How to Plant Flowerpots


Use flowerpots as a focal point for an entryway, to brighten a bland corner of the patio, or draw attention to a view. Experiment with exotic flowers or perhaps a cactus garden. Change the pots to reflect the seasons. Fill them with tulips in spring, zinnias in summer, chrysanthemums in the fall and evergreens in the winter. Follow a few basic tips when planting the flowerpots and you'll have flowers all season long.

Prepare the Flowerpots

Step 1

Scrub out previously used flower pots with a solution of one tbsp. of bleach to 1 quart of water. Rinse and let dry. This step kills any lingering diseases, mold or fungus.

Step 2

Place a paper towel in the bottom of the pot to cover the drainage holes. The towel keeps the soil inside the flowerpot and lets the excess water escape. Most pots have drainage holes. If the pot doesn't, either drill a few, or use that pot as the outer pot and insert a pot with drainage holes to actually plant the flowers in.

Step 3

Fill the pot half way with potting soil. Add fertilizer as the package directs. Mix well. Fill the pot to about an inch below the rim. Mix again. You can use previously used potting soil with plants, but don't use it with seeds. Old potting soil may contain a fungus that causes dampening off with seedlings. The seeds either don't sprout at all or wilt and die soon after sprouting.

Step 4

Water the soil until it's thoroughly moist.

Planting the Flowers

Step 1

Choose a tall plant like snapdragons, a trailing plant like alyssum and a bushy flower like petunias. Three plants in a 12-inch pot leave plenty of room for the flowers to fill out. Five plants in an 18-inch plant works well.

Step 2

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball of each plant. Gently remove the plant from the nursery container. If the plant won't come out, check the bottom for roots coming out of the drainage holes. Clip the roots off. Place the plant in the hole and fill in the hole leaving a 1-inch layer of potting soil over the root ball.

Step 3

Plant seeds per package directions. Cover large seeds like nasturtiums, sunflowers and sweet peas with one inch of soil. Medium seeds like zinnias and marigolds should be covered with 1/4 inch of soil and tiny seeds like pansies with 1/8 inch of soil. As a general rule plant twice as many seeds as you think you'll need and clip off the weaker seedlings after they sprout.

Step 4

Water the seeds and flowers with a fine mist until saturated.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves when handling chemicals like fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Paper towels
  • Potting soil
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Plants or seeds
  • Small trowel
  • Garden clippers


  • "Garden Ideas"; Carol Spier and Warrne Schultz; 1996
  • "Grow Vegetables: Gardens - Yards - Balconies - Roof Terraces"; Alan Buckingham and Jo Whittingham; 2008

Who Can Help

  • Backyard Landscape Ideas: Easy Steps to Build a Flower Bed
Keywords: planting flowerpots, container gardening, flowers in pots

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.