How to Plant a Great Container Garden

Select your container

Step 1: How much sun will your container garden receive?

Full Sun: 8 to 12 hours of sunlight
Part Sun: 4 to 8 hours of sunlight
Shade: 2 to 4 hours of sunlight
Select plants that are recommended for the light conditions listed above.

Step 2: Choose a container

You can select a traditional pot, or get creative (some people even use antique appliances for containers!). Make sure whatever you choose has drain holes in the bottom. Remember that smaller containers dry out faster so you'll need to check them more often to make sure they are getting enough water.

Add the soil

Step 3: Fill your container with soil

'Soiless media' is a great choice for your container because it is most likely going to be insect and disease free. It will contain peat moss, pearlite, and vermiculite and may also contain bark or cocoa fibers. The key to a good media is that it provides proper drainage but also has water holding capacity. Ask your garden centre for a recommendation.

Step 4: Choose your fertilizer

You can choose either a slow-release type or a water-soluble one. Slow-release fertilizer is incorporated into the soil prior to planting. It lasts 3 to 4 months, so it's super easy and effective. Osmocote 14-14-14 is an example of a good slow-release fertilizer. Water-soluble fertilizer is added on a weekly or bi-weekly basis according the manufacturer's instructions. Miracle Gro 20-20-20 is an example of a good water soluble fertilizer.

Plant your container

Step 5: Plant!

Plan out where all of your plants will be situated in the container. Start with the centre of the container and work out from there. Dig a hole a bit larger than the container that the original plant came in. Carefully remove the plant from the pot by tipping it upside down. If the plant is very dry, you can moisten it first to make it easier to remove. Loosen the roots gently to encourage growth in the new container. Place in the hole, fill with soil and gently press down. Continue planting out from the centre. When all the plants are where you want them, you may want to add a bit more soil and level out the soil, while carefully adjusting plants as you go.

Water the container thoroughly.

Awesome Accent container garden

The Quick Care Guide

  • Light - Select annuals and accents to suit your light conditions.
  • Plants - Most accents will grow in full sun to shade.
  • Container - Select a container with drain holes in the bottom.
  • Soil - Must provide proper drainage but also have water holding capacity.
  • Hardiness - Treat as an annual in cooler climates.
  • Water - Keep soil moist. Water when soil is dry to the touch.
  • Fertilizer - Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer like 20-20-20 on a weekly basis.
  • Tips - Prune to shape if needed.
  • Admire your masterpiece!