Advice · Gardening

Top Tips for Container Gardening Success

Top Tips for Container Gardening Success

Container gardening is ideal for those who have smaller outdoor spaces, including patios or roof terraces. Container gardening can be done at any time of year, and can brighten even the darkest corner of outside space.

Plants in containers depend on you for everything; especially water, but with careful preparation they can give you a stunning display all year around.

The containers come in a range of different sizes and materials, so it’s just a case of finding the right one for you. If you have a darker corner, then get a brightly coloured pot and plant up some ferns.

Keep reading for my top tips on container gardening success.


Before you even start adding any other drainage aid into the pot, make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom. If it doesn’t, then make some. If you can’t, then it might be worth getting another container that does.

Container Gardening Advice drainage

Rubble – If you have a larger pot, then think about putting larger pieces of rubble into the bottom of the pot before adding your compost. Larger pieces of rubble could be bricks or larger rocks.

Just make sure that if you’re using rubble that you position the container where you want it to stay, they can be very heavy to move when filled with plants, compost and rubble!

Shingle/Horticultural grit – One of the most common ways to improve drainage when container gardening is to incorporate shingle or horticultural grit. It allows excess water to drain away in the bottom of the container, preventing the plant roots from becoming water logged and rotting.

Polystyrene – See, it does have a use. Break up the polystyrene you find in packaging and add it to the bottom of your container. Polystyrene helps retain water, improve drainage and is perfect for hanging baskets, as it’s not too heavy.

Watering and Feeding

Scorched leaves plant

Watering times – Think very carefully about when you water your plant pots. If you water them in the middle of the day in the height of summer, then any water will act as a magnifying glass for the suns rays, leading to the leaves scorching. Water during the early morning or late afternoon, or buy a pot with a build-in reservoir.

Feeding – Feeding potted plants is essential, as most shop-bought garden composts only have about 6 weeks worth of nutrients in them. When adding the compost before planting, incorporate a slow-release fertiliser that feeds for the whole growing season.

Plant Care

Container gardening advice deadheading

Deadhead Daily – This might seem time consuming, but it really is essential if you want to get the most out of your container garden. When flowers reach a certain stage, they start to go to seed. You can tell this is happening when the flower heads start to go brown, wilted and just generally look a bit tired.

Just pinch off the flower head that is going over and the plant will put more of it’s energy into creating lots of lovely new flowers. This prolongs the flowering season, and lets you enjoy your beautiful plants even longer.

So there you have it, some tips on how to achieve container gardening success. What do you think? How do you keep your plants in containers thriving?

Please do tell me about your own experiences in the comments below, and share on Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook so that everyone can see looking after container plants doesn’t have to be hard.


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