Container Flower Gardening (15 Useful Tips)
An attractive landscape with bright flowers doesn’t require a massive front yard. With these tips on container flower gardening, you can add spark to the smallest spaces!
Whether you have a green thumb or not, brightening up your porch or patio with a container flower garden is the easiest thing in the world! It’s not just satisfying to plant and nurture your flowers; watching them bloom is enough to put a smile on your face.
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If you’ve been yearning for some gorgeous fresh flowers, especially since social distancing has taken most of the other activities away, this post will help you out. Even if you’re picking up a trowel for the first time, these resourceful tips on container flower gardening will guide you through your gardening spree.
15 Useful Tips To Jazz Up Your Space With Potted Flowers
Planting in containers: essentials before getting started
1. Consider the kind of space you have.
- Where are you going to place the flower pot?
- Will the container garden get plenty of sun, or will it sit in a shady spot?
While most flowers thrive in full sun, you’ll also find plenty of varieties that’ll grow happily in the shade.
2. Choose suitably sized pots with drainage holes.
Most annual flowers will only need an 8 to 10-inch deep root space; perennials will need more. Choose an appropriate size of flowering pot depending on what you plan on growing. Oversized pots can be partially filled with bubble-wrap or plastic bottles to save some potting mix. However, do make sure that the container has drainage holes at the bottom.
3. Fill the pots with potting mix.
Never use garden soil in containers since it may contain pests, also it’s heavy and won’t drain well. Instead, purchase a good quality potting mix. Cover the drainage holes with coffee filters or a mesh screen before adding the potting mix.
High quality Japanese gardening tools (read about Hori-Hori knife – a perfect tool to care for a container garden)
Choosing flowers that grow well in pots
4. Buy flower transplants.
If you are not big on waiting, get flower transplants – small flower plants in little pots that often come in packs of 4, like these gorgeous Supertunia, or packs of 8, like these tuff pansy plants. You can buy them from the nursery or order them online.
Though they’re a bit more expensive than seeds, they’ll bloom much sooner. They’re usually annuals that will only flower for a single season. You’ll have to replant the pots for the next season.
5. Plant perennials for recurring blooms.
Creeping thyme, clematis, blazing star, and coneflower are some popular flowering perennials for temperate climates. Consult your local nursery or get info online from your state’s cooperative extension office (in the U.S.) and see what flowers grow best in your region.
6. Consider flowering edibles for efficient use of your space.
When you’re short on space, why not use your container flower garden for multiple functions?
Lavender, basil, rosemary and thyme are some flowering herbs that produce stunning flowering displays while also making an aromatic, healthy, and flavorful addition to the table.
Chives and garlic chives make pretty purple and white blossoms too!
You can also grow calendula flowers in pots and use petals in salads. teas, or for making home remedies.
Nasturtium flowers are easy to grow in containers. They look stunning and will add a nice peppery taste to your summer salads.
Other edible flowers to consider for growing in containers are monarda (bee balm), daylilies, pansies, and roses.
7. Create a layered bulb pot for continuous blooming all through the season.
You can make a container that is constantly blooming from late February till mid-June by layering a pot with different varieties of bulbs.
To achieve this, plant late blooming gladiolus and allium bulbs on the bottom of the container, then place tulips, daffodils and hyacinth bulbs in the medium layer, and finish with earliest blooming crocuses and snowdrops on the top.
Make sure that bulbs in each layer are close together without touching each other, and there is a layer of soil between layers of bulbs. Top your pot with the last layer of soil, water, and wait for a colorful display.
Interested to see how “lasagna” planting is done? Watch the YouTube video, made by J. Parker below.
Stunning arrangement ideas
8. Give old garden pots a new look.
Spray paint old planters and pots before planting flowers in them for a fresh look for the season. Try a coarse stone texture finish spray, or a colorful mix of pastels and see how they instantly spark up the area.
9. Recycle unwanted items into artistic planters.
Think out of the box; bring your old teapots, boxes, tin cans and even dingy boots to some good use. As long as it can hold enough potting soil and can have drainage holes at the bottom, you can use it as a planter. You can use a ceramic drill bit to punch holes in your china crockery.
10. Use the “Thriller, Filler, Spiller” design technique for an expensive look.
This flower arrangement concept uses three different types of flowers to create an eye catching container you can be proud of. Tall and bold thriller plants (for example snapdragon, fountain grass) go in the center of the pot to create the vertical element, around the thriller are placed rounded, mound-looking fillers (for example petunias, violas, dianthus, coleus), and on the edges you plant trailing spillers to hang over the container edges. (potato vine, bacopa, nasturtium).
11. Plan for yearlong interest.
With limited space, aim to add some attraction throughout the seasons with container flower gardening. Choose varieties with vibrant foliage that will hold interest while the plant isn’t flowering. You can plant winter flowering plants along with spring flowering plants in combination so you can see blooming through most of the months each year.
How do you take care of potted flower plants?
12. Give your flowers an adequate amount of water.
Neither let your flowers go thirsty nor let them drown. Check on your plants daily, and water them as needed.
Stick your finger into the soil to see if the top inch or two is dry; water the plant if the soil feels dry to touch. Always water at the soil level, taking care not to drench the leaves.
Fertilize your flowers to keep them in top shape all through the summers. Though most potting mixes have slow-release fertilizer already mixed in them, it’s a good idea to use this specially formulated for outdoor flowers fertilizer high in phosphorus to ensure showy blooms.
14. Deadhead spent flowers.
Deadheading flowers on a weekly basis is a good practice to keep them looking healthy and attractive for the rest of the flowering season.
Just clip off the spent flower heads with your fingers or pruning shears. Removing dead flowers also ensures that the plants can focus their energies on new blooms.
Cleanup at the end of the season
15. Clean up and prepare your pots for the coming year.
Once the annual flower plants are done for the season, toss them in the compost pile. Empty the containers, wash them and disinfect them with bleach before you plant anything in them for the next season.
Use 1 part bleach in 9 parts water to clean them. Disinfecting the pots will make sure that plant diseases, if prevalent, aren’t transferred to the new plants.
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Final thoughts on container flower gardening
That’s all there is to container flower gardening! There are plenty of flower types out there, just waiting to embellish your balcony, porch or front yard. Choose some unique blooms for your small outdoor space, follow all these tried-and-tested tips to treat your plants well and enjoy a showy display all season!
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