Ideas for Planting Containers

Container gardens offer a million planting combinations to suit any growing environment. The vast number of plants allow gardeners to pick and choose the most pleasing blends based on color, location and type of plant. Most plants will happily grow in containers, provided the gardener gives adequate care to these miniature gardens.

Summer Flowering Bulbs

Planting containers doesn't get much easier than filling a pot with soil and sticking some perennial bulbs in the dirt. Gardeners often overlook bulbs as a viable option for a low-maintenance container garden. Plant such as daylilies, tuberous begonia, calla lily and dahlias provide interesting foliage as well as beautiful blooms. Follow instructions on bulb packages for light requirements, planting depth and moisture levels. Use new potting soil when planting the container. Instead of wasting the effort and cost of bulb purchase, dig up the bulbs at season's end for proper storage indoors.

Perennial Container Gardens

Gardeners tend to select annual plants for container gardens. The suite of perennial plants offers different styles of flowers and foliage to create beautiful one-of-a-kind arrangements. The initial expense of perennial plants demands additional planning before creating the container. Selecting perennials involves examining each plant for blooming time and foliage. Select three different plants for each container to keep color flowing in the design throughout the growing season. Add foliage interest with an ornamental grass, and choose a mounding perennial like silver mound or English ivy. Transfer perennial plants to the garden in the fall for overwintering, or bury the entire pot in the garden for a safe and effective way to retain the original design.

Xeriscape Containers

Xeriscape involves planning the landscape using organic soil amendments and native plant choices to reduce water use. Water-efficient selections translate quite well to container garden environments. Select tough perennials like sedum or Russian sage for height in the container. Choose a midsize plant for filler, such as daylily or purple coneflower. Ornamental grasses, such as black mondo grass or liriope, provide consistent foliage texture in the planting container. These ground cover grasses will also trail over the planter sides for a pleasing cascade effect. Water-wise container gardens still require regular care. Using xeriscape plants, however, reduces overall maintenance and water use and is a practical choice in landscape design.

Keywords: container garden ideas, planting containers, xeriscape container gardens

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.