Garden Plants & Pots


Garden plants and pots combine together wonderfully--for beauty and functionality. Lack of space leads some gardeners to use pots and containers. For others the layout, soil conditions or lighting in the yard makes a traditional garden difficult. In these situations pots provide an easy and portable fix.


When it comes to choosing pots for garden plants gardeners have numerous shapes, materials, colors and finishes available. Material options include cast cement, terra cotta, metal, stoneware and molded resin. The final decision depends heavily on the overall look and maintenance level desired as well as the delicacy of the plants. For example, porous containers like clay lose water faster than plastic, non-porous containers. More watering for clay potted plants also increases the possibility of the pot cracking during freezes. The soil in metal containers and dark-colored pots change temperature more frequently than other materials. This negatively impacts delicate plants sensitive to heat changes.

Planting Considerations

The containers for garden plants require enough space for healthy root development. Peppers, radishes, herbs and lettuce need a pot with about 8 inches of soil in a container minimally 6 inches in diameter. Plants like tomatoes require much more room to grow. Additionally, garden plants in pots grow better with lightweight soil. Combined with placing rocks in the bottom of the container, the light soil provides good drainage and avoids root rot. In terms of fertilization, the lack of abundant soil means careful moderation to keep plant roots from burning.


A plant pot filled with soil gets very heavy. That's why gardeners often try several potential arrangements for their container configurations before filling them with loam. These configurations take into consideration the amount of light each plant requires, sometimes using the proximity of reflective surfaces like white painted walls for better light distribution in shady yards.

Artistic & Decorative Potential

From an artistic standpoint, very simple pots work best for showy plants. That draws attention to the greenery instead of the container. Pot colors should either match or contrast the home and landscape. Mixing too many different colors into one area makes a very busy looking garden. Small pots suit small areas and large pots work well in bigger areas like on a deck. Trailing or vining plants detract from visually appealing containers. Overall, the goal with garden plants and pots is creating a finished look that works harmoniously with the entire yard space.


Container gardening has several advantages. For someone with difficulty bending or kneeling, or with limited mobility, pots placed off the ground offer accessibility. Small potted herb gardens move from outdoors to inside easily, providing year-round fresh flavors. The mobile nature of a container garden means the gardener may rearrange it as desired, adding new elements and keeping things interesting. Pot gardens are low-maintenance, economical and user-friendly for people with hectic schedules.

Keywords: container gardening, potted garden plants, small space gardening, container gardening benefits, garden pot materials

About this Author

Patricia Telesco has been a writer since 1992. She has produced more than 60 books with publishers that include HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Her articles have appeared in "Woman's World" and "National Geographic Today." Telesco holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Buffalo.