Container Gardening Explained

Container Gardening

There are many options for container gardening. For example, violas and pansies need vertical space and can grow well in containers.

Plants for container gardening can vary widely in terms of size and shape. A variety of plants, such as succulents and bougainvilleas, can be grown in a container without much fuss.

When choosing the planter pot, think about what plant will be going in it as well as where it will be located. Some planters are very decorative and should not be used in sunny spots to avoid fading.

Planters that are solid color are best suited for sunny areas, just remember to rotate them to keep the fading even throughout the pot.

When choosing the plants for your containers, consider the following factors: the amount of sun the space has, and what type of soil and light is best suited for the plant.

For full sun, you may want to consider marigolds, which are a popular choice for full sun gardens. Despite their bright colors, marigolds do need plenty of water. When watering them, wait until the soil dries before applying more water.


Some plants may not grow to their full size if the potting container is not the proper size for the root system and several re-potting may need to be done until the plant fully matures.

Potted plants that are outdoors may need to be planted in bigger than normal pots that are also deeper than they need.

This is because the sun will heat up the container affecting the root system. Giving them extra room will help by giving the roots somewhere to go that is cooler.

When watering, make sure to also water near the outer rim to encourage the roots to spread out to help support the plant.

To help hold water in and reduce the number of times you have to water, you can place small rocks on the surface of the soil. Rocks work best because they require no maintenance.

Related: Container Gardening with Flowers: A Blooming Delight


Plant stands are great for when you have a lot of plants or you want to display them in a decorative way. They can be used indoors as well as outdoors and different designs and come in metal and wood.


When choosing perennials for container gardening, make sure to keep in mind that the plants you choose should be well-suited to containers.

Perennials live for several years, therefore they have larger root systems than annuals and they require more space and should be re-potted about every two years.

They mainly enjoy full sun, but they can also tolerate part shade.


If you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to add color to your garden, try annuals in containers.

They’re cheaper than perennials and require less maintenance, so you can try different varieties without many issues.

Also, because annuals die off naturally, you can use this to change the plants that you grow every year or move them inside during the winter and can be brought back outside after the first frost.

Related: Container Gardening on Balconies and Patios


When deciding what plants to pair together in a potting container, you should also decide whether to choose annuals, perennials, or a combination of both for the planter pot.

Another thing to consider is their soil, sun, and watering requirements are the same to ensure happy and healthy plants.

Growing three or more plants requires larger containers to accommodate the root systems of all the plants.


Orange Monkey Flower is native to North America where it grows like a small shrub to about 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

This evergreen has USDA hardiness zones of 3 through 9 and can temptress as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit or -4 degrees Celsius.

This plant is also known as bush monkey flower and sticky monkey flower.

Their blooms are tubular in shape with light orange being the most common but they can also be red, white, and a white-to-red color. Their blooms attract bees and hummingbirds.

Flowering maple is a tropical plant that is native to Southern Brazil, prefers full sun but it will do well with indirect light and can grow to about 5 feet tall.

This evergreen has USDA hardiness zones of 8 through 11. This plant is also known as abutilon, Chinese lantern, and Chinese bellflower.

It can grow with an appearance of a shrub and can also be planted by itself but needs to be brought indoors during the winter months.

Their cup-shaped blooms can be about 3 inches when they open in June and stay until October with yellow, orange, red, pink, and white as well as bicolored blooms.

Passion flowers are a vining plant that looks best when growing on a trellis in the center of the planter because it will be the tallest with a height of about 30 feet and a width of 6 feet.

This evergreen has USDA hardiness zones of 5 through 9 and it can’t take temperatures below 5 degrees Fahrenheit or -15 degrees Celsius.

They prefer full sun and will thrive in partial shade, they are native to North, Central, and South America, they are fast-growing and will need constant trimming.

With beautiful 3-inch blooms that open between mid-May and late July and stay until the first frost.

With over 500 varieties of passion flowers in an assortment of colors and blooms to choose from with some varieties producing fruit.



If you want to grow foxgloves in containers, you should consider re-potting them every year just before they bloom because they are perennials.

