At the risk of being partial, here at Planters Et Cetera we believe gardening in pots aligns with modern lifestyles like few other hobbies. A couple of lush plants in pretty pots easily trump any other adornments in terms of decorative beauty, but container gardening is much more than just decoration. It allows us to reestablish our contact with nature, and studies show that it benefits our bodies and minds in a number of diverse ways. On top of that, it requires very little space so that even a cramped, urban apartment can become your very own indoor garden.
So how do you get started? What are the essential rules of successful container gardening, and which plants typically yield best results when grown in planters? Don’t just leave it all to chance, read the following introduction to gardening in pots and find out what it takes to run an efficient container garden – whether in your backyard or on your windowsill.
First and foremost, smart choices
While there will be no official statistics to back up this claim, the reason why many first-time gardening efforts fall flat is that as beginners, we tend to make uninformed choices in terms of the plants we buy – and how we go about looking after them. Buy a pretty but finicky plant on the spur of the moment and you may find your gardening enthusiasm surprisingly short-lived, especially if you learn belatedly that the only way to keep the plant alive is with a demanding care routine.
This is where information comes in; ideally, you want to apply the benefits of knowledge right from the get-go so that you never get your green fingers burned in the first place. Start small, preferably with a couple of low-maintenance, shade-loving perennials, and take it from there; read up on each and every plant you own and try to group them by requirements. To make all the right choices and get off to a successful start, take a look at our checklist containing 12 practical tips for busy home gardeners.
Most satisfying plants to grow in pots
If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the old proverb says, then the proof of container gardening is obviously what’s inside your flower pot. If you’re not sure whether all plants will flourish under the touch of your fingers, why don’t you just go with a few reliable, easy-care plants – for starters at least? There are many plants which enjoy a reputation for being surefire performers when grown in pots, and here are seven of our favorites in this category.
1. ZZ Plant
Probably one of the hardest plants to kill inadvertently, the ZZ Plant stores water and is therefore able to survive even if you only water it once or twice a month. It does well in low light environments and it purifies the air, all the while also managing to look pretty.
2. Snake Plant
They come in a huge range of looks and colors but each Snake Plant looks like a piece of modern art in its own right. Reminiscent of snakeskin in most varieties, the Snake Plant thrives in many lighting conditions and is one of the most efficient plant air cleaners.
3. Golden Pothos
Another nightmare for plant serial killers, the Golden Pothos is a hardy little plant. Don’t be fooled by its unimposing dimensions – the pothos starts out small but its vines grow several feet long and can climb anything, even in limited light and with scant watering.
4. Aloe Vera
A low-maintenance plant which is also a healer, its juice coming with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Put it somewhere sunny and you’re pretty much done caring for it – but while you ignore it, aloe vera will happily continue to purify the air around you.
Another perfect plant for anyone with a busy lifestyle, the Dracaena group is diverse but the one thing in common is that they’re all easy to care for. The Dracaena adapts to changes in temperature better than most other indoor plants, needs little water and lasts for years in low light.
6. Money Tree
Considered one of the easiest indoor plants, the Guiana Chestnut a.k.a. Money Tree is a native to the tropics, and it just loves moist soil. That’s your main, if not only, responsibility with it – making sure it stands in water most of the time, in a planter with good drainage.
7. Rubber Plant
If, on the other hand, you tend to forget to water your plants, the Rubber Plant will likely become one of your favorites. Rather than plenty of water, it requires bright light to thrive, but other than that the Rubber Plant is extremely tolerant to their owner’s poor memory.
The above plants are all great in that they’re both beautiful and easy to look after, but they come with one significant disadvantage: you can’t eat them! How about growing some edible crops too, then? Growing vegetables in pots is an outstanding way to feed yourself and your family with organic food – and save a lot of money in the process – but not all vegetables are grown equal! Here’s our top ten of container-friendly veggies.
Growing plants in pots successfully
Now that you have at least some sort of an idea which plants you’d like to start your garden with, you’re officially free to move on to stage two of your adventures in container gardening – developing an efficient, informed plant care routine.
Start by selecting a container for your plants – which, frankly speaking, in most cases simply means as big as possible; the deeper the planter, the less often you’ll have to water your plant (unless you choose to go with a self-watering pot). Put the container where your plant will get sufficient sunlight – but at the same time, where it won’t be battered by the wind too much if it’s meant for outdoors. You will also need to choose the right soil or potting mix for your plants, and learn how to water and fertilize them for best results.
Here’s another checklist to ensure you get off on the right foot – top seven things to remember if you would like to grow plants in pots like a gardening expert. For your plants’ sake, make sure you also master one more essential aspect of container gardening – namely, drainage for potted plants.
Two green thumbs up!
Gardening in pots really is a fantastic hobby, and just like so many other things in life all it takes to get started is a bit of information and a bit of determination. Oh, and one more thing too, in this instance – a good planter! Our fiberglass planters are lightweight, durable and pretty, see for yourself and browse our collection of modern containers!