Gardening House & Home

Pro Tips for Potted Plants

Follow these pro tips for potted plants to make the most out of container gardening.

Pro Tips for Potted Plants

Potted plants can fit just about anywhere making them excellent gardening choices for apartment and condo dwellers. You can enjoy gardening from any small space such as a porch or patio. Potted plants are also great for beginner gardeners because if something dies it can easily be replaced. While adding depth and color to your landscape, potted plants also serve as added decorations.

Follow these pro tips before you start planting plants in pots.

Pro Tip #1 – Choose the Right Pot

Before buying a pot, make sure there are 1/2″ wide holes in the bottom so that water will be able to flow out freely. Roots can drown eventually killing the plant if proper drainage is not in place.

Choose the type of pot that fits your style and budget. Any material works, such as plastic, terracotta, glazed ceramic, or cast-concrete. Keep in mind when shopping for pots that terracotta can be somewhat high maintenance. While it drains well and allows roots to breathe, terracotta also dries out quicker in the summer and may freeze and crack in the winter. Glazed ceramic and cast-concrete make better choices, although both are very heavy. Pots made out of these materials retain water longer and can withstand freezing temperatures.

Get creative with your pot and use a bushel basket or even a wooden box. If your budget is tight, use a repurposed container from the thrift store or whatever you have on hand. Baskets lined with thin plastic make a great option, too.

Keep in mind that while shopping for pots, small pots will require more water and risk having roots take over. Bigger pots allow more room for roots to grow and tend to hold more water.

Pro Tip #2 – Choose the Right Plants

Pretty much anything that can grow in the ground can be grown in a pot. Before you start planting, think about where you are going to place your pots. Are they going to be in full sun or full shade? If you plan to plant several different plants in the same pot, make sure they will all get along together. Place full sun plants together and full shade plants together. Ferns make excellent plants for shady areas and look beautiful hanging from a front porch.

Pro Tip #3 – Choose the Right Soil

Lightweight, moisture-retentive potting soil is the best soil to use for potted plants. If the soil does not contain any type of fertilizer, you may want to add a small amount of slow release fertilizer as you pour the soil into your pot.

Before adding the soil to your potted plants, place a coffee filter in the bottom. This keeps the soil in and allows the water to flow out nicely. Never use rocks or gravel in the bottom of your pot.

Fill the pots within one inch of the top of the pot when adding soil. This allows room for watering the plants without soil spilling out and making a mess.

soil for potted plants

Pro Tip #4 – Caring For Your Potted Plants

Potted plants require frequent watering so make sure to water them when the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch. During the hot and sunny days you will probably have to water them every day. Watering in the morning prevents fungal diseases and deters slugs and other pests.

Fertilize your potted plants regularly to keep them healthy and beautiful. Certain potting soils already contain slow-releasing fertilizer, but you may want to add a few drops of liquid fertilizer every week or two as well.

Remember to remove any blooms that have become faded on annual and perennial flowers. This will keep your plants looking better and encourage new flowers to form.

With these pro tips for potted plants, I guarantee you will have the best container gardens in the neighborhood!

Do you have any tips you would like to add? I would love to hear about your potted plant experiences, even if it’s not so great!

Pro Tips for Potted Plants Infographic

Be sure to check out my other posts on container gardening:
All About Window Box Gardening
Vertical Gardening

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  1. Life of the Empty Nesters

    Great ideas! Having your hands in soil and helping something grow does the soul good. I loved the coffee liner tip.

    1. Michelle

      Thank you so much! It can be super relaxing, too. πŸ™‚

  2. The Eclectic Contrarian

    Great stuff! Succulents and cacti and such seem to be popular lately. I’m thinking about getting my wife some.

    1. Michelle

      Thank you! We have some neighbors up the street who have cacti planted on a wall along the road. They’re pretty when they bloom. You should definitely get your wife some. πŸ™‚

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian

        I just might! πŸ€”

  3. Thanks Michelle! I usually avoid plants thinking I may kill them, but now I think I can try buying one using your tips. β˜€οΈπŸŒΏ

    1. Michelle

      Thank you! I’m glad I could help!

