Container gardening has become a popular form of gardening for a number of reasons. If you live in a region with a cold winter, you can have some color in your yard, if only for the summer. It gives the opportunity to put a garden where there really isn't one. It decorates decks, front porches and even various areas around the yard. Many varieties of pots exist and, of course, an almost infinite choice of plants.
Various sizes, designs and textures of pots exist: wood, plastic, ceramic, terra cotta and many others. Keep in mind the space where you will be putting the pot and the type of plants you will be planting when choosing the right one. Obviously size depends on the type of flower, but texture and color can complement, or contrast with, the plant inside the pot and make the container either more beautiful or less attractive.
Choose a pot that also complements the design of your home and the colors in your garden. Use large pots if you want to maximize impact, and make sure there are drainage holes in the bottoms.
Many types of plants are great for container gardening. Broadly, annuals, or plants that cannot survive cold winters, are a great choice. Some plants can be potted alone and look beautiful, while other times a combination of a flowering plant and some textured foliage can make a lovely combination. Both sun annuals and shade annuals exist, so keep in mind the location when choosing your plants.
The more popular annuals include some of the following: tropical annuals such as hibiscus, canna lilies, gardenias, and jasmine stars are popular particularly for their fragrance. These types of plants are generally potted by themselves and place out in the open, where their fragrance can be enjoyed; under an open window, on the deck, or in high traffic areas. Other good container annuals include flowering and foliage plants.
Flowering annuals for sun include snapdragons, gerbera daisies, geraniums, sweet alyssum, marigolds, flowering tobacco, petunias, crocosmias, and zinnias. Shade or semi-shade annuals include begonias, fuchsias, impatient, pansies and violas. Some types of foliage include different varieties of ivy, asparagus fern, sweet potato vine and spikes.
Planting flowering annuals together with foliage can add color and texture to your pots.
Use a high quality potting soil with fertilizer release already in the soil. Fill the container about ¾ full and lightly wet the soil.
Plant placement is key. Start with the center, with the biggest plant, then work your way to the sides.
Finally, water before the soil completely dries out and apply a liquid fertilizer every two weeks.