Choosing a Container for Your Plant

A succulent planted in a toy truckContainer gardens are versatile and can beautify any part of your home or landscape. But what should you put your plants in?

First, the basics: a good container should be large enough to provide room for soil and roots, and be attractive without competing with the plant it holds. You don't want your plant standing in wet soil, so make sure the container you choose has enough drainage holes. Plan ahead when planting large containers and add dollies with wheels so that it can be easily moved.

Using Everyday Items as Containers

Half the fun of gardening is getting to express yourself, and containing gardening is no exception. Anything can be used, from a hollow log to an antique urn. The only thing that limits your container selection is your imagination.

Taking common objects and turning them into garden features makes a great personal statement. Everyday items, such as chairs, watering cans, or even boots can make great container gardens. Any object that holds potting soil and provides drainage is a possible container. You can either transform the item into a container or place a container inside of it. Sometimes drain holes can be drilled, but this depends on the container material. Just remember, the smaller the container, the more often it will need to be watered.

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets bring plants to eye level and bring vertical interest to your home and landscape. There are many types of hanging containers available, including lined wire baskets, plastic containers, and terra-cotta pots. Use a well-drained media and water as needed. Baskets outside will require more frequent watering.

Hanging baskets are a great choice for cascading plants, and you can add other plants in as well. Narrow-leaved bromeliads or ferns are good choices. Bright, cheery annuals like trailing vinca and ivy geraniums do well in the sun, while coleus, wax begonias, and impatiens prefer the shade.

Grow Boxes

Grow boxes are enclosed systems for growing vegetables and herbs, and are reusable and portable. They yield excellent crops within weeks and are perfect for gardeners with limited space. Grow boxes are easy and inexpensive to make, although you can also purchase them. Grow boxes differ from other container gardens in that they have a water reservoir and a fertilizer charge, so once you plant, there's little to no maintenance.

Grow boxesGrow boxes are typically used for vegetables, and you have many options for which you can grow. Winter veggies like lettuce and other greens can be grown, and in the spring, melons, tomatoes, and peppers are great choices. Place your grow box where it'll receive at least six hours of direct sunlight.