Container Gardening

Greater Gardening Possibilities

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Creative Containers

Containers offer great gardening possibilities where space is limited or soil conditions are poor. They can extend your in-ground garden in colorful transitions on patio, porch or deck. Unplanted containers in unusual shapes or colors can also make a simple but striking garden focal point.

When you shop for containers, you'll find a huge variety of materials and colors. Base your choice of container style on your garden's style or your house's architecture and exterior surface. Urn-shaped pots reflect a traditional architecture such as Colonial or Victorian, while tall, straight-lined containers have a more contemporary look.

Container colors might coordinate with your house's exterior hue or trim, outdoor furniture or the plants you want to grow. Generally, earth toned or green container colors provide the most versatile background for plants.

Container Types & Care

Pick a container material suitable for the seasons you intend to grow potted gardens'and also your physical capabilities. Fiberglass, plastic and composite stone containers weigh less and are easier to lift, important to consider with larger plantings.

Some container benefits and care tips to consider:

Resin
  • Light and Durable
  • Frost-resistant; can be exposed to a wide range of temperature extremes
  • Looks and feels like textured stone; less expensive option
  • Will not crack during the winter
  • Retains moisture well
Care:
  • Scrub containers with a mild detergent and rinse with water
  • For stubborn stains or dirt, submerge containers overnight in water before scrubbing
Fiberglass
  • Gives you the look of beautiful concrete with the lightweight, easy to handle benefits of fiberglass
  • Easy to handle; virtually unbreakable
  • Fade-resistant
  • Can withstand extremes in temperature; will not crack during the winter
  • Superior moisture retention insulates plant roots from summer heat
Care:
  • Easy to clean for reuse each season
  • Scrub with mild detergent and rinse with water
Ceramic
  • Attractive option for the container gardener; complements any d├ęcor
  • Elegant, classy look for your container garden
  • Great for your favorite annuals
Care:
  • Ceramic is nonporous; be careful not to over water, and make sure the container has adequate drainage
  • While glazed ceramic is more weather-resistant than unglazed, both types should be brought inside during the winter to prevent cracking/chipping
  • Cleaning: scrub with mild detergent and water, allow to dry completely before storing
Water Hyacinth - Basket Planters
  • Beautiful, natural, organic feel
  • Perfect look for the entryway doorstep or covered backyard patio area
  • Great item to match with wooden outdoor furniture
  • Planters come with plastic liner for direct planting, or simply place garden pot inside
Care:
  • While these planters are durable, they are recommended for use in a protected patio area
  • Cleaning: dust occasionally, carefully wipe down w/ slightly damp cloth to remove persistent dirt
Copper
  • Reliable and exceptionally strong
  • Will not rust, crack, peel, or become brittle after years of exposure to the weather and sun
  • Over time, copper naturally weathers to a beautiful green patina, making it resistant to corrosion
Care:
  • Keep clean with dusting and occasional washing with lukewarm, soapy water
Polyurethane
  • 90% lighter than clay pots; also more durable
  • Able to withstand year-round extremes in temperature and exposure to sunlight without cracking or fading
  • "The look of terra cotta or stone with the durability of synthetics"
  • Insulating material protects roots from overheating during the summer or freezing during the winter
  • Will not chip, crack, or fade over time
Care:
  • Keep clean with dusting and occasional washing with lukewarm, soapy water
Iron
  • Virtually maintenance-free
  • Versatile, elegant look for your container garden
  • Long-lasting, resists corrosion
  • Sturdy, won't break
Care:
  • Wipe down w/ damp cloth
Other Container Types

Clay
  • Heavy, traditional, and beautiful
  • Available in a variety of colors and designs; easy to mix and match
  • "The traditional potting container"
  • Attractive, able to complement a wide range of foliage
  • Porous, preventing soil from becoming over-saturated
  • Clay pots wick moisture through their sides, providing a drier root environment
Care:
  • Plants in clay containers need more frequent watering
  • Clay pots may crack if frozen - clean by scrubbing w/ mild detergent, then store indoors during the winter