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