How to Plant a Container Plant


Container gardens add a decorative accent to patios, porches and other outdoor living areas. These small gardens function to bring nature right into the living space and can be used in groupings to form a garden environment. Learning how to plant a container plant involves preparing the pot, soil and plant to grow and thrive in a confined space. This process can be used for either indoor or outdoor container plants.

Step 1

Empty and rinse dirt or mineral buildup out of the container. Adding new plants to existing soil can transfer diseases or pests to new plantings.

Step 2

Check the bottom of the container for drainage holes. Puncture three to five holes in the bottom of the pot using the screwdriver and hammer.

Step 3

Fill the container halfway full of potting soil and firm the soil gently. Place the potted plants inside the container to get an idea on arrangement. Remove the pots from the container.

Step 4

Free the plant from its growing pot by pressing firmly against the side of the flexible plastic pot. Work your way around the pot until the soil and plant become loose. Place one hand over the pot opening, sliding the plant stalk between two fingers. Flip the pot upside down to dislodge the plant.

Step 5

Hold the plant in your hands and gently press your fingers into the soil around the root. This movement frees the roots to grow outward instead of in toward the center of a confining pot.

Step 6

Position the plant into the container to gauge the depth for planting. Place plant deep enough into the soil that only 1 to 2 inches of stem lies below the rim of the pot. Add soil to bring the soil up to the proper level.

Step 7

Place the plant into the soil, and gradually fill around the roots with loose potting soil. Firm the soil each time your add more dirt to remove pockets of air. Fill the soil level up to 1 to 2 inches below the rim edge.

Step 8

Water the soil at the base of the main plant stem. Monitor the water needs of the container plant by sticking your finger into the soil to check moisture levels. If the soil feels dry down to 1 inch, water the container.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Potting soil
  • Plants
  • Watering can


  • West Virginia University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Rhode Island
Keywords: container gardens, container plant, plant a container plant

About this Author

Currently studying for her Maryland master gardener certification, Sharon Heron has written professionally since 2006. Her writing includes hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics including gardening, environment, golf, parenting, exercise, finances and consumer how-to articles.