Container Gardening – Tips & What to Avoid

Planting in containers is a fabulous and versatile way to garden. It is also an excellent method for learning the basics of plant care if you’re new to gardening. Adding pretty pots, baskets, and other containers to your landscape is a wonderful way to add colour, texture, and variety to your outdoor space and can be changed up year-after-year. While caring for your containers is relatively easy, we have some tips and things to avoid to make sure your containers look bright and healthy all summer long!

Container Gardening Tips

Choose the Right Soil

We highly recommend a combination of sea soil and a soil-less potting mix. The sea soil holds moisture and nutrients well, and the soil-less potting mix allows for good drainage with enough aeration so the little roots can grow strong.

Pick Healthy Plants

Wherever you choose your plants from, make a point of checking them to make sure they have been watered well. This means they’ll have sturdy stems and bright green foliage.

Light Levels

Consider how much sun your pot will receive. If you watch where you plan on placing your pot for a few days, you should be able see how many hours of direct sunlight it will receive. If its 1-3 hours, it is considered full shade. 3-5 hours, it is considered part shade/part sun. 6 or more hours and it is considered full sun.

Plant Placement

Thriller: The tallest and/or most impressive plant should be placed at the back of your pot if it is against a wall or planted in the centre if you can see the pot all the way around.
Filler: These plants are spaced in and around the thriller plant. These are the plants that you choose for bushiness or for colour and contrast.
Spiller: Anything that trails should be planted on the edge of your container allowing it to spill over.

Water & Fertilize

After initial planting, water thoroughly so your container soil is wet right through to the bottom. During periods of hot and windy days, water daily, especially if your pot is in the sun. Remember that shade plants don’t require as much water as sun plants do. Be sure to fertilize regularly. You expect a lot of colour and wow factor out of your container plants so we need to supply them with the nutrients that they will need to fulfill that potential!

Deadhead Your Plants

Many plants require deadheading to keep them blooming all summer long. Take the time to remove faded or dried-up blooms and you will have beautiful pots all through the season.

What to Avoid

Using Soil from Your Garden

Soil from your garden often has too much clay in it, compacting the soil and making it hard/dense after rain and hot sun. This doesn’t allow for proper root growth.

Too Large or Too Small Plants

Make careful choices to ensure you are not overcrowding, but creating a nice, full container. Check with our wonderful staff or read the tags carefully as you choose your plants.

No Variety

Choose plants that will complement each other well, not just in terms of colour, but also in size. Avoid choosing plants that are all the same texture or have the same size leaves or flowers. It’s more attractive and appealing to the eye to have a variety of sizes of plant leaves and blooms in your pot.

Letting Your Pot Dry Out Completely

Avoid letting your pot dry out completely. If your pot gets too dry, some plants may not be able to be resuscitated. Stay on top of your watering!