Flower pot in a wheelbarrow
Flowers have a way of making old things new again, like this container garden in an old wheelbarrow.

Container gardening is a growing trend that has gardeners of all skill levels getting their hands in the dirt. Containers are a great solution for adding a pop of color just about anywhere in your outdoor or indoor setting, whether you rent or own your home. Every entryway, patio, deck, stairs and landscaped bed is a potential location for placing a container garden. It’s a terrific way to show off your creative side depending on what you plant, and your choice of container too!

Anyone can grow a container garden with these basic rules:

Upcycled boot planter
A fun container made by up-cycling an old pair of boots. But you’ll need to be careful these cuties don’t walk away!

Choose the right soil

Plants in containers need a light soil that allows roots to grow. Choose a soil that both retains moisture and drains quickly. This means the soil won’t suffocate your plant’s roots but will hold enough water to prevent you from having to water constantly. Regular garden soil is too dense unless you want to supplement it with organic matter; a packaged potting mix is always a quick solution.

Water regularly

Helmets as flower pots
Wonderfully creative use of old hard hats as containers for this planting. Once the philodendron gets growing, it will make a beautiful green screen.

Watering your container garden on a regular schedule is important as your container plants only have a small amount of soil from which to draw moisture. In hot or windy weather, your plants may even require watering a few times per day. However, in cool weather, less watering is okay. As a rule of thumb, water when the top two inches of soil feel dry.

Don’t forget to fertilize

Potted flowers
Color, color everywhere! With container gardens you really can drop a pop of color in anywhere. They are easy to move and switch around too.

Whether your container is indoors or out, a good fertilizer is essential to its growing success. When you water frequently, nutrients your plants need leach out from the soil and need to be replaced more regularly than those planted directly in the ground. Choose a plant fertilizer with slow release nitrogen so you will not have to fertilize as often. It’s easily scratched into the soil surface in the container and watered in and only needs to be used about once a month.

Follow these gardening basics and your container will be flourishing in no time.