  4. I have one houseplant right now πŸ˜‚

    1. Michelle

      Well that’s better than none! πŸ˜€

  5. Tis the season for some greenage! We’ve been buying and planting flowers all weekend. Surprisingly the plants from Home Depot seem to last longer than the more expensive nurseries in my area. Who woulda thought?

    1. Ok..WP issue here. I’m so sorry I’m just responding, but I seriously just saw this!! Ugh…

      I wish Home Depot was closer to me because I’ve heard the same things! Lowe’s is right up the road, but there plants aren’t all that great. However, I have bought some discounted dying plants that turned out really well. πŸ™‚

      1. Yea sometimes you can resuscitate the dying ones, but I don’t have much of a green thumb so I’m a bit helpless in that department!

  6. I’ll definitely have to reference back to this post when I get a garden one day, as I know nothing about gardening. Brilliant tips πŸ™‚

    1. Michelle

      Thank you!! I’m glad you found it helpful. πŸ™‚

  7. What about to vote our blog?


  8. Love cactus…hate planting them though! lol

    1. Michelle

      Haha! Me, too! πŸ™‚ My mom always had them and I would always get hurt on them. πŸ˜€

  9. Thesacredspaceap

    These are really great tips that I will be referring back to. I love plants and want to so more gsrdening in the furture however, I am abit uneducated with gardening!
    Thank you for sharing your tips with us.

    1. Michelle

      Thank you so much! I’m glad I could help! πŸ™‚

  10. A coffee filter at the bottom of the pots… that is a genius idea!! Lots of great tips and just the right timing with the weather (hopefully) starting to pick up. 🌷
    Caz xx

    1. Michelle

      Thank you! Hopefully the weather starts cooperating. It’s been cold one day and hot the next!

  11. Timelesslady

    Terrific tips! Houseplants are one of my joys!

    1. Michelle

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  12. Excellent tips. Potted plants do tend to need a bit more consideration of these things than in-ground plants, but having potted plants in the house make it so much better. Having the right soil really makes all the difference with potted plants.

    1. Michelle

      Thank you for the tip on the soil! πŸ™‚

  13. I love your idea of potting plants in things besides pots. One of my favorite ways to make a plant look special is by planting it in something a little unexpected, like an old ice bucket.

    1. Michelle

      Thank you! An old ice bucket is such a cute idea for a potted plant! Thanks for sharing that! πŸ™‚

  14. I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award because I think that you are very deserving of it! I have tagged you in my recent post where all of the info can be found there. 😊

    1. Michelle

      Thank you so much!! πŸ˜€

      1. You’re very welcome πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

  15. I do speak with my plants 🌱…hehe…sometimes I think they like it as they make flowers 🌺 😊

    1. Michelle

      I’ve actually heard that this is a good thing to do! I think I need to speak to mine more so they don’t die. πŸ˜€ Thank you for the tip!! πŸ™‚

      1. πŸ˜‰πŸŒ·πŸŒΈπŸŒ±

  16. So pretty!! Love your ideas!! I’ve been reading your posts in email but just now catching up on the blog to comment!!

    1. Thank you so much!! πŸ™‚

  17. Thanks so much for this! I love plants but I do not have those green fingers!

    1. You’re welcome! I hope it helps. πŸ˜€

      1. I will let you know! πŸ˜€

  18. Great tips, Michelle. I would add know what is in the water – municipal water sources often have chlorine added and some plats may be sensitive to it. We usually let our tap water sit for at least several hours before watering plants with it. People with well water may have a water softener that uses salt. Too much salt can also kill plants.

    1. Thank you for sharing that! I didn’t realize that. We have municipal water so should probably be more careful. πŸ™‚

      1. You’re welcome.

  19. I love plants, I have so many houseplants! I never heard of putting a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot – that’s a great tip!

    1. Thank you! It’s cheap, too. πŸ™‚

  20. So many good ideas here! Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much!

  21. […] more gardening tips? Check out these great posts:All About Window Box GardeningVertical GardeningPro Tips for Potted Plants5 Indoor Plants That Are Hard to […]

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