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  • Writer's pictureGeobunga

Holiday Container Designing – Thrillers, Fillers, & Spillers

Looking to add a little ‘pizazz’ to your holiday decorations this season? Or maybe you haven’t figured out what gift to give to a loved one. Try your hand at container planting design – with a holiday twist. A live plant in a beautiful pot is a great gift, especially in these crazy times when we could all use something beautiful and alive to bring us some calm.

Although there are many ways to design your plant containers – the single plant look, succulents only, and lots of plants and décor combined together – there is one design concept that many professionals use to pull off a beautiful look with their plant containers. This design concept is called the ‘thriller, filler, and spiller’ technique.

Single Plant Look:

Succulents Only Look:

Lots of Plants & Décor Look:

The design concept of ‘thriller, filler, and spiller’ is exactly how it sounds. It includes three main components in the design, in order to help you achieve a very full and creative look. Let’s dive into each of the three components of this concept.

Thriller – The ‘thriller’ is supposed to be the ‘eye-catcher’ or the plant that pulls everyone’s attention to your design. For the holiday season, some fun thrillers you might want to try are red ti, hanging heliconia, red hibiscus, torch ginger, Norfolk pine (or even just the branches). These plants will be sure to grab any passer-byer’s attention.

Fillers – Fillers are just as they sound. They fill the space around your thriller and add an additional level of color and texture. Some common fillers that you have probably seen and could use for your holiday containers are laua’e fern, Kupu Kupu fern, caladium, alyssum, or croton.

Spillers – Spillers are the final touch of your container design. These are typically plants that hang over the edge of your pot. For your fillers, some fun plants are silver falls, gold pothos, hoya plant, ipomoea (sweet potato vine), and spider plant. They add a hanging element to the edges and outside of the pot.

Watch this classic video of our owner discussing thrillers, fillers, and spillers!

Check out both of our Geobunga locations – Kaka ‘ako and Waimanalo – to purchase pots and plants for your new ‘thriller, filler, and spiller’ designs! For the holidays, you can also add in some fun finishing touches to your ‘thriller, filler, and spiller’ design by throwing in things like lights, bows, ornaments, or flowers. Check out some more holiday container creations below and tag us in the creations that you come up with on Instagram and Facebook!

Happy holidays and happy planting!


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