Planting in containers is often a necessity, especially when you don't have a lot of good garden space or you are growing plants that need to be brought indoors during the winter. Tall pots add interest to almost any area, such as beside the front door or indoors in a bare corner. Plastic pots are more economical than clay, stone or ceramic pots and are often considered cheap. However, plastic pots can have decorative patterns and are available in a variety of colors, so they still look attractive, giving your more bang for your buck.
Choose tall plastic pots with at least one drainage hole. If the pot doesn't have one, carefully drill or poke a couple holes in the bottom that are about ½ inch wide. Also, consider where you are going to place your pot. If it is going to be in the sun, choose a light-colored pot that will not absorb heat, which dries out the soil.
Place the plastic pot in a drainage dish, preferably one with wheels for easy mobility. Large pots become quite heavy once they're filled with soil.
Put a mesh screen across the bottom to prevent the stones and soil from leaking out. Set your pot in its permanent spot--it will get heavy in the next step.
Place rocks or gravel in the bottom one-fourth to one-third of the pot. This will help minimize the amount of soil you need to buy and prevent the soil from forming mold near the bottom of the pot. It will also make the plastic pot heavier near the bottom so it will not tip over. This is especially important if you are planting top-heavy plants, such as dwarf trees.
Fill the plastic pot with soil. Well-draining potting soil works well for most plants. Fill it up so the space between the rim and the top of the soil is about 2 to 4 inches. This will give you room to water without fear of it overflowing and leave space for a layer of mulch, if desired.
Plant your plants so they are just as deep as they were in their original containers. Most plants can be planted closer together in pots than they can outdoors in the ground. Choose trailing plants, such as hoyas or ivy, to hang over the sides of the pots. Plant them around the edge and then plant other plants in the middle, if desired.
Water the plants slowly and stop when the water begins to drain out the drainage holes.