Container gardening has become a new trend for homeowners. It’s a great hobby that anyone can try and can easily get addicted to. However, you may not be getting all the right information you need to start. Whether you’re a novice or a container gardening expert, we’re sure you’ll find these tips useful for your contained creations.
Tips for Starting Your Container Garden
1. Drainage is Key
To prevent your plants from getting mushy soil, you need to allow enough drainage for excess water. If you have a small or medium-sized container, the holes at the bottom should be at least ½ inch in size. If you have a bigger container, there should hole about an inch’s size at the bottom. If you’re not sure how big the holes should be, you can always buy containers that already have holes set for planting.
2. Inspect the Light Conditions First
Different plants will require different amounts of sunlight. So before you start shopping for your favorite greens, first, make an inspection as to how much light your container receives. Then, you can decide which plants will be best for that amount of sun.
3. Give Your Plants Some Slow-Release Fertilizer
Potted plants have limited access to actual nutritious soil. To give your container plants adequate nutrition, you can mix slow-release fertilizer into the soil before putting your plant in the container.
4. Make Up Your Mind Before Shopping
It’s easy to go shopping for seeds and just nab each plant seed you like. By making a list, you won’t get overwhelmed by the available choices once you arrive at the store. You can check brochures and online flower stores on which you think are the best seeds to get.
5. Plant Neighborly Plants Together
If you have a big container and you plan to fill it with different seeds, make sure that your choice of plants are those that have similar needs. If you plant a flower that requires little to moderate sunshine in one container with an herb that requires a lot of sunshine, one of them can wilt.
6. Put Some Tag on Your Plants
Plant tags can tell you a lot about your little seedlings. This can show information like its expected height and even what type of plant it is. These tags also display how much light, fertilizer and water the plant needs in order to grow properly. This also helps other people, like your guests and family members, you to recognize the plants.
7. Remediate Unhealthy Plants
There are plants that eventually display ill signs like drooping and discoloration. This can eventually lead to wilting. Make sure to remove plants once they start to wither, especially if you want to keep your container garden looking beautiful. However, there are plant species that just needs to be trimmed in order to bounce back to life again.
8. Water Distribution Reminder
When it comes to watering your plants, make sure that you keep this rule in mind – “the thicker the leaves, the more water it needs, the thinner the leaves, the less water it should receive”.
9. Dwarf Varieties are a Staple
If you’re having a hard time deciding what plants or which seedlings to get, consider getting dwarf varieties. They are cute and can fit almost anywhere. They are also an eye-pleaser since they don’t overwhelm the space because of their size.
10. Consider Planting Herbs
If you want to plant something that’s not just than aesthetically pleasing, go for leeks, garlic or shallots. These take up little space while also repelling insects.
11. Size Matters
Keep in mind that the plant should fit perfectly in the container, and the container should fit the area where you want it to be displayed.
12. Keep Your Plants Cool
If the weather is too hot, you may need to transfer your container plants into light-colored containers. Light-colored materials absorb less heat and help to keep your plant’s roots cooler.
13. Estimates Your Plant’s Growth
Before you start planting, make sure you estimate how big the plant will get. This will help you pick a container that can comfortably cradle the plant as it grows. It will also help you decide whether you want another plant in the same container.
14. Another Reason to Use Mulch
Mulch is good for your container garden. This prevents too much water from being drained out of the container. Just make sure you don’t use too much that it makes the container messy and not very attractive.
15. Pick Plants That Are Already Around You
If you want low-maintenance plants for your container garden, you can choose the plants that are already pre-existing in your area. If there are bougainvillea plants in the neighborhood most of the year, then you can consider having a mini version in your container garden.
16. Decide The Best Time to Water Your Plants
Consider watering your plants when there is less sunlight. That way, the water won’t get evaporated quickly and your plants can get more hydration. Try watering your container garden around early morning or just before sunset.
17. Container Plants for Your Container Garden
Add ivy to the list of container plants you can use to complement your container garden. They’re easy to maintain and they do a great job at decorating ordinary walls.
18. You Don’t Need to Buy Planters
Basically, everything in your home that’s hollow and has wide brim can be a planter. You just have to use your imagination and mix it with a little hard work. You don’t need to buy a new planter every now and then. You can use worn out kettles, watering cans and even old vases.
19. Try Cascading Against Tall-Standing
Tall-standing plants have a tendency to look stiff and firm. You can soften the vibe it gives by planting cascading flowering plants around it. You can also experiment with a low-growing plant variety and see which one you like better.
20. Unsure of Which Color is Best for the Season?
If you think that the color green is just too overwhelming for the whole landscape, you can add a few non-plant elements. If you’re not sure which color palette is best for your garden, go for white-colored décor.
21. Move Large Pots Easily All-Year Round
If you prefer to have large pots in your container garden, you can put them on a platform that has wheels. This way, you can re-decorate and re-arrange your whole garden easily without lifting the heavy pots.
22. Use the Contrasting Colors to Design Your Container Garden
To make your plants and planters stand out; try pairing them with contrasting colors. You can use a bright or prominent pot for dull-looking plants, while simple planters can be used for luscious, beautiful herbs.
23. Don’t Place Your Planters Directly on the Ground
If you often leave the planters laid flat on dirt, the extra water from inside the pot may not drain well. To make sure your planters have just enough water, use saucers under the planters. You can also put the planters on a bench or on your porch so the extra water can escape.
24. Leave Some Space for Water
When you’re adding the soil to your planter, make sure you leave at least an inch of space from the brim of the container. By doing so, there is enough space for water so it doesn’t wash away the topsoil layer.
