When I first started growing plants in containers it was because my backyard was tiny, now I have a larger backyard but still enjoy keeping container gardens around the house. They make such a lovely statement, especially at the entrance of your home. Here are some tips on how to start a container garden at home and how to keep it healthy and thriving.
Outdoor planter ideas using containers
In my containers, I love having at least one standout bloom. It might be a flowering plant that will cascade over the sides of the pot, like a calibrachoa or supertunia (in a vibrant hue), a showstopper, like a dahlia, or a petunia with a really interesting face.
Don’t underestimate the power of foliage. Coleus, Heucheras, and Rex begonias are all favorites, depending on whether my space gets sun or shade.
I also tuck edibles into a lot of my containers. Lemongrass often stands in for a spike or ornamental grass. A variety of basil plants, like the variegated pesto perpetuo, add really nice foliage.
Also different flavors of sage, creeping rosemary, and parsley provide interesting textures. The smell from your container garden will be amazing with some of these edible herb additions.
Before we get to the inspiration, here are some tips for planting up a container
- Choose good-quality potting soil.
- The thriller, filler, and spiller rule works pretty well, especially if you’re new to container design. Learn more about the here.
- When choosing plants, make sure they’re suited to the conditions they’ll be displayed in – sun vs. shade.
- Don’t be afraid to pack in the plants, but be sure they still have some room to grow.
- Read the plant tags carefully, so you know what type of care the plant requires throughout the season, as well as how tall and wide it will get.
- Make sure when you’re planting you fill in any air pockets with extra soil.
- Be sure your pots have drainage.
- Don’t forget to water regularly, especially during those long, hot days of summer. Pots can dry out quickly. Sometimes you may need to check on plants twice a day.
- Fertilize every few weeks, according to the package’s directions.
- Trim back scraggly plants, so they’ll grow back lush and full.
- Deadhead, when required. (This is why I love calibrachoas—they are self cleaning!)
Now for the fun part. I’ve gathered a variety of ideas for both the plants you can choose and the containers to go with them.
Choosing a color palette for container arrangements
Consider changing the look of your outdoor planters yearly. Sometimes one superstar plant will determine the color palette for your container, other times you may choose the same color for all the planters.
Outdoor planter ideas for shade
Finding annuals for shade can be tricky. That section of the nursery always seems to be smaller than the one for full sun.
However, there are shade plants that make a big impact despite their darker destination. Some examples are Rex begonias and hostess.
Sneak some edibles into your ornamental containers
We mentioned this earlier. I love planting edibles in my ornamental gardens, whether they’re in pots or in the ground.
Some container favorites include lemon thyme, chocolate mint, parsley (flat leaf and curly), creeping rosemary, lemongrass, and sage.
There are some beautiful varieties of Swiss chard, like ‘Peppermint’ and ‘Rainbow’, as well as ornamental qualities in a variety of lettuces.
Choose unique foliage to add to container arrangements
There is some gorgeous foliage that can be added to planters. I love the seemingly infinite varieties of coleus, as well as Rex begonias, Polka dot plant, and hostas at the garden center.
Sometimes they can shine all on their own, or compliment the flowers you’ve chosen to include.
Don’t be afraid to add perennials to your containers
The breadth of choices increases exponentially if you throw perennials into the mix of planter ideas. An example of a perennial flower or plant to add are heucheras, because they come in so many beautiful colors, from purple to caramel.
When I change up the container for fall, I either leave it in or pop the plant somewhere else in the garden.
There’s many tips for stunning patio planter ideas. And wow, you just can’t believe how much little elbow grease will pay off all summer long!
The transformation in your outdoors will take everyone’s breath away every time they pass by.
More tips for outdoor planters ideas
- Keeping your garden healthy and thriving
- Tips and tools for gardening with kids
- Tips for a successful raised garden bed
Raised garden beds are also used for growing plants and flowers. Raised garden beds are also a wonderful way to get involved with nature and grow your herbs, and/or vegetables you love and consume. Learn about 6 ways your garden could be saving you money.
I have seen several raised garden beds filled with the most beautiful flowers. Calling in monarch butterflies and bees pollinating beautifully.
We hope you take delight on gardening this year, get your kids and your family involved and enjoy the harvest to the fullest.
What are some of your favorite outdoor planter ideas to grow on containers?
Hi there! I’m Wanda – the creator and author at My Sweet Zepol a healthy food, travel, and lifestyle blog. Passionate about food photography, food styling, entertaining and advocate about creating memories around the kitchen table. With a mission to create easy-to-make meals for the busy family.
I am new to gardening, so this is helpful. I didn’t know what air pockets are but now I know how to handle them.
You’re welcome! I hope these tips help you get started with ease.
I love container gardens and am thinking about starting one this year. Right now I am working on getting more roots to grow on my onion scraps so this post came at just the right time for me to get the proper tips for starting a container garden at home.
I love this! It is so important to have goals for the future while understanding what you want to get done first before jumping into another project. Best wishes on your planting experiences.
Gardening has always been my hobby, but it has been taken to new heights when the lockdown started. I am seriously considering raised garden beds so I can grow more vegetables too.
I couldn’t have agreed more. That is exactly what happened to me and my family. With the start of the pandemic, we had so much time on our hands and found our love for gardening.
I can’t wait to start doing a garden again. I love having a garden. Container ones are great to have too.
They truly are! I hope you start up soon!
I really should have gotten around to doing a garden this year. Yours is so pretty!
It’s never too late to start!