Container Gardening Tips
Container gardening is easy and so rewarding! Don’t forget to wear your Vest Vocket or Belt Vocket when gardening. These wearable pockets are perfect to keep your cell phone safe and help you avoid missed calls!
- Plastic pots are great for growing large plants because they are lightweight and easier to move if needed. They are sturdy and durable
- Untreated wood pots work fine in the short-term, but they will rot after a few years of use. Treated wood pots are not good for growing edibles because of the chemicals that may leach from them.
- Unglazed ceramic pots can suck water away from the soil – this may be better served for succulents or other plants that don’t need watering as much. They also cannot be stored outside in cold weather, as the absorbed water can freeze and crack the pot.
- I choose a Thriller (tall and dramatic), a Filler (mid-sized and colorful) and a Spiller (trailing vine) for the perfect combination. Here are some of the easier to grow:
- Thrillers – Ornamental Grasses, Tall Growing Succulents and Cannas
- Fillers – Med-Sized Plant – Coleus (Plectranthus hybrids) is so versatile – it is a fast grower, so start with smaller plants. If it gets too tall – just pinch it back. Winged begonias (Begonia hybrids), they have clean foliage and terrific blooms. They are also tough and drought resistant. It likes afternoon shade but can tolerate full sun too! A self-cleaning plant, so the flowers drop off as they die – you don’t need to pinch them off. Persian shield (Strobilanthes dycriana) is another great option is known for its iridescent purple leaves and makes a great contrast with bright colored flowers. Geraniums – they love the heat but don’t mind getting a bit dry. Love that about them – they also come in such a large array of colors.
- Spillers – Trailing Vines – Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas) – It is hardy and grows quickly so you’ll have to trim the tips of the stems back to keep it under control. I couldn’t find it at any of the local plant stores for well over a month and finally ordered from Amazon – 1 plant. Then I just snipped the ends a few times – put them in a glass of water for a week and created 3 plants for my pots. Another great trailing vine is the Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia) – it grows well is hardy and deer resistant
- Proper drainage is very important in container gardening. Make sure your pot has a one or several drainage holes. You can drill into metal, wood or plastic pots but for ceramic make sure you buy it with holes! To ensure good drainage of water you can put pebbles, a wire screen or coffee filter in the bottom
- Potting soil is the best soil to use. Garden soil has too much clay and doesn’t drain properly
- Succulents are so popular these days – but be careful – they require a different soil composition: 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts coarse sand and 1-part perlite (or pumice)
- Plants in containers need to be watered more frequently than plants in the ground. You should be checking them every other day or every day in hot weather.
- Potted plants are thirstier than ground-dwelling plants – they are also hungrier. If your potting mix was made with time-release fertilizer, your plants will be better able to survive, but they should still be supplemented with liquid or foliar fertilizer.