by Jennifer Poindexter
Birds chirping, sun shining, and blooms emerging. This is the ideal scene to many home gardeners. Not everyone lives where they can have gorgeous in ground flower beds.
Some gardeners aren’t physically able to care for in ground garden beds, and some want flowers in other places besides a typical flower bed. What should you do in each situation? You could grow gorgeous flowers in containers. You can create amazing flower arrangements on a smaller scale.
Here is what you should know to create beautiful scenery no matter your circumstances.
1. Choose the Right Soil
If you’ve been gardening for very long, you understand that soil matters. Ensure you plant your flowers in the right environment.
Soil must be well-draining and aerated. It ensures your plants won’t live in soggy conditions, and they have room to form strong roots as needed.
If you want your flowers to thrive, your dirt must be correct. When you can’t purchase the proper dirt, take necessary steps to amend your soil. Without this proper base, your flowers will suffer.
2. Pick the Right Container
Another big-ticket item, when growing flowers in a container, is the planter. Don’t settle for any container.
It’s vital that your plants are placed where they have room to grow, and water has room to escape. Ensure the planter has large enough drainage holes to allow the water to drain with ease.
If not, your plants will be left standing in water. This can cause the roots to rot and ultimately, kill your plants.
You should also ensure the planter is deep enough. If not, it may not be able to support the mature size of your plants. Again, this could hinder your flowers.
3. Start with the Right Plants
Once you have the correct foundation in place, for your flowers, it’s time to begin discussing what to look for in the flowers which fill your planters.
You can either purchase flowers or start them from seed. The important thing to consider is that your flowers are all healthy.
If you start with sick plants, it’s hard to produce a thriving flower garden. I love clearance flowers, too, but realize you will need to nurse any sick plants back to health before including them in a container flower garden.
When choosing to start flowers from seed, ensure you start them early enough. I like to start my flowers, in containers in my greenhouse, prior to the final frost.
This allows me to move them outdoors when the weather begins warming up. You may also choose to direct sow seed, in the proper location, after all frost has passed. Be sure to get your timing right when sowing or transplanting flowers to keep them as healthy and vibrant as possible.
4. Similarities Matter
There are multiple ways to grow flowers in a container. You can plant multiple varieties or choose to grow only one variety of flower.
We’ll discuss the details of this a little further into this article. However, what you must ensure, regardless of how you choose to build your flower garden, is that each flower in the planter has the same needs.
For instance, you should choose plants with the same light and moisture requirements. You wouldn’t want to include succulents with a water-loving plant. Take this into consideration when creating your container flower garden.
5. One Variety vs. Many
As mentioned previously, you can choose to plant one type of flower or multiple varieties of flowers in a container. This is about personal preference and what flowers are available to you.
If you choose to grow one type of flower, in your container garden, you can usually plant the flowers closer than recommended. It helps your container to look fuller and more lush as the flowers bloom.
Yet, if you choose to plant a variety of flowers in your container, there’s a method to get the right look. It’s referred to as thriller, filler, and spiller. Once I heard this I’ve never forgotten it.
The thriller is taller or bushier. It stands out in the container. The filler is typically a medium-sized plant. Spillers are plants which trail out of the container to complete the look. Follow these tips to, hopefully, achieve the container flower garden you’re hoping for.
6. Provide Proper Care
It doesn’t matter what style of garden you’re growing. Proper care is a must if you want to see your plants thrive.
Therefore, it must start with adequate watering. You should water container gardens until you see it running from beneath the planter.
However, check your soil daily to ensure the plants aren’t in need of more water. If the soil is dry to your first knuckle, add more water. Keep in mind, you must water containers more frequently than other types of gardens because there’s less soil for the plants to work with.
Also, ensure your plants are fertilized regularly. With minimal soil, there are less nutrients and less soil for the flowers to pull nutrients from.
7. Deadheading is Not a Waste of Time
This is one reason many gardeners avoid a variety of flowers. They hate the process of deadheading. It can be time consuming.
However, it’s definitely worth it because it keeps your plants feeling young. When they feel young, they produce longer.
Therefore, take your time to remove the dead blooms from your flowers. For flowers with longer stems, such as dianthus, remove the entire stem from the base of the plant. It will encourage the plant to fill out more.
8. Replenish and Replace
When raising flowers in containers, there comes a time when your annual blooms will have simply run their course.
Don’t be alarmed if some flowers must be replenished (i.e. replaced) during the grow season. If you have an extremely hot time of the year, it could cause your plants to shrivel prematurely.
Be prepared to replace your flowers as needed. You may have to protect your container flowers more frequently because where they have less soil, the root systems aren’t as established as they might be in the ground.
Therefore, these plants might be more fragile than when planting in other styles of gardens.Take all of this into consideration as you create a gorgeous container flower garden.
9. Save the Planting Information
If you purchase your flowers from a nursery, save the tag. This not only helps you remember the names of what you’ve planted, but it also contains important information when caring for your flowers.
This tag will remind you of the growing conditions for your plant. It can help you decide what other plant varieties might go well with it.
You will also know when to plant, what planting zones are best, how much water and sunlight the flowers need, and what temperatures are best. All of this information can help you have beautiful blooms.
10. Plant According to Your Life
This is another big-ticket item when growing flowers in containers. I once had a lady gift me all of her gorgeous container flowers.
She was older and had ample time to provide constant care to her plants. I didn’t realize, at the time, how different seasons in life can impact the outcome of your plants.
At the time, I was a young mom with a toddler. Needless to say, the plants suffered. If you’re in a busy season of life, pick low-maintenance plants that can still thrive under a little neglect and less watering.
If you’re in a time of your life where you can slow down a little more and soak-up your flowers, choose blooms that may take more effort on your part. After all, caring for flowers might bring you immense joy in this season.
Take your life into consideration when choosing which flowers to include in a container flower garden.
11. Winterize Your Containers
Finally, you must winterize your containers. Don’t leave old, dead flowers in your planters all winter long.
Empty the soil, wash the containers, and remove any annual plants. If you have perennial plants, cut them back, and apply mulch to protect the roots over winter.
This will avoid disease and pests from overwintering in your planters. It will also encourage a longer life for your perennial blooms.
This concludes the top tips for having a gorgeous flower container garden. You don’t need tons of room to have gorgeous scenery.
Instead, apply these tips and create a garden oasis that’s portable and will give your home a welcoming look.
More About Growing Flowers in a Container
Joan Bullock says
How about peonies in containers? I’ve had them awhile and this year, for some reason, they are suffering.