Guide to container gardening

Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still create horticultural heaven at home by investing in a few containers. Here are a few basic tips you should know about container gardening first...

1. Glazed ceramic pots are much better than the PVC variety, which tend to deteriorate in sunlight. Plastic tubs may be cheaper but ceramic versions are more likely to stand the test of time. It’s more cost effective in the long run to go for prettier and hardier pots.

2. Wooden containers are generally a no-no too as the creosote, varnish or paint they are normally treated with can be harmful to the plants. They rot in wet conditions and don’t stay looking their best for long.

3. Remember that the bigger the pot the better if you don’t want your plants to become root bound.

4. Make sure your pots have holes in the bottom for adequate drainage – it helps to line them with newspaper too to avoid losing any soil as the water naturally drains.

5. Light-coloured pots are better in areas of intense heat which can discourage uneven root growth.

6. It helps to sit your tubs on bricks or raised blocks to encourage drainage.

7. If you’re using clay pots bear in mind that clay is porous and water will be lost from the inside out, which is ok as long as you remember to water more regularly.

8. Finally, remember to pick plants which are known to thrive in pots and place them in a sunny position on your decking area, patio or lawn.

What sort of plants are suitable for container gardening? There are many gorgeous species to choose from. Here are some top suggestions...

Emerald Arborvitae - This is great for adding some height amongst your pots and containers and it provides year-round foliage thanks to its evergreen nature. It’s easily combined with other plants and will thrive either in direct sunlight or in light shade. Bear in mind that, out-with containers, it can grow to 15 feet.

Golden Sword Yucca - Again, this yucca will co-habit happily among many other plants and although it thrives in sunny dry conditions, it will still do well in the shade. Summer produces creamy white – and incredibly fragrant – flowers while its sword-like leaves are thin and spiky.

Golden Creeping Jenny - This plant has a brilliant name and its coin-shaped leaves are pretty brilliant too. It’s really hardy and reliable and looks good with everything! It loves water so much that you can even grow it in a water garden.

Green Mountain Boxwood - This slow-growing shrub is also evergreen and, as a result, can bring colour to your garden when there isn’t much of it around. It normally grows into a natural pyramid shape which cuts down the need for pruning. It loves partial shade and when container gardening, it helps to turn the pot frequently to avoid bare patches in the foliage.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2014