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A container garden can be a lovely addition to any landscape. An otherwise drab porch or deck comes to life with the addition of a few containers full of flowers or ornamental shrubs and grasses. For those with little gardening space, adding a few containers is sometimes the best option. Here are a few suggestions for keeping those container plants happy and healthy:

Drainage:

Proper drainage is important for any plant but it’s especially important for a container plant because the soil and space are quite limited. If roots lack moisture (or if there is too much), there is only so far for them to spread in search of balance. Plants can suffer from both too much drainage and too little. If your soil is draining too quickly, chances are there is too much sand. Try adding some good, thick compost to the mix and see if that helps. If your soil is draining too slowly, it may be clay-heavy or you are watering too often. If the soil needs to be amended, try mixing in a good loamy potting soil. Poor drainage will lead to a plant’s death so it’s a great idea to fix it sooner than later!

Soil amendments:

When we keep plants in containers for more than one season, it’s a good idea to amend the soil and replace some of the nutrients that the plant is taking out. This is especially important for containers since the soil is trapped and cannot regenerate on its own. Try adding in some organic compost or a well-rounded fertilizer to spruce things up. You can try some other additives to spruce up old soil; try putting fish meal, kelp meal or shredded leaves on top for a nutrient boost. If you re-pot your containers, that is the best time to mix in new soil and soil amendments.

Placement:

The placement of a container plant depends on a few factors including environmental conditions, the needs of the plant and the aesthetics of the landscape. During harsh weather-heat, cold, high winds, etc-  it’s best to place containers up close the side of the house, preferably under some sort of cover. However, when sunlight is at a minimum (and conditions aren’t too harsh), move the containers to a place where they can soak in more light. The best policy is to know the needs of each plant, particularly its hardiness and sun requirements. Other than that, it’s all up to the eye of the beholder.

Types of plants:

Try planting these beauties in containers and enjoy the added splendor and dimension that they bring to your landscape, porch or patio:

Hydrangea (Hydrangea sp.): beautiful, ornamental shrubs known for their large flower heads and lush foliage.

Boxwood (Buxus sp.): an evergreen shrub with attractive, dark-green foliage that is easy to prune and shape into whatever form you wish!

Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum): many smaller varieties thrive in containers, giving cascades of delicate foliage that drape over the sides of a container. To see all the Japanese Maples we offer, please click here.

Dwarf Globe Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’): A handsome dome shaped evergreen shrub with fine green, ringlet-like foliage: a perfect container centerpiece.

Compact Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Compressa’): As the name suggests, this is a compact, rounded shrub with tight dark green foliage. It develops bronze-purple overtones in winter, offering extra visual interest.

Visit our full inventory for more ideas by clicking here! Leave a comment below to tell us your favorite container plants.