Container gardening allows you to create an entire garden in a pot that can be placed almost anywhere. With so many colors and textures to choose from, there are endless possibilities! Below are some tips for creating and maintaining a beautiful container garden.

Container

– Plants will grow in almost any container as long as it has a hole for drainage
– Large containers allow plants to grow bigger, and are more stable against wind and pets

Soil

– Always use potting soil in containers. Topsoil will not provide enough aeration and drainage.
– If a container is very deep, consider using Styrofoam or packing peanuts to fill the bottom. It will save on soil and water, and will make the finished container weigh less, so it’s easier to move around. Just make sure packing peanuts aren’t the biodegradable kind by dipping in water to see if they dissolve. You can also use a convenient and reusable Ups A Daisy, available for purchase in-store.

Plant Selection

– Select plants that have similar light requirements. Refer to our Annuals page to learn which annuals will work well in the light exposure of a given area.
– Arrange plants based on height and growing habit so that taller plants are behind shorter ones
– A design containing a thriller, filler, and spiller creates a dazzling display.

Thriller – bold, tall plant for height
Filler – medium height, fills out in width
Spiller – cascades over and down the side of the pot

Watering

– Watering frequency will depend on amount of light exposure and size of the container
– It’s generally good practice to saturate the soil to the point that water runs out the bottom of the pot

– It’s better to water thoroughly and less often, than watering lightly and more frequently, so roots grow more deeply.

– If a container gets very dry, to the point that the soil pulls away from the sides, try watering thoroughly once, letting it soak in, and then watering again so the soil can expand and the plant can recover.

Fertilizer

– We recommend adding Osmocote, a slow-release fertilizer, to the soil at the time of planting
– Generally, plants in containers should be fertilized at least every 1-2 weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer. When watering daily, you can fertilize as often as every 3rd – 7th watering, but no more as you risk burning the plants. Follow directions on fertilizer label.

Grooming

– Remove spent flowers and dead leaves.
– At the end of July when some annuals become scraggly, try cutting them back by about a third and fertilizing for fresh growth and a chance of more blooms. This is especially useful for petunias, and vining or trailing plants that get too long.

For more information on care, check out our Hanging Basket and Container Care Tips page.