Container Gardening

  • Solutions & Tips

Container Gardening: Pots with panache!

Add the plants you love to the perfect container and you have more than just plants in a pot, you have the synergy of a container garden. Even inexperienced gardeners can create beautiful containers if they follow a few simple guidelines.

Choose a container the right size and material for your project, select the proper potting mix, and choose plants that grow well together in the pot.

Every container has advantages and disadvantages. Where you want to put it and what you want to grow in it play a big part in what you need to look for in a container, but what you personally like best is probably the most important standard to use. Growing the most beautiful plants in the world will not please you if you do not like the container.



  • Great variety of shape and color from glazes or stains
  • Heavy, the pot will not blow over easily
  • Aeration & Cooling - the pot breathes, so evaporation from the pot keeps it cool and the roots also have access to air


  • HEAVY, hard to move
  • FROST damage is likely
  • DRY OUT fast because the pots are porous



  • Can be handmade to a specific size and shape
  • Can be painted or stained any color
  • Good insulator


  • Must use weather resistant wood or rot will occur
  • Generally rectangular



  • LIGHTWEIGHT, easy to move around
  • HOLDS MOISTURE in so less watering is needed


  • LIGHTWEIGHT, easily blows over when the soil is dry
  • More easily overwatered because plastic does not breathe



  • AVAILABLE in very large sizes



Choosing a potting mix is very important! Using garden soil in a container often does not work well because the structure of the soil is destroyed in a pot, thus causing poor drainage. This is fine in a water or bog plant pot, but not in general. A soil-less mix will drain well and promote root health. Many potting mixes now contain water crystals which hold water for a longer time and release it to roots as needed, thus allowing less frequent watering.

Fertilization is a must in a container garden. A soil-less mix contains NO nutrients so you must supply everything the plant needs. Organic or inorganic methods will work. Seaweed, kelp and fish fertilizers are excellent. Slow release fertilizers that last 3-6 months in a pot are available. Water-soluble fertilizers are also available in many different formulations. Most flowering container plants need lots of fertilizer, for example petunias and verbena and callibrachoa. Some need much less, such as Scaevola, Bidens and Portulaca.

A routine watering schedule is absolutely essential to the success of a container garden.

Winning combinations: Secrets for success!

Full Sun

  • Rose Knock Out (Focus), Calibrachoa Cherry Pink, Euphorbia Diamond Frost
  • Angelonia Blue [Focus], Calibrachoa Trailing Blue, Euphorbia Diamond Frost, Evolvulus Blue Daze
  • Lantana Patriot Cherry [Focus], Lantana New Gold, Scaevola New Wonder

Morning Sun/Afternoon Shade

  • New Guinea Impatiens [Focus], Euphorbia Diamond Frost, Tradescantia Purple Heart


  • Dicentra exima - Fringed Bleeding Heart [Focus], Convallaria - Lily of the Valley, Polygonatum - Variegated Solomon's Seal, Heuchera or Hosta
  • Begonia Dragon Wing Red [Focus], Asparagus Fern, Euphorbia Diamond Frost, Torenia Summer Wave Large Violet