Potted plants, tips to make sure you succeed

Growing potted plants

Near the house or on a balcony, growing potted plants are an excellent way to add color and greenery to your home!

Whether you’re hoping to grow potted tomato on your deck, enhance front door surroundings with lavender, or even grow an olive tree in the North, growing plants in pots will meet your needs! All plants can grow and thrive in pots, but for that to happen, you must choose pots that are suited to their size, give them adequate light and soil and water regularly.

Choosing the pot

It must be wide and deep enough for roots to spread comfortably. Plan for 14 to 16 inches (35 to 40 cm) wide and deep to grow tomatoes or a shrub.

The material that makes the pot can have pros and cons.

> Plastic, is light and affordable, gets hot in the sun, but is fine for shade.

Plastic pots are affordable and don't get too hot

> Terra cotta has advantageous regulating properties, but might break when weather freeze, so they are perfect for those plants that must be brought indoors over winter.

Terra cotta or clay pot with plant

> Ceramics are very elegant and sturdy, but they are heavy and expensive. Keep these for potted arrangements that you would particularly like to highlight, for instance near your main door.

Ceramic retains water best without heating the pot up too much

Soil mix for potted plants

Place a thick layer of clay pebbles or shards, to allow for good drainage.

You will make your plant feel at home in a mix of soil mix – garden soil is fine, too – and compost (usually one part comport for three parts garden soil or soil mix).

In spring, add organic fertilizer to boost plant growth. Repot every two to three years.

Watering potted plants

Pot arrangements require abundant water in summer, every two or three days.

Don’t forget to mulch on top of the soil to reduce water loss through evaporation. Law clippings, cocoa hulls, etc make great mulch.

Potted plants

It may be your intent to combine several plants in a single pot. Play with colors, textures and heights, and place the taller plants towards the center of the composition. Also, place several containers near each other for a great pot arrangement on a terrace or deck!

Use plants that have similar needs in terms of watering and sunlight. In the shade, you might try the cool green that ivy, ferns, hostas or fuchsias can provide.

Laure Hamann

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
Pixabay: Cornelia Gerhardt, bobana kovacevic, Safijc Dreamcatchers, Lisa Padgett