The Basics: Gardening in Containers
Potted plants have special needs. Follow these tips to help them thrive.
With their rainbow of colors and long bloom season, annuals are naturals for container gardens. Perennials and bulbs offer still more colorful, interesting choices. Shrubs or small trees add structure to a group of containers, while vines can form cool, leafy screens. Containers come in a dazzling array of shapes, colors, and materials. Whichever you choose, be sure there’s at least one hole in the bottom to ensure proper drainage.
Plants in containers need soil that allows roots to grow easily; it should be fast draining yet moisture retentive. Quick drainage means roots won’t run the risk of suffocating in soggy soil; good moisture retention saves you from having to water constantly. Regular garden soil, even if it’s good loam, is too dense for container use. A better bet is one of the packaged potting mixes sold at nurseries and garden centers.