5 Container Gardening Mistakes

Container gardening is an easy way to beautify your porch or outdoor space without having to invest too much work into a garden bed. From elegant caladium and creeping Jenny to stately arborvitae and lush succulents, container gardens can be cultivated in all shapes and sizes, with a wide variety of plants. You, too, can become a container gardening pro – like the Grumpy Gardener – if you avoid these five mistakes. Trust us, your containers will last longer, bloom more fully, and further impress your neighbors.


Growing things in containers is a lot of fun, but I notice some common mistakes. Mistake number one, choosing the wrong material for the container. This is wood. It's not expensive wood. It's cheap wood that's stained to look like tropical wood. And even though it has drain hole in the bottom, if you put a plant inside this container and you have to water it, I guarantee you the bottom of this thing is gonna rot out. So my advice is take it inside, use it to store your old magazines or even better, use it to put in a big, plastic House plant. Mistake number two, not buying a container that's big enough. Bigger containers are heavier and they cost more, but they're worth it, because they allow you to put more plants in there. And the more flowers that you can get, and the more color, the more impact it makes Imagine using something ridiculous like this on your front porch. This is just not gonna work. The other practical reason why you want a bigger container. You can fit more plants on it and because it has a much greater volume of soil. It won't be drying out as fast. You won't have to water it every five minutes. So, my advice is if you're gonna use a container to display on your front porch make it a minimum of 14 inches wide. 14 and up. Container mistake Number three and this is a biggie. Not making sure your container has a drainage hole. Every container needs to have a drainage hole in the bottom for excess water to escape. If it doesn't you're gonna get a pond of water in the bottom of your pot, the roots are gonna rot and your plant is gonna croak. Now you might say well, I don't want water running all over my porch. Okay, fine. For a pot like this, get a terracotta saucer and put it under the pot to contain the excess water. But just remember, you have to have a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Container mistake number four leaving terra cotta pots out in the wintertime. One of the great things about terra cotta pots is that they allow moisture to pass in and out of the material, and that's a good thing during the summertime. But In the winter, if these containers are actually full of moisture and you leave it outside in freezing conditions, it's going to freeze and the pot's going to explode. It's gonna split down the side. So whenever you have terra cotta pots, if you're planning on keeping them for more than one year When it gets to really cold weather you need to move these to a perfectly dry place. Container mistake number five, combining plants in a container that need different growing conditions. You know a lot of times when people go to a garden center to pick out plants to put together in their container They're mainly thinking about, well, do the colors of the flowers go together? Does the foliage go together? What they need to really think about even more is do all the plants that I'm going to put in this container like the same growing conditions, because if they don't, they won't be happy. Don't mix sun loving plants with shade loving plants Or plants that like moist soil with plants that like dry soil, because if you do, half your plants are gonna be very unhappy, they're gonna look bad and you're gonna be unhappy too. We've chosen plants here that like the same kind of growing conditions bright light, good drainage, moist soil. Snap Dragons Creeping Jenny and the Burgundy Coleus. Bonus mistake, number six. Not paying attention to the first five mistakes. You know, I give so much. Don't make me sad. [MUSIC]
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