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SunPatiens® Floating Gardens

Creating Your Own Floating Garden 

It’s time to get planting! Here are some tips to help you create our special 'Floating Gardens' for your own landscape.  All you need is a pool, pond, or small lake, and the proper supplies.

What You’ll Need: 

• 4 sheets of polystyrene board, 2" thick and 36" across (depending on how large your planter will be)

• latex base glue (or other glue compatible with the polystyrene)

• black latex interior/exterior paint

• florist knife

• sharp scissors

• 1/4"-thick capillary mat or felt

• nylon cord and concrete blocks for anchors

• 4" eye bolt with nut, and two 1-inch washers

• up to 50 4-inch bedding plants or one 1-gallon tropical plant and 20 4-inch plants

• 1-1/2 cubic-foot light soil-less potting mix

What To Do:

Step 1 – Cut two polystyrene boards in a circle the size you want your base, and glue together.*

Step 2 – Cut the other two sheets into a circular rim about 2” wide to create the side walls.

Step 3 – Glue the side walls together,  then glue the side walls to the top of the base.

Step 4 – Drill 4 evenly spaced “weep” holes in the sides (not in the base) to allow water to escape when it rains.

Step 5 – Spray paint the floater black. Be sure to use water-based paint!

Step 6 – Cut a 1" diameter hole in the bottom of the planter. Cut a piece of capillary matting and line the bottom of the disk—be sure to also cut out a 1" diameter hole through this mat.

Step 7 – Cut a 1" wide strip of capillary matting and insert it through the hole in the bottom of the disk to act as a water wick. Lay the strip across the bottom of the mat, and allow 8 – 10" to hang below the floater into the water. Step 8 – Fasten a 4" eye bolt, nut, and 1" washer to the bottom of the planter. Once it is in place, use the nylon cord and concrete block to anchor the planter to keep it from straying too far.

Step 9 – Add the potting mix and appropriate plants. Remember to use sun-loving plants since it usually gets really bright out there!

*Smaller Gardens (less than 30" diameter) may only require a single sheet of polystyrene for the bottom.


Helpful Tip: Vary the height, type, and color of plants for an interesting contrast. Taller plants should be placed toward the middle while shorter plants and cascading plants like ivy around the edges. This will help hide the container and create a soft edge.


For more Do It Yourself projects and ideas, please visit our DIY page.

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