The vision of a beautiful home often includes images of carefully potted plants and flowers. If you’d like to add to your home’s appeal by planting a few container gardens but are just not sure how, this gardening guide will put you on the right track. Spruce up your porch, patio, and other parts of your home using these tips for designing the perfect container garden.
The container itself
Different containers provide different benefits, so don’t just go for the pots with the most eye-catching patterns. The drainage and moisture needs of your plants should be a part of your decision when it comes to containers. You may need to punch some holes in the bottom of a pot if it needs more drainage or plug a few holes if you need less. Wood containers look nice but may be prone to rot. Hanging planters will need frequent watering. You can find more tips on containers here.
Know where your pots will live
If you’re filling a pot with sun-loving plants but plan to place it on your porch where there’s only shade, stop! Choose the right types of plants for the areas you want to fill. There are plants that love shade, plants that love sun, and plants that need a little of each. Plan ahead so you don’t end up with dead plants.
Choose plants that share growth needs
Sunlight, soil and moisture needs should be similar among the plants sharing a pot. Don’t mix plants that love the sun with plants that love the shade or desert cacti with water-lovers – you’re sure to be disappointed! Purchase the best kind of soil for the plants in each of your pots to get the best growth results.
Vary the sizes
Using variations of tall, medium, and small plants to fill all the visual space is one of the first rules in designing a container gardens. Another way to look at this rule is to make sure your pot includes one each of a vertically-growing plant, a horizontally-growing, and one that “cascades” over the sides of the container. Pay attention to what the plants are now versus the way they will be when they are fully grown.
Use contrasting plants
Use plants with contrasting colors and textures to give your container garden the most visual interest. A plant with smooth-edged leaves may be complimented by one with jagged edges. A plant with brightly colored blooms may look best next to a tall grass. You may want to buy all of the plants for a particular container at one time so that you can try out different combinations right there in your shopping cart.
Think about how the plants will change
The plants you choose may start small but will undoubtedly grow, taking up more space than you may have originally planned. Check the labels or ask nursery attendants for details about the different plants. Some plants may also develop blooms of various kinds and colors and you may need to take that into account if you have a particular color or texture scheme in mind. Also be aware of plants that may attract certain insects or birds — this may be something you want, or it may be something to avoid!
Take care in planting
Follow the planting and care instructions for each plant so that you have the best chances of keeping them all alive during the potting process. Moving plants from their original containers to new ones can be stressful for them and they may need some time to adjust before you put them outside, especially if the weather is not ideal. Do your best to care for the plants each day and your container gardens will be a pleasant and eye-catching addition to your home.
Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.
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