Gardens

How to create a container garden?

Who said that to have a garden you had to have a plot of land to be able to plant your plants in it? Actually, it is enough to have a free space, it does not matter if it is small or large, or if it has a dirt or paved floor. For this reason, even if for example your balcony is small or your patio has an L shape, you can enjoy a nice, allow me the word, flowerpot garden .

You just have to know some keys to make better use of the space, something that will undoubtedly help you to have a great time taking care of your plants. So, let’s see how to create a container garden.

Make a draft

It is the first step. Often we go directly to buying plants without being very clear about how we are going to distribute them, and that can lead us to find ourselves in a situation in which we see that we have too many pots… or we lack space. To avoid it, the first thing to do is think and decide what design you want to give to your potted garden, taking into account the meters you have available, the shape of that space, and noting which are the shady corners, which are the semi-shade and which ones in direct sun.

Of course, the climate must be very present, since the same plants cannot be grown on a balcony in an area where the climate is warm all year round, as in another where there is frost or snowfall every winter. To make it easier for you , we recommend you visit a nearby botanical garden, read about garden design and/ or watch gardening programs to get ideas, and buy plants that are being grown outside of the nurseries closest to your home.

Choose the plants you are going to grow in pots

This is the most important step, since it will largely depend on how the design you give to your pot garden will finally be. Therefore, it is necessary to bear in mind that not all plants that are sold can live well in containers throughout their lives. But do not worry, because there are many that will not give you any problem. Here’s a list:

Trees and shrubs

There are few that can grow well, but among all that there are, we recommend these:

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Japanese Maple// Image – Lowes.com

Azalea// Image – Wikimedia/ Th.Voekler

Callistemon// Image – Wikimedia/ mauroguanandi

  • Japanese maple: it is a deciduous tree or small tree from 1 to 12 meters high depending on the variety or cultivar known for the beautiful colors that its leaves acquire in spring and especially in autumn. It needs an acid substrate and irrigation water, with a pH of 4 to 6, and semi-shade since the direct sun ‘burns’ it. Resists up to -18ºC. More information in your file.
  • Azalea: it is an evergreen shrub that reaches a height of 1 meter that produces small but very pretty flowers, red, pink, or white, in spring. Like Japanese maple, it needs acidic (or lime-free) substrate and water, and protected exposure from the sun. Resists cold and weak frosts. More information in your file.
  • Callistemon or tube cleaners: it is an evergreen tree or shrub depending on the species that reaches a height of 2 to 10 meters. Its red tube cleaner shaped inflorescences make it very interesting for terraces and patios. Of course, it needs sun, and moderate watering. It resists frosts down to -7ºC. More information in your file.

Cactus and succulents (succulents)

Taking into account that these plants do not usually need much space, except columnar cacti or tree succulents, and that their growth is rather slow, there are many varieties that can grow well in your container garden. However, you have to choose, and we are left with these three:

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Echeveria

Rebutia// Image – Wikimedia/ Dornenwolf from Deutschland

Sempervivum

  • Echeveria: it is a highly variable genus of succulent plants, characterized by having generally rounded, fleshy leaves of very different colors that form a rosette with or without a stem (false trunk). In spring and sometimes also in autumn they produce yellow, orange or pink flowers grouped in long flower stalks. But for this they need sun, a substrate that drains water well and rather scarce watering. They resist weak frosts. More information in your file.
  • Rebutia: It is a genus of cactus with short spines that produce some of the most beautiful cactus flowers. These are orange, yellow or white, and they sprout in spring. They usually reach a height of 5 centimeters, but tend to form groups. They require sun, a substrate that drains water well, and little watering. They resist weak frosts. More information in your file.
  • Sempervivum: it is a genus of succulents that forms rosettes of fleshy leaves whose height is about 3-5 centimeters. The color of these leaves can be green, bluish green, or even brown, so they have a high ornamental value. To grow well they need semi-shade, well-drained substrates and few waterings. They resist cold and moderate frosts. More information in your file.

Edible plants

There is a wide variety of plants suitable for human consumption that you can have in your container garden. These are just a few:

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Lettuce// Image – Wikimedia/ Francisco25

Pepper

Tomato// Image – Wikimedia/ David Besa from Sonoma, USA

  • Lettuce: it is a biennial herb grown as an annual widely used to make salads. It reaches a height of about 30 centimeters, and its seeds are sown in spring. Three months later, it will be ready. Of course, put it in the sun and water it frequently. More information in your file.
  • Pepper: it is a perennial bush grown as an annual that reaches a height of up to 1 meter. The seeds are sown in early spring, and harvested in summer. It needs sun and frequent waterings. More information in your file.
  • Tomato: it is an herb or bush that reaches a height of up to 1 meter. Its growing season goes from spring, which is when its seeds are sown, until fall, which is when the last tomato is harvested. It needs sun, a lot of water and, also, a tutor so that its stems do not break. More information in your file.

Flower plants

There are many plants of this type that are grown without difficulties in pots, like these:

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Dimorfoteca

Gazania rigens

Geranium

  • Dimorfoteca: it is a lively herb with a creeping or carpet- like habit that produces daisy-shaped flowers during spring and summer. It reaches a height of about 30 centimeters, with an extension of up to 1 meter. It lives well in the sun as well as in semi-shade, and needs moderate watering. Resists cold and weak frosts. More information in your file.
  • Gazania: it is a lively herb that reaches a height of about 30 centimeters. It is popular for its daisy-shaped flowers, which open in the sun. It needs a sunny exposure and moderate watering. Resists cold and weak frosts. More information in your file.
  • Geranium: it is a shrub of about 40-90 centimeters high, well known for its flowers: small but numerous, of showy colors, and they sprout almost all year round, and for this they need sun or semi-shade, well-drained substrates and frequent waterings. Otherwise, they resist moderate frosts. More information in your file.

Put the plants in the right location

Once the plants have been chosen, it will be time to put them in place. But beware, it is not only important that you give them adequate light according to their needs, but you must also ensure that those that are larger are left behind the smaller ones since otherwise the latter would not grow well.

Also, to make better use of the space, do not hesitate to put a table or shelf, or even one or more shelves hooked to the wall. Consider the option of purchasing some planters to create beautiful compositions of Sempervivum, or other small succulents such as Fenestraria or Lithops.

It can also be a pot pretty great bulbous, combining spring flowers with summer flowers. If you dare, you should choose a wide container, since it is advisable to respect the separation between bulbs that is indicated on the container.

Enjoy

When everything is ready, you can enjoy your potted garden. Water and fertilize your plants whenever necessary, and feel free to inspect them from time to time for pests or symptoms of disease. If this occurs, we advise you to treat them with ecological remedies like the ones we say here.

Photos of potted gardens

If you need more ideas, then we show you a series of images of gardens made with pots:

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Image – Wikimedia/ Nick from Chelmsford, Essex

Image – Oast House Archive

We hope it has been useful to you .

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