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Practical Tips for Container Gardening

Without doubt container gardening is popular, and if you follow a few basic tips you can grow just about any plant in a pot or container. The secret is to choose the right container and the right soil mix for the plant. You also need to ensure that the container you choose is in the right place, the right amount of sun for the plant. So lets look as the basics.

  1. Plants generally do not like to be in to large or to small a container, look at the size of the plant and choose a container that is not to large for it, and certainly not so small that it will restrict growth.
  2. The soil mix that you use is important, different plants require different drainage, this means that the openness of the soil mix will differ. Succulents, Orchids and Cacti generally require very free draining soil mixes. Vegetables and some herbs require more constant moisture.
  3. Drainage, as above, however some containers have better drainage than others, you also need to check for blocked drainage holes, a common problem.
  4. The material the container is made from can have an effect on plant growth. A concrete container will well for peonies, the concrete releases lime and the peonies live lime. Other plants like acidic soils including citrus trees and camellias.


Herbs and Vegetables in containers

Herbs in Containers

Some of the easiest plants to grow in containers are herbs, and they can be productive as well.

If you like to cook them growing a few containers of fresh herbs is an excellent way to get that instant flavor of fresh herbs.

Very similar to vegetables except that some herbs such as rosemary and thyme do not require as much water as others such as basil and parsley.

Herbs are great for container growing as well as in the garden.


Vegetables are a very popular choice and plants such as, tomatoes, lettuce climbing beans and many other vegetable can easily be container grown.

Remember that vegetables generally require a large amount of fertilizer and regular watering. Many potting soils used will not have enough nutrients to promote and sustain strong growth so be prepared to fertilize your vegetables on a regular basis.

Containers tend to dry out more quickly than a normal garden, consider water saving techniques such as mulching the top and adding water saving additives to the soil used.

Trees in Containers

Yes you can grow reasonably large trees in containers, we have seen Magnolia St Marys grow in large concrete containers outside a casino, and doing very well. It is probably not a long term solution given that a tree can last hundreds of years, bur for smaller trees, it works.