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How to Build Your Own Container Garden
By: Admin    July 28 2017 , 01:03 pm
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Category: Nature , DIY , Seasons , Garden


Container gardens, also known as potted gardens, are showstoppers for your landscape if you are lacking in outdoor space, or if you just want to make a fun statement in your garden. Potted plants have lots of gardening appeal, as they tend to be portable, are easy to arrange for varying aesthetic purposes, and they can make the most use out of small outdoor spaces.


Many types of plants and vegetables will flourish in containers as long as they are frequently watered, have adequate drainage, and are planted in high-quality potting soil – not garden soil, which is denser than potting soil. Other maintenance tips such as mixing some kind of fertilizer into the potting soil and routinely pinching off dead blooms will keep your potted plants looking and growing their best throughout the seasons.


Different plants grow to varying sizes, so it is important to match the container to each plant’s typical growth range. Potted plants need just enough space for their roots to grow and absorb moisture. Most perennial plants and vegetables require at least five-gallon soil pots, but many varieties of flowering plants and common herbs will do well in one-gallon pots.


Surprisingly, potted plants can last several years in containers, with some particularly robust species surviving even through cold temperatures. “The general rule of thumb for container-plant survival through the winter is that the plant should be hardy to two zones colder than your USDA Hardiness Zone,” reads a guide from Fine Gardening. By finding out which plants are in your zones, “[y]our containers can provide you with year-round interest, depending on the plants you choose, and you can lend consistency to your designs.”




Potted plants offer gardeners a unique ability to create specific designs in small, contained spaces, or to add an unexpected pop of color or greenery to any space. The results can be truly beautiful, lending a breath of fresh air to even small areas such as apartment balconies or tiny patios.


For attractive greenery that lasts all year round, consider green mountain boxwood or emerald arborvitae. Both of these plants maintain a green color even through winter and grow upwards, making them ideal for thriving in a contained space.

For colorful potted additions, Japanese pieris provides beautiful, glossy spring growths that vary from deep red to delicate pink. Bergenias will bring cheerful pink blossoms in the spring.


Creeping sedum will thrive in just about any space, so they are a perfect potted variety. Some gardeners will even plant them in cracks along landscaped stonework, or in miscellaneous areas of their garden to discourage weed growth.


After figuring out how to grow thriveingsingle plant containers, you can expand your container garden with exciting potted combinations that feature more than one plant. Many gardeners refer to the ideal combination as thrillers, fillers, and spillers. An aesthetically pleasing pot will combine all three of these varieties.


  • Thrillers are plants that grow tall, providing a dramatic backdrop for the rest of the pot. Examples include angelface, purple fountain grass, and golden sword yucca.

  • Fillers are shorter and more rounded, filling the rest of the pot’s empty spaces. There are many types of filler plants to choose from, which makes planning this part quite easy. Examples include begonias, geraniums, and heliotrope.

  • Spillers cascade over and down the side of the pot, providing an attractive and natural fluidity to smooth the pot’s otherwise rigid sides. Examples include ivy, sweet potato vine, and calibrachoa.

Take a look at some of these beautiful combinations for inspiration: salvia and campanula with evergreen yew shrub; phormium, licorice plant, lantana, and herbs; sweet potato vine, calibrachoa, variegated euonymus shrub, and dusty miller; and this fall assortment of kale pigeon white, chrysanthemum, and ornamental grass. The possibilities are truly endless!


Once you have decided which plants to cultivate in your potted garden, HGTV has a helpful guide on how to use pots as stunning architectural features or unexpected landscape elements by varying their shapes, sizes, textures, and placement. With these tools at your disposal, you are well on your way to creating the perfect assortment of potted plants that will make your outdoor area shine!

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Erik Donaldson Jul 28,2017

Great write up! Thrillers, fillers, and spillers. That's not too hard to remember.

Kristen Pesta Jul 31,2017

Love this! Living in a townhouse allows me very little space to garden, so this is perfect!

Todd Turner Jul 31,2017

Great reference to have and gorgeous pictures!

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