container gardening tips for success

Container gardening offers many advantages:

Trio of container plants on outdoor wall.
  • You can create little landscapes.
  • The pots are portable. You can move them around to make different groupings or to protect them from inclement weather
  • They allow you to garden even where the soil is too poor to support a regular garden. Or, they can enliven terraces or decks where there is no soil at all
  • You can garden year-round by moving plants indoors during cold weather
  • You can easily change container plants with the seasons

Drawbacks of Container Gardening

But there are some drawbacks to container gardening as well. 

The main problem with container gardens is that plants in containers dry out more quickly than plants in landscape gardens, and therefore require more frequent watering.

But that said, container gardens offer an inexpensive, creative outlet for kids. And if you don't like it, you can change it. These container gardening tips can help you get started successfully.

Finding a Container

Anything can function as a pot, but the smaller and more porous the container, the more often you need to water. The container needs a hole in the bottom to provide adequate drainage.

However, if you have an ideal pot with no hole, simply set a pot inside the container and cover the top with loam.

Container Gardening Tips for Buying Plants

Container plants have the same environment so they must share the same light and water requirements. Some plants are not suitable for container gardening.

Fast-growing plants, for example, quickly outgrow their pots. And plants that like moist soil will soon wither and die. 

Also consider colors and textures - contrasting or complementary? Think about visual balance: Large containers might look best with a tall plant in the center for a focal point offset by trailing plants along the sides.

Almost any kind of plant will thrive in a container (provided it's the right container).

Here are just a few container gardening tips for choosing plants:

  • Annuals (geraniums, pansies, petunias, etc.)
  • Roses (miniature, standard, and tree roses are good choices)
  • Succulents
  • Cactuses
  • Herbs

  • Bulbs
  • Vegetables

Container Gardening Tips:  Plant Care Dos and Don'ts

Don't use your garden soil. One of the advantages of container gardening is that you can use optimal soil for the task. 

Purchased soil is free of fungus, bacteria, weeds, and bugs, plus it has been formulated for proper drainage, which is crucial for potted plants. 

Generally, containers are planted much more tightly than traditional garden plots.

In the garden, you space plants to allow room for growth, but in containers, you want that instant garden effect.

It's an excellent plan for gardeners with limited patience.

Container plants need fertilizing year round about once a month. But in the summer, when annuals are in full bloom, fertilize with a diluted solution once a week.

That's it. Get growing!


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