Container Gardening Part III: Plant Selection and Growing Tips

May 25, 2011

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected


  • If recycling old containers clean thoroughly with 1-part bleach to 3-parts water.
  • When reusing an oversized pot, place a thick layer of vermiculite, perlite, or Styrofoam at the bottom before filling with potting mix. This will reduce weight and improve drainage.
  • Know how much exposure the area receives and choose plants accordingly.
  • Not all perennials, fruit trees, and vegetables do well in containers. Read plant tags or ask for assistance.


  • When putting more than one variety per pot, select plants with the same sun and water requirements.
  • For a stately look, surround a single shrub or tall plant with colorful flowers.
  • Blooming vines create an impressive cascading display.
  • In shady areas use bright flowers, variegated leaves, and striking foliage and texture that will show off against a dark glazed ceramic pot.
  • A bowl of succulents requires little water and fertilizer, and adds smooth texture to sunny spots on tabletops. But most succulents need protection from winter weather.
  • Grow a salad container off the kitchen in a sunny place filled with sage, sweet marjoram, patio tomato, nasturtiums, Italian parsley, and basil.
  • Anchor a bench with LARGE, stately containers and colorful plants.
  • If you’re less inclined to water regularly, go with drought-tolerant plants, moisture control potting mix, a timer, and drip line.

Planting and Care:

  • A good potting mix is key to healthy, happy plants. Don’t go the cheap route when it comes to soil.
  • Leave two – three inches from the top of the pot to hold water. This will keep water from running off the soil before penetrating the roots.
  • After you’ve planted, sprinkle in a time-release fertilizer according to package instructions or feed every two – three weeks with a liquid or granular fertilizer. Always follow label instructions.
  • A soaker ring connected to a water line provides even, reliable watering. Check the emitters periodically for clogging.
  • Deadhead faded flowers for continuous performance.
  • Water according to the plants’ needs.

© Copyright Dianne Marie Andre



  1. Hi Dianne,
    I planted two trailing petunia plants in a recycled wooden hanger from years past yesterday. The ‘pretty thirsty looking plants’ seem to like their new abode! Thanks for the tips. bernadine


    • Ah, I love recycled planters. They add so much character and keep the past alive every time you look at its charm and renewed purpose.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: