How to Care for Container Gardens

June 7, 2018

Container gardens are great additions to the landscape and can be customized and changed throughout the year. They’re a fun and easy way to add a colorful touch to a patio, a rooftop deck, and even inside. Follow these tips to keep your container gardens looking fresh all year around.

Outside Container Gardens

  • When watering your containers, it’s best to water deeply and infrequently rather than frequent, shallow watering. This will encourage the roots to reach deep into the soil instead of forming on the surface where they’ll dry out faster.
  • It’s best to let your soil dry out a little before watering again. They should not be constantly saturated.
  • If you place your containers under the eaves of your house, make sure you water them (even through winter) as they likely will not get any water from rain or snow fall.
  • During our hottest months (July and August), if your containers are in full sun, you’ll want to check the soil frequently since they will dry out quickly. It is best to water early in the morning or later in the evening. If they’re in the shade, you might not have to water as often but it’s best to check once a day to check on soil moisture. The smaller the pot size, the faster it will dry out.
  • Use organic fertilizer regularly throughout the growing season to provide nutrients for your plants. You can use either a diluted liquid fertilizer weekly or a time release fertilizer monthly. The more plants you have that bloom, the more important fertilizer will be.
  • Remove any brown, yellow, or tattered leaves and deadhead any flowers that are done blooming to promote plant health and repeat blooms.
  • Coleus is a staple container plant but in order to keep its foliage looking good, you’ll want to remove any flowers as soon as you notice them, so it can put all of its energy into the foliage.
  • You can keep plants in their containers for 2-3 years. After that they will start to outgrow their container and will be hard to remove and can result in the container needing to be broken to get the plant out.
  • If your plants start outgrowing their container you can move them up to a bigger pot or plant them in your garden if you have space.
  • Annuals can be cut back or removed in October-November. Replace them with some evergreen color if desired.

 

Inside Container Gardens

  • If your container has an insert that the plants have been planted in, you’ll just need to remove the insert to water. Remember to let them drain in the sink/tub/etc completely before placing the insert back into the container so they don’t leak.
  • If your container does not have an insert, a water tray is a must to protect whatever surface your container is on. Make sure the tray is big enough and deep enough so that the bottom of your container fits inside while also allowing a bit of room for water overflow. Water them slowly so you don’t overfill the water tray and let them soak up the water from the tray. If you have a small enough pot, you can put water directly into the tray and let them soak it up that way.
  • Use organic fertilizer regularly throughout the growing season to provide nutrients for your plants. You can use either a diluted liquid fertilizer weekly or a time release fertilizer monthly. The more plants you have that bloom, the more important fertilizer will be.
  • If your plants start outgrowing their container you can move them up to a bigger pot, so they don’t get root bound.
  • Remove any brown, yellow, or tattered leaves and deadhead any flowers that are done blooming to promote plant health and more flowers.

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