Want bold and colorful flower planters in your garden? Use these container planting tips and visual ideas for gorgeous pots that thrive all season long.
I also have lots of ideas for Front Porch and Garden Flower Containers here.
Garden Planter Ideas & Care Tips
If you are like me, your favorite place to find inspiration for the garden is in real-life gardens much like our own. These photos come from local home garden tours.
I share idea galleries like this one to simply ignite the spark that will encourage you to explore the natural world around you, dig in, get your hands dirty, and see what grows. It doesn’t matter if it’s some pots on a windowsill or patio, or a raised bed in community garden or allotment. Just dig in and enjoy.
The photos will give you ideas for your garden. The tips will ensure your plants get the care they need to last all season long.
Our first impulse is to choose plants we are attracted to but, if they are all going in one pot, be sure they have similar light and moisture needs.
On the artistic side, there are unlimited options for plant choices. My approach is: have as much fun as you can without burning your hard-earned money.
If you choose perennials, plan for winter storage and care.
Keep the plant tags for each container combination tucked in the planter or nearby for reference throughout the growing season.
Sun | Part-Sun | Dappled| Shade
So, you have selected plants with similar light needs but do you have a location that provides this light? Be sure your plant nursery choices actually fit your space and decor.
A plant caddy with wheels makes it easy to move big containers around as needed.
Most containers will need daily watering. Have you got a water source nearby that is easy to access? Most plant neglect happens when it takes too much effort to keep up the care. Same for so many things in life.
Plant roots are sensitive to temperature and appreciate warm water. I fill my watering cans at the end of each day to allow the chlorine to off-gas and the water to warm up for the next day.
Not Sure When to Water?
Moisture meters work nicely, don’t cost much, and do not require batteries. You insert the probes in the soil at root level and the dial indicates the moisture level on a scale from 1 to 10.
Have a look at these self-watering system ideas for garden beds and containers.
Annuals are fast, short-term growers and do not often need more than 8-10 inches of root space.
Perennials in pots may need extra root space and winter accommodation.
Plant roots need water drainage (holes in bottom of container to allow excess water out). Covering the holes in window screen or landscape fabric prevents soil from seeping out.
Oversize containers can be partially filled with items like empty upside-down plastic pots or clumps of bubble wrap to save on the cost of container mix.
We call it ‘soil’ but the best stuff you can use for your garden containers is organic potting mix. It is often a combination of organic matter, perlite, and vermiculite. This stuff is not cheap but works beautifully so watch for sales and stock up.
If you are growing anything edible, be sure your container mix is food safe.
Plants need the right amounts of light, water, and air circulation for ongoing happiness.
Check your containers daily. Water as needed. Check by sticking your fingertip in the soil. Water unless damp. Always aim the watering can or hose tip at the soil, not the foliage.
Move containers around if you suspect they are getting too much sun or too little. Signs can include frying/drying out (too much sun), or stretching to reach light (too little sun).
Check your plant tags to see which plants should be deadheaded (remove old blooms) or trimmed back, and whether fertilizer is recommended.
At the end of the season, keep the tags and note your favorites for next year.
Empty, wash, and bleach your containers (4 teaspoons bleach per quart or liter of water for at least one minute), rinse and dry so they are ready for next year.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