Here’s How to Keep Your Container Plants Healthy

Many different types of plants can do well in containers, though there are some points to keep in mind. It’s usually more stressful for plants to be in containers versus in the ground, and they tend to dry out much quicker, so you’ll have to water them often. Potted plants are also more susceptible to temperature changes, either too hot or too cold which are things to consider for healthy plant container gardening.

Container plants

It’s also tempting to crowd plants closer together in containers, particularly for that full look, although that can stress them out. It’s also important to fertilize potted plants regularly, since they have less opportunity to receive nutrients from the Earth. Either use a time-release fertilizer such as Osmocote or add a quarter-strength dose of soluable fertilizer every third or fourth time you water.

Remember that the smaller and more tightly packed the container, the more water it will need. The old gardener’s rule of “1 inch of rain or watering per week” must often be exceeded. However, there are also plants that are less water intensive, such as morning glories, nasturtiums, poppies, calliopsis and haageana zinnias.

In order to retain moisture and provide more nutrients and a stable environment, it’s almost always best to choose as large a pot as possible. The material of the pot itself isn’t terribly important, though each type has its advantages in terms of cost, weight, durability and beauty. Pay attention to your potting mix: it should be light and fluffy, like Pro-Mix from a nursery. It should be replaced if it shrinks down or if a thorough watering takes too long to percolate, or if water runs right through, a sign that the soil’s packed tight and can’t absorb anything. Soil used in containers doesn’t last forever, and will need to be changed or at least heavily fortified with organic matter and fertilizers after a season.

Remember too that plants often have different requirements for moisture and fertilizer. So it’s a good idea to choose compatible plants, just as anyone who has ever kept an aquarium knows to select fish that get along. It’s also possible to nest smaller containers within a larger one, so each plant can get more targeted doses of resources.

It’s worth mentioning that many tropical houseplants can be placed outside during the warm months, where they add beauty and charm to outdoor spaces. These are some of many factors to achieve success in healthy plant container gardening.

We have all the containers you could possibly think of for your projects. Browse our online store to get new ideas!

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