How to Flower Garden in Containers


Containers full of colorful blossoms add visual interest to patios, balconies and other areas of the landscape when a garden bed isn't possible. Whether you use a small pot with just one variety of flower or a large container with several varieties, proper care ensures the flowers remain healthy for the entire gardening season. Display containers of flowers inside or outside, using planters or hanging baskets. Container flower requirements differ from regular bed gardens, but there often are fewer weed and pest problems.

Step 1

Plant in containers that offer drainage to the soil so that roots don't become soggy and prone to rot.

Step 2

Fill the container to within 1 to 2 inches of the rim with a soil-less potting soil mixture, as these provide better drainage, are lighter weight and less likely to compact around the roots.

Step 3

Space flowers in containers about half the distance recommended on the plant label. Plant the flower seedlings to the same depth in the container that they were at in their previous seedling pot.

Step 4

Place the containers in an area that receives the recommended amount of light for the flower variety, and only plant flowers with the same light requirements in the same container.

Step 5

Check the soil moisture every day for outdoor containers and every three to five days for indoor pots. Stick a finger into the soil and water when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry. Water from the top until the excess moisture runs from the bottom of the pot. Verify exact water needs for each flower type you plant.

Step 6

Prune container plants immediately after planting, then throughout the gardening season as needed. Pinch off the top ½ inch of each growing stem to encourage bushy, full growth of the flowers. Remove spent blossoms as soon as they wilt to promote further blooming. Pinch back plants that become overgrown or leggy in mid-summer.

Step 7

Fertilize containers weekly with a balanced soluble fertilizer. Apply at 1/4 of the label's recommended rate each week.

Tips and Warnings

  • Flowers in containers dry out much more quickly than those in flower beds. During hot, dry weather flowers may need watered twice daily.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Potting soil
  • Flower plants
  • Fertilizer


  • Iowa State University Extension: Growing Annuals in Containers
  • West Virginia State University: Container Gardening
Keywords: container flower garden, growing potted flowers, small space gardening

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.