6 Reasons to Garden in Containers

Container gardens can create ambiance, showcase stunning color displays, and even produce your favorite vegetables and herbs. If you’ve never planted in containers before, here are six reasons to do so this year.

  1. Instant garden and color. Container gardening accents your home with color and decorative flair in minutes. Choosing decorative pots also shows off your unique style. Container gardens create maximum impact from the get-go as the plants are situated much closer together than in a garden bed. It only gets better as those plants fill in.
  2. No yard Necessary. No yard for a traditional garden? No problem. Just a half day of sunlight along with a patio, porch, or balcony will do just fine.
  3. Ideal growing conditions. Container gardens offer complete control of your plants. Potting soil or mix (formulated for container planting) is made from sterile ingredients. So, there are no worries about soil-borne disease. Weeds are almost a zero issue and are only present if they are brought in with another plant or if a seed blows into it. The sun, shade, soil, nutrients, irrigation, and drainage are under your control.  
  4. Portability. Portability equals flexibility. For example, slide your container gardens under an awning for protection against a cold snap. Flowers not getting enough sun? Scoot them over to a place where they do.  If you’re moving, it’s a simple task to bring your gardens with you.
  5. Less time and money. Gardening in pots requires much less expense than a traditional garden. More importantly, they require much less maintenance and effort. So, if you love exercising your green thumb, but are short on time, container gardening is the answer.
  6. Food on your porch. That’s right. You can have home-grown fresh veggies, herbs, and even fruit that come straight from the porch and into the kitchen.

Plants that Dig Containers

The following plants (and many more) will happily make their home in containers. Annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, and even trees can thrive on your porch or patio. When planting trees in pots, be sure to consider the size and type of tree so you can choose an appropriate planter size.

  • Annuals: marigolds, calendula, sweet alyssum, salvia, verbena (annual varieties), calibrachoa, petunia, lobelia, sweet potato vine, impatiens, helichrysum, geranium, pelargonium, Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia), nasturtium, coleus, fuchsia, ageratum, osteospermum, nemesia, heliotrope, Four-o-clocks (Mirabilis), Morning glory, Moss rose (Portulaca), pansies, violets, snapdragons, zinnias, and sunflowers.
  • Perennials: ferns, succulents, echinacea, bacopa, lavender, verbena (perennial varieties), lantana, dahlias, yarrow, ajuga, aster, campanula, armeria, Bergenia, brunnera, clematis, coreopsis, dianthus, hosta, lamium, heuchura, Daylily, phlox, primula, iris, sedum, spiderwort, scabiosa, primrose, Forget-me-not, gaura, agapanthus, astrantia, penstemon, rhododendron, azalea, vinca, hellebore, boxwood, Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia), pieris, and delphinium.
  • Vegetables and Herbs: tomatoes (especially patio and cherry types), chives, cucumbers, peas, carrots, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, arugula, Bok choy, celery, spinach, fennel, radishes, Swiss chard, zucchini, oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, stevia, and every other herb you can think of.
  • Trees: Any dwarf fruit, Bay tree (Laurus nobilis), fig, olive, Japanese maples, dwarf conifers, Witch hazel (Hamamelis), crabapple, Meyer lemon, crepe myrtle, rhododendron tree (R. arboretum), Palo Verde (Parkinsonia), Flowering dogwood (Cornus), Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), and Starry magnolia (Magnolia stellata).

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