Everything you need to give the hose a rest, from unthirsty plant picks to inspiring gardens
Choose the right pot. Glazed ceramic (pictured), metals, and plastic prevent evaporation better than porous materials such as terra-cotta.
Mulch. Cover the bare soil surface in pots with 1 to 2 inches of bark, compost, gravel, or stones to slow evaporation.
Monitor moisture. Water when the soil is dry an inch or two beneath the surface. Or install a drip-irrigation kit designed for pots (available at most garden centers) and put it on a timer.
Repot as needed. Rootbound plants dry out more quickly than ones whose roots have some room to grow. Put them into containers that are about a size larger.