Texas Cooperative Extension,
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

June, 2007

Container Garden Secrets

Bailey Drayton

[Editor's Note: Bailey Drayton (Guadalupe County), 15 years old, was the recent winner of the annual 4-H Contest in Horticulture, held at the Texas A&M University campus, College Station--Doug Welsh].

Bailey with container
Bailey with Container

The Seven Secrets of Container Gardening

    Secret #1: Location, Location, Location
    Pick an area that needs highlighting or an area that needs to be concealed.

    Secret #2: Container Selection
    Variety of containers is endless - there are oodles to choose from. Remember anything that holds soil can be a container so don't hesitate to recycle.

    Secret #3: Fill It Up
    A potting mix that drains well is the most important ingredient to healthy container plants. NEVER use garden or topsoil alone in your containers. Plants in containers need a special growing medium.

    Secret #4: Plant Selection and Design
    Drought-tolerant plants will be more forgiving if watering is a problem. Consider height and growing style as well as color combinations and foliage textures.

    Secret #5: Maintenance
    When gardening in containers, it is important to remember that these plants need a little more care than those in a regular garden setting. Plants will need proper watering, feed, and old blossoms removed as needed.

    Secret #6: Nothing Lasts Forever
    Annual container plants need to be replaced as the seasons change. For the perennials, make sure and protect them from the cold weather because a pot doesn't provide insulation like being planted in the ground.

    Secret #7: Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor
    Whatever your location, remember that it is your garden! Pots are mobile and you can change the theme as often as you like. Whether it is one pot or hundreds, you will have yearlong color and interest with container plants.

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