In the winter, cover the foxgloves with a layer of mulch to keep the soil evenly moist, or bring them indoors. Once the leaves have emerged from their re-potting, water them well.

Foxglove is native to Europe that can grow to about 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

They are not drought tolerant and are not suited for full sun, therefore it’s recommended to put rocks on top of the soil to hold in moisture if you live in a dry climate and place them under the shade of a tree or on the shady side of your home.

They have clusters of blooms that are tubular in shape, they come in a variety of colors that range from red, pink, purple, light purple, and white, and attract bumblebees and hummingbirds.



If you’re looking for a colorful plant for your container garden, then nemesia is a great option. These tropical flowers can withstand heat and drought, and they can even recover from summer dieback.

Once summer ends, you can fertilize them with a high-quality potting mix to prolong their blooming time, and in the fall, they can produce another flush of blooms.

When growing them in containers, be sure to plant them at least two inches apart. You can also start the seeds indoors and plant them in Jeffy pots.

After the plants have sprouted, pinch the tips of the stems to promote bushy growth.

Adding organic mulch to your container garden will help protect the roots from high temperatures and excessive moisture.

Although they are low maintenance, they do require a large, well-drained container. You can use ordinary potting mix, though you can also some compost or manure.

Nemesia can grow to about 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide with many blooms that attract butterflies and they do good in hanging planters.

Their blooms come in a variety of colors that range from bright pink to light pink, purple, blue, red, orange, yellow, and white.

Then there are some blooms that are two-tone, for example, blue and white, orange and red, light purple and white, as well as red and white.


New Guinea Impatiens

Impatiens are perennials that do best in partial shade with two to four hours of indirect light in the morning.

They have spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere as well as the tropics with over 1,000 species that bloom.

They also prefer afternoon shade, moist soil, and fertilization, they grow to about 3 feet and 3 feet 3 wide and attract butterflies and moths.

Their blooms come in a variety of colors that range from red, orange, purple, pink, yellow, and white.

There are also some varieties that are two tones, for example, orange and white.


Hibiscus Flower

These beautiful perennials do best in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. To help them thrive in your pots, try fertilizing with slow-release plant food.

Avoid damaging the roots while transplanting.

The dinner plate hibiscus is one of the hardiest varieties, capable of withstanding temperatures as low as negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its foliage is a mix of purple and green and is suitable for all seasons. The blooms are attractive and colorful while requiring very little care.

Many people prefer to plant several of these perennial hibiscus shrubs together to create a hedge, but even a single specimen will bring a splash of blue to any space.

While container living can stunt their growth, it can also allow you to enjoy this beautiful flower throughout the entire year.

Hibiscus can grow about 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide with blooms that can be as large as 1 foot, depending on the variety with moy grande hibiscus being the largest with pink blooms.

Their blooms come in a variety of colors that range from orange, red, pink, purple, and white or they come in a variety of assortment of these colors.



The first step in container gardening with succulents is choosing the right soil blend. This blend should be quick-draining and not overly rich.

You can even make your own succulent potting soil by combining equal parts of potting soil and coarse sand or pumice if needed.

They range in size from a 5-foot-tall tree to 6 inches tall ground cover succulent with blooms of all sorts of shapes and colors as well as colorful foliage.

Succulents with contrasting foliage shapes and colors will look spectacular in a planter pot.

Portulaca ‘Pazazz’ will provide a burst of color, while Aloe arborescens will add height and a display of brilliant red flowers in the winter.

Another succulent to consider is Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, a plant with strap-like leaves and a succulent stem.

During winter they should be brought indoors to keep them from dying.

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Joel Simon

As a kid, Joel found enjoyment in caring for the many houseplants he grew up with, learning how to transplant them safely, cloning them, and more. At about the age of 10, he wanted to see if he could sprout an orange seed from a store-bought orange and ended up using it as a science experiment in a school project. Throughout the many years of gardening, he has helped many friends and family set up their food and botanical gardens. After years of caring for plants, he was talking with other gardeners and discovering old methods of farming and botanical gardening. Joel has decided to share his knowledge for others to enjoy as he has for many years.

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