Container Gardening

Good reasons for container planting

  • The container themselves are decorative as well as the plant material.
  • Perfect for small gardens.
  • They provide a good medium for mixing and matching plant material.
  • They can be used to camouflage bad views or provide an attractive focus.
  • Can add height and dimension to a garden.
  • Can be used to define space such as a walkway.
  • Can be moved around during the season to add interest.

Design considerations

  • Group containers in uneven numbers (three, five)
  • Use a mixture of large and small containers.
  • Choose a container that complements the architecture of the house or the colour scheme of the garden.
  • Layer the plant material that is, put tall materials in the back or centre, mid-size spreading or bushy plants in the middle and low-growing or trailing plants at the edge.
  • Use mature plants to give your planter a lush full look immediately.
  • The bigger the container the better it is.

How to plant in containers

  1. Arrange plants (still in their pots) on work space to determine the planting configuration.
  2. Make sure the pot has drainage holes for excess water to escape. Put clay shards or pieces of stone to prevent clogging of the hole. Where the pot does not have drainage holes, the pieces of stone will also provide drainage.
  3. For large containers, you can put large plastic container at the bottom to save on soil and this will make the container lighter.
  4. Use light soil specially formulated for planters.
  5. Dampen the soil mix and add soil to the container to within a few inches from the rim.
  6. Plant the material as planned.
  7. Add more soil, patting and firming around the roots to provide stability.
  8. Water well and add transplant fertilizer.


  • Water frequently, during sunny periods, you may have to water daily.
  • When watering, use a fine spray to avoid disturbing the soil.
  • Remove spent flowers to encourage further flower and root production.
  • Clip off dead or damaged leaves.
  • Rotate container regularly