also great, easy centres that provide a similar effect.

Frankie Flowers

Choose your Rio Dipladenia flowers

These outstanding flowers will add the colour and body filler to your planter, immediately drawing the eye. They come in bold shades of pink, white, and deep red and will last from spring right up until the end of fall. Select at least four plants (in one shade or several) and plant them around the outside of your centrepiece plant.

Rio blooms

Choose your accent plants

These should be subtle, non-flowering plants that will add some dimension and texture to your planter. They can also be transplanted to your container in the biodegradable pots they come in, which means less environmental waste. The ipomea, also called the “sweet potato plant” or “sweet potato vine,” is an excellent choice. Available in both light green and dark black foliage, they make a great contrast with the bright Rios and the deep red spike. Another great accent option is the asparagus fern. They’re light and frilly, almost herb-like in texture, and they’re very inexpensive and easy to maintain. Once you’ve selected your accent plants, fill in the empty spaces in between your Rios, pat loose soil down, and water them, and your gorgeous, surprisingly easy tropical planter will be complete.

Frankie Flowers

To learn more about Rio Dipladenia Tropicals, visit