How to Plan a Container Flower Garden


When planning a container flower garden, it is easy to rush in, thinking mainly of the lovely blooms and visual appeal of your final creation; however, several very important decisions along the way greatly influence the outcome of your garden and the impressiveness of its display. Whether you begin with the choice of flowers and match the container and climate to them or begin with the environment your plants will face and choose plants to match those parameters, a number of factors must be considered before the first purchase is made.


Step 1

Choose the location for your container garden. The decision regarding whether your garden will be indoors or outdoors affects every decision to follow--from the type of plant to the container itself.

Step 2

Choose a container appropriate to the conditions your garden will face. Weather may greatly influence you choice, as some materials are more delicate and may be damaged in extreme cold. Other materials may affect the growth of your plants. For example, clay pots allow the soil to dry quickly, which may lead to trouble with moisture-loving plants.

Step 3

Decide the time of year you expect to have blooming flowers and research the environment your plants will face. Note the amount of sun or shade, the seasonal demands and consider the amount of care you want to invest in your flower garden.

Step 4

Feature plants only during the most favorable seasons, choose plants that can withstand extreme conditions or consider an indoor container garden if you live in a hardiness zone that sees extreme weather (hot and dry or temperatures below freezing).

Plants and Containers

Step 1

Select the plants you would like to feature. Keep in mind the needs of the individual plants or varieties of seed you select. Choose plants with similar needs for water, fertilizer and sunlight.

Step 2

Choose plants to give your container the best start. Seeds may fail to sprout and some varieties may grow more rapidly, taking over the space before others can establish themselves. Healthy plants will have a fairly even start and be able to compete for nutrients and light.

Step 3

Cluster the individual plant pots together for a final evaluation before you make a purchase. This will give you an idea of how the colors, textures and heights of the plants will work together in your container.

Step 4

Select a container, taking into consideration the features of the material. Use the requirements of the plants you have chosen to narrow down the available choices.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Plants
  • Potting mix


  • Container Gardening Tips--Container Gardening Guide
  • Colorado State University Extension--Container Gardens
  • West Virginia University Extension--Container Gardening

Who Can Help

  • Arizona Master Gardener Manual: Annuals
Keywords: container garden, hardiness zone, potting mix

About this Author

Alice Moon has been a freelance writer for one year, writing on the Internet for over 10 years. Moon holds a B.S. in political science (Asian studies minor). She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, DC. She traveled through Asia as part of a delegation from her university to its sister universities overseas.