Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Container Gardening & Ponds

Choose the Right Planters (page 2 of 2)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Specialized Planters

Specialized Planters
These newly planted containers will soon be cascading with flowers.

Self-watering containers. These have a water reservoir plus a mechanism, usually a wick, for providing the plant with a sustained supply of moisture. Self-watering pots are very well suited for sunny spots, and for those times when you're not available to water daily. Most containers will hold enough water to last over a weekend unless conditions are extremely dry or plants are very thirsty.

Window boxes. Window boxes are charming, but because they hold so little soil they're notorious for drying out quickly, especially in full sun. Look for large window boxes made from nonporous material. Self-watering window boxes are especially handy.

Accessories You Can't Live Without

Saucers. Waterproof saucers catch overflow and protect surfaces. But don't let excess water sit in the saucer — it can lead to root rot and may attract breeding mosquitoes. Unglazed terra cotta saucers absorb water, and may not prevent damage to surfaces underneath — use glazed clay or plastic saucers instead.

Wheeled caddy. Place large planters on caddies with casters so you can move them easily. Look for locking wheels that will keep planters from tumbling off your deck.

Pot feet. Moisture collects under planters and can stain surfaces. Pot feet are small, often decorative devices that elevate planters off the surface they're sitting on. Air circulating under the pot prevents moisture buildup, discouraging mold and algae growth.

Go Crazy With Containers

Go Crazy With Containers
Terra cotta pots develop an attractive weathered look, but they need more frequent watering than nonporous containers.

Almost any plant will grow in a suitable container, so be creative and have fun. Grow thyme and rosemary in a kitchen window box so you can open your window and snip a sprig or two for dinner. Flank your front door with matching planters cascading with colorful annuals. Patio trees are very popular now, especially dwarf citrus and tropical hibiscus. Use them to define a seating area on your deck or to provide privacy from neighbors. Place potted trees on casters so you can roll them indoors if your winters are too severe for them. Whether you garden in a small courtyard, a sprawling estate, or anywhere in between, there's always a perfect spot for one more planter.

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