Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Container Gardening & Ponds
Choose the Right Planters
by National Gardening Association Editors
This glazed ceramic pot is lovely, but also heavy and breakable.
Container gardening is one of the hottest trends, and the selection of planters continues to grow. You've fallen in love with that glazed blue ceramic pot, but are there elements besides aesthetics you should keep in mind?
First of all, just about anything that can hold soil can serve as a planter. You've seen flowers growing in barrels and buckets, but how about bathtubs, old work boots, or wheelbarrows? The only necessity is that the container has drainage holes so water doesn't collect and damage roots — and there are even ways around that. But if plants growing in old shoes isn't your style, consider the following when shopping for containers.
Bigger Isn't Always Better
This faux clay pot was planted for Memorial Day.
To decide what size container you want, consider how you'll use it. Will you be hanging it? Will you need to move it once in a while? What plants are you growing? How often are you willing to water it?
- In general, hanging planters should be lightweight, and that usually means
they need to relatively small. Remember, the heavier the pot, the sturdier
the hook, chain, or other hanger you'll need.
- Even if your pot will remain earth-bound, consider whether its location
is permanent or if you'll need to move it. Large containers filled with moist
soil can be very heavy.
- Different plants require different amounts of soil. Small annuals like
alyssum and lobelia have compact root systems; tomato plants and patio trees
need more space.
- Small containers dry out more quickly than larger ones and may need watering twice daily in hot, sunny weather.