25. Harvest When It’s Time
It’s best to leave your pea-bearing plants alone until they actually produce peas good enough for harvesting. Try to harvest the peas whenever they are ready to encourage the plant to produce more for you.
26. Use Ferns Wisely
If there are too many non-flowering greens in your garden, try beautifying other spaces in the house. You can use ferns and other potted plants on dull-looking nooks in the house to add life and vibrancy.
27. Pick a Bigger-Sized Pot
If you’re unsure how big the plant is going to be in its adulthood, you may need to make an estimate. From there, you can purchase a pot big enough to sit the fully-grown plant. A bigger pot space means it’s easier to water and fertilize it.
28. More Soil, Less Junk
Some people may advise you to put all kinds of different things in your containers like peanut shells as fertilizer. However, it’s still best that you use healthy soil as much as possible because it can hold more water for the plant to survive.
29. Get Good Soil
The regular type of soil like the one in most gardens are usually clumpy and becomes even harder once put in a container. This is not good for you plants since it’s harder for the water to seep through and reach the plant’s roots.
30. Consider Worm Castings
Worm castings can be harvested from special worms that you can put in a compost pile. They release various nutrients that plants need for growth. Just take a handful of the worm castings and add it to the soil in your potted plants.
31. Water Your Plants in Time
You should consistently water your plants especially if they are thoroughly exposed to sunlight. This will prevent your plants from wilting and the soil from hardening. If you let the soil harden, it becomes harder for water to seep through.
32. Avoid Overwatering
Overwatering is just as bad as leaving your plants dehydrated. To avoid this, give the soil a light tap to feel if it’s mushy or still damp. If it’s still wet, it doesn’t need water.
33. Invest in a Watering System
If you’re too busy but your plants need to be watered every now and then; you can use a watering system with a water reservoir. These self-watering systems can be timed so you won’t be bothered to water your garden.
34. Use Bamboo and Ivy as Décor
If you like tall plants, you can creatively use bamboo as a makeshift wall to cover a little space in your backyard. Cascading ivy can also be used to give the same effect.
35. Try Top-Dressing Your Container Plants
Even if you have a few plants in one container, all of it won’t bloom at the same time. To make your container garden look lush while some of the plants are still growing, you can add pinecones, pebbles, and mulch to make it look finished.
36. Design with Colors
If you want a certain area of your yard to stand out, you can use bright container flowers. Color choices like red, yellow and orange are easy to see; pair the flowers with beautiful pots for more visibility.
37. Think Ahead If it’s a Tree
If you’re trying to plant an orange seed or any tree, invest in a bigger pot. You may as well think in advance and estimate its size when fully grown. If not, you will need to re-plant your tree in a bigger container the moment it becomes bigger than its pot.
38. Paint the Containers
If you’re not happy with how the containers look, you can simply paint them. You can use a variety of colors depending on what makes you happy. Just make sure you use non-toxic and waterproof paint, so it’s safe for your plants and the color will last longer.
39. Consider the Plants You Need at Home
You can get indoor plants purely for aesthetic purposes, but you can also plant your own herbs. Take a look at the herbs and spices you usually need in the kitchen. Pepper, chili, basil – you can plant those at home so you won’t have to keep buying them.
40. Pick Plants Good for Both Indoors and Outdoors
The indoor area is usually shady and this is not good for a lot of plant species. That’s why it’s good to pick plants that can grow under the shade and in the sunshine. These are easy to maintain and you can put them almost anywhere.
41. Use Flower-Fresh Fragrance Wisely
Some flower-bearing plants can produce likable odor. You can choose honey-smelling flowering plants and place them at your porch so the fragrance can greet guests. You can also incorporate the fresh, natural scent into your home by keeping a few containers of the plant indoors.
42. Make Room for Vines
You can also have crawling plants as a part of your container garden. Just make sure you choose a big container and good plant-like beans or pumpkin. You can then set the pot next to the area where you want the vines to go.
43. Check the Soil
If you’ve decided to buy soil, consider the one that has traces of peat moss, compost and perlite. You can also make your own compost instead of buying soil. It’s easy to make and you can save money on fertilizer.
44. Don’t Be Afraid to Diversify
When deciding on your plant arrangements, don’t be afraid to mix pure greens with colorful flower bloomers. If you don’t like the outcome, you can just take out the element you don’t like and put it in a separate pot.
45. Read the Fine Print on the Plant Tags
The tags display a lot of information about the plant; however, you may not be paying attention to everything that’s written there. Make sure you read the fine print as this may display important information that could be crucial to the plant’s survival.
46. Allow 2-3 Weeks Interval Between Plants
If you plan to have 2 or more plants in one container, try to plant the second set of seeds after 2-3 weeks. You need to give the first plant enough time to grow and get all the nutrients it needs.
47. Use Liquid Fertilizer Properly
Liquid fertilizer should be added to your plants six weeks from the time you used a slow-release fertilizer. You can also cancel the use of slow-release fertilizer but you would have to use liquid fertilizer on a weekly basis.
48. Do Not Pat the Soil in Your Container
When putting soil into your container, don’t pat the soil to make one thick clump. The dirt will be compressed and there won’t be pores within the soil anymore. This will restrict free passage for the water and roots.
49. Start Small
If you’ve never tried planting before, it’s best to start with small plants. If you start with big, expensive plants, you may get disappointed if they wilt. Start with small containers and plant herbs that are easy to take care of.