Container gardening is a lovely garden alternative that allows for portability and creativity in any amount of outdoor space—whether you live in a city apartment or on several acres of land.
Putting plants in containers, big or small, is a great way for beginner gardeners to test out their green thumb. If the plant gets a fungus or dies, it is easier to treat the plant and to see what the problem is.
Container gardening is also perfect for those who may not have a large outdoor space. You won’t need a big lawn or dedicated planter beds. Just stand your containers on your patio or apartment balcony and you have your very own garden. Hanging baskets add splashes of color to shaded and sunny patios and other outdoor spaces. Plants hanging at eye level bring their lovely aromas closer to our noses, as well!
Our favorite flower, geranium Rozanne® particularly loves growing in containers. The portability of containers allows you to move your plants into sun or shade, depending on what they may need.
Start container gardening by following Rozanne’s Never Fail Formula!
1. Choose your container
There are so many options for what you can use as a container. You can select a traditional container from a garden store such as a terra cotta pot or a hanging basket, or get crafty and use something unique such as a shoe rack or old bathtub to hold your plants. If you choose a container that is more eclectic, make sure it has proper drainage and doesn’t contain materials toxic to plants or people.
Large containers hold moisture well and won’t dry out as quickly as smaller containers. Remember to use a perforated liner to allow for good drainage after watering as well.
2. Select your spot
Choose where you will put your container. This may depend on what type of plant you use and how much sun it needs throughout the day. If your containers are quite large, they may need to stay put and this step is already done for you. (Look how efficient you are!)
If your container is small enough to move, you might choose two spots for it. One showy location when company comes calling, and a better garden area when it needs to grow. Being able to move your container is just one of the many perks!
3. Pick your plants
Now you get to choose plants for your container. Be sure to choose plants that grow well when planted together and plants that have complementary colors so you can really make a statement in your container. Remember, foliage also creates a plush, green background that flowers stand out against.
Just because your plants will be limited to a smaller space, doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and have fun with it. You can choose themes to plant in your container such as a cottage garden, tropical vacation, or grassy foliage. Be bold and choose plants of different textures, colors and sizes to make for a very impressive container. Consider whether your container will be located in shade or full sun, and choose your plants accordingly.
4. Planting and care
It’s time to do some planting! If you have a greenhouse or warm area for your container, you can plant at any time. Otherwise, plant your container after the last frost at the beginning of spring. This ensures your flowers will be in full bloom early in the season. Fill your container with a nutrient-rich, multipurpose potting soil and add a 20% perlite mixture to help with drainage.
A good rule of thumb for container planting is: place one plant per inch of your container’s diameter. Place tall plants in the center of the container and shorter, trailing plants around the edges.
You might find that your container planter tends to dry out quickly, especially during the summer months. Remember to thoroughly water your plants each day, until water drips from the container bottom. You can also add a slow-release fertilizer or weekly plant food doses to ensure your plants are well-fed!
Container gardening is as diverse and as beautiful as a larger planted bed. We love the portability, functionality and ease of container gardening. It’s a fun way to get kids involved in gardening and a more ergonomic solution to gardening if you have back or joint pain. Container gardening is just right for all ages and skill levels.
Have you gotten creative with container gardening? Show us your most successful container on Instagram or Facebook. Use the #geraniumrozanne so we are sure to see your charming containers!