Do Container Planting in Summer Correctly | Guide & Resource

Many gardeners swear up and down that planting in summer is a bad idea.

Sure, there is some truth to this long-held belief, especially when it comes to in-ground gardening, which was the widely chosen method for many years. New plants are much less likely to survive when they’re subjected directly to the unforgiving heat of summer and all of the struggles that come with it, like dry soil and pests.

For this reason, the ideal planting time that has become common knowledge is the springtime or early fall when there are cooler temperatures and more consistent rains. In fact, Daylight Savings Time begins and ends during these seasons because traditionally, farmers benefited from the extra hour of daylight for tending to their crops.

But alas, it’s 2022 and this is just not the reality for most people! If you live in a studio apartment in the city like me, or even a suburban house with a small yard, containers and pots are likely the go-to home for most plants that you own.

Fortunately, planting in containers from Planters Etcetera can improve the likelihood of your new plant’s survival, especially in the summertime.

Why is this? Well, containers are much easier to move to the ideal location that provides the best conditions for the plant. And when the location aligns with the plant’s growing requirements, like sunlight, water, and soil needs, the likelihood that it will not only survive the summer, but its first winter and beyond is much higher.

Don’t worry, August is not too late to get started on your container garden! Here are some tips for making the most of the neglected middle child that is the summer growing season.

Planting in summer – What plants grow well in the summer heat?

Perhaps the first step on your journey to a lush summer garden is deciding what exactly you will plant.

Whether you’d like to decorate your space with some flowers or start growing fresh vegetables to harvest for Thanksgiving, there are a variety of heat-loving plants that can thrive in containers during the summer months.

Vegetables and herbs

planting in summer - Best vegetables for your apartment garden
©Joshua Resnick /

You can absolutely still grow a vegetable garden this August! Beans, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, and spinach are just a few of the options to plant in the summertime and yield a harvest in the fall. Fresh garden salad, anyone?


Flowers in planter box
Flowers in planter box

Yes, you can successfully plant shade-tolerant flowers in summer. Generally, annuals bloom at the end of summer and last until late summer if kept moist, fertilized, and pruned. Perennials can fill the empty spaces in your garden after your annuals stop blooming.

Here are some of the best perennial flowers to spice up your summer garden:

  • Marigolds
  • Verbenas
  • Zinnias
  • Hibiscus

Trees and shrubs

Pachira aquatica display
Money tree plant

There are a lot of conflicting views about planting trees in the summer.

Young trees are very sensitive to adverse conditions. As it is acclimating to new soil and environmental conditions, it is also subject to the intense heat of summer. That can put a lot of stress on your new tree, and the last thing any of us needs these days is extra stress!

Related: Zen Plants and Planter Ideas for Inner Peace

Not only that, most of a tree’s energy goes to photosynthesis in the summertime. That is, the process of converting the carbon dioxide from our air into oxygen that we can breathe, which is a very important function for our trees! So you can see why most landscapers recommend planting young trees in the early spring and fall.

Luckily, planting trees in containers is a good way to lessen the effects of shocking the roots of a newly planted tree, especially when summer conditions are not ideal.

So, yes! Planting trees in the summer is possible, but it will require a bit of extra effort.

How to Plant Trees in the Summer

If you’re up for the task, it’s time to choose a container for your tree.

And before you ask, yes! Trees can grow perfectly healthy in a pot, especially in their early years. It’s important to choose a container that will allow for some growth, but not so big that the roots can’t stabilize.

Related: How to Keep Your Container Plants Healthy


Watering plants

Summer planted trees typically need more water than trees planted in cooler temperatures. Not only are the temperatures higher and drying out the fragile roots of the new tree more quickly, but trees are expending a lot of energy during the late spring and early summer months to fruit and photosynthesize.

So it’s no surprise that paying close attention to soil moisture is essential. Remember to water deeply so that the soil is never completely dried out… it happens much faster in the summer heat than you expect! As TreesCharlotte shows us in this video, keeping the soil slightly moist is the key to ensuring the health of your new tree.


Peace Lily flower and sunlight

Full sun is likely to turn up the heat a little too high on your summer planting. It’s better to choose a partly shady location for your new plant. If the sun is inescapable, consider using a light-colored umbrella or shade cloth to provide a bit of protection.

Related: 10 Sun-Loving Beauties that will thrive in the heat of summer


Mulching a freshly planted planter / IMG©Ovchar Anastasya/ Planters Etc.

Organic mulch can help to give your summer planted plants an edge against the heat. There are a variety of products available, such as:

  • cocoa bean hulls
  • bark dust
  • liquid seaweed
  • compost
  • shredded leaves

Adding just a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch to your container will conserve soil moisture. It may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but for new plants that require more moisture, mulch can mean the difference between life and death on a hot summer day.

Where is the best place for a summer garden?

Good luck plant near window

Remember that summer is naturally a time that is more difficult for new plants to thrive due to the intense heat, so take this into account when choosing a location. Since summer-planted plants are already under some natural stress in the early stages of their growing process, a sunny location that adds heat stress can present some challenges to your young plant.

As a result, a summer planted plant which naturally prefers part shade but tolerates full sun has a better chance of surviving if it gets what it prefers, which is a partly shady location with the sun that shines consistently for a short period of time.

For this reason, one popular location for summer container plants is east-facing windows, because there’s plenty of sun in the morning, and in the afternoon (when the sun is the hottest) the plant is protected in the safety of the shade.

When is the best time for summer planting?

A Gardener Wearing Gardening Gloves Planting Winter Pansies In A Wooden Barrel Planter / IMG©Dean Clarke/ Planters Etc.

In the summertime, we want to do everything we can to protect our new planting from the summer’s heat. Even the planting time can have a significant impact on the success of new plant life, especially when it comes to transplanting container plants to the ground.

Before dawn, after dusk, on cloudy days, and planting before a big rain are the best times to schedule your initial planting if it’s possible. This way your young plant isn’t exposed to the intense rays of the sun during planting, reducing root shock and early wilting.

Related: How to Prepare Plants and Containers for Planting

Summer Planted Plants: The Bottom Line

Montroy Cube Silver tree planters reveal design

You’ve been warned: it is more difficult to successfully plant when summer erupts.

But, it’s not impossible with a modest green thumb and a bit of good luck.

Plant pots and containers certainly help the growing process because they keep the new plant protected. The location can easily be adjusted if plants need a little more shade, and water conditions can be closely monitored for plants that are sensitive to new conditions, like young trees and shrubs.

Luckily most plants do well in containers, but the quality of your plant pot will ensure that your plant is protected from season to season. Trees and shrubs will need a more durable, long-lasting container to support the growth of the roots over time. Hopefully, your new tree will be around to witness the changing of the seasons and another year to come, and its container should be able to handle the conditions as well.

Planters Etcetera Know Planters

Large planter next to a house
// IMG©Blu Bambu Home and Garden/ John Hooper/ Planters Etc

Planters Etc specialize in proffesional grade fiberglass planters that are designed for both commercial and residential use. Fiberglass planters are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a container that is durable enough to last for many seasons and still be lightweight enough to easily change the location of your plant if it’s getting too much or not enough sun. Plus our fiberglass planters look stunning!

Learn more about why we chose to offer the exclusive Jay Scotts Collection of fiberglass planters.

Shop in our store now and discover our great selection of different planter sizes and colors.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered! Contact us for more information about how we can best help you.

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