How to Plan a Container Garden – 9 Easy Steps

Potting Containers

How to plan a container garden is a good starting point for anyone looking to start a raised bed garden. The first step in creating your container garden is deciding on what type of plants you’d like to keep in it.

Consider the size of your containers as well as the amount of light they will receive, as this will have a big impact on what type of plants you can select. For example, succulents and cacti need plenty of sun while ferns prefer more shade.

Even in the smallest of spaces, a container garden can flourish, bringing life and color to your home and even indoors. Here’s a guide on how to plan your own container garden.


A container garden can accommodate a range of plants, from flowers and herbs to vegetables and small shrubs.

Consider factors like the sunlight exposure and climate of your location while selecting your plants.

Some plants prefer shady conditions while others need full sun.

Additionally, you’ll want to select plants that are small and slow-growing, as they won’t outgrow their containers too quickly.

Start with low-maintenance plants like succulents and herbs so that you can maintain your garden easily.


Choose containers that are deep and wide enough to accommodate your plants’ root systems. Consider the material of the containers too.

Clay pots are porous and allow water and air to circulate, but they can dry out quickly. Plastic containers retain moisture better but may require holes for drainage.

Whatever you choose, make sure the container is deep enough to hold several inches of soil and has drainage holes at the bottom.


The soil in containers can become waterlogged if they don’t have adequate drainage. Ensure your containers have drainage holes and use a saucer made for planter pots.

Excessive water can cause root rot and damage your plants.


Potting soil is best for container gardening, as it’s specially designed to drain well and keep roots aerated. Regular garden soil can be too heavy and cause waterlogging.

Mix in organic matter like compost to help nourish your plants while providing additional drainage.

Before planting, enrich your potting mix with organic matter like compost or manure to improve its nutrient content.


Consider both size and color when arranging. Place tall, dramatic plants in the back and shorter ones in front. You can also create a stunning display by using a variety of colors like reds, yellows, oranges, or purples.

Finally, keep an eye on how quickly your plants are growing so you can re-pot them when they become established.


Regular watering and fertilization are key to maintaining a healthy container garden. Watering needs vary among different plants, but most prefer a consistently moist but not waterlogged environment.

Use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 to supply necessary nutrients.


Water retention is a big key when container gardening therefore I suggest adding mulch or small rocks to your container garden. Mulch retains moisture, keeps soil temperatures consistent, and deters weeds.

Rocks can also be used to decorate the top of soil and help retain water.


Pests can quickly damage and ruin your plants, so keep an eye out for signs of trouble. Common garden pests include aphids, mites, caterpillars, and slugs/snails. If you do encounter pests, use organic pest control methods like insecticidal soap to eliminate the problem.

An easy way to keep pests away is to introduce beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings into your garden. These friendly bugs help keep harmful pests in check and provide natural pest control.


Trim overgrown plants and deadhead flowers as needed which will cause the plants to produce more flowers.

Check your container plants on a regular basis for signs of disease or insects.

If you notice any issues, remove the affected part of the plant and treat it with an organic fungicide or insecticidal soap as needed.

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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