Containers are a great way to showcase your favourite plants and inject a bit of personality into your home and garden. Whatever container your plant calls home, here are our top four tips to ensure your container garden thrives.
1. Size matters
Make sure you choose the right size pot for your plant (or vice versa). Seek out a pot that’s slightly larger than the plastic pot you buy your plant in, but don’t go too big as the excess potting mix can go sour and impact the health of your plant. Over time you will need to pot up your plants as the roots outgrow the mix.
Whatever plant you choose, whether indoor or outdoor, chances are it will need excellent drainage to thrive. Good drainage is key to a healthy and happy plant (most plants hate wet feet).
When picking an outdoor pot, ensure the holes at the base are large enough to allow water to drain through freely. Depending on where your outdoor pot is kept, you may want to consider propping it up with pot feet to assist with drainage. You can add a saucer to keep your pot evenly balanced and protect surfaces from staining.
On the other hand, as they’re designed for indoor use, decorative planters don’t have drainage holes, to stop furniture from getting wet or dirty. The idea is to keep your plant in a smaller plastic pot that fits snugly into your decorative planter. When watering your indoor plants, take them out of the planter, water them outside and bring them back inside once the water has drained. This is to ensure the plant isn’t sitting in water that’s collected at the bottom of the planter.
3. Get your hands dirty
Watering needs can be different for plants growing in a pot as opposed to those growing in the ground. This is due to a number of factors, including what material the pot is made from, how big it is and how well draining it is.
Most plants like soil that’s moist but not wet. You don’t have to be a plant mind-reader to work out whether your plant needs watering. The best and easiest way to check if your plants need a drink is to simply stick your finger into the potting mix about 3cm into the soil. If the soil is dry, it’s time to get out your watering can.
4. Feeding time
All potting mix loses nutrients with time, so to ensure your plants aren’t starved of goodness, ask one of our expert instore horticulturists what schedule to follow for your particular container plants. Most container plants will benefit from a slow-release fertiliser that gradually releases nutrients. This can be mixed through your potting mix when planting and/or repotting. During the growing season, a fortnightly liquid feed will give your plants an instant boost.