Container Gardening Tips For Perfect Potted Plants
Are your potted plants drooping or constantly dying? These container gardening tips will ensure your pot plants will thrive to their maximum potential.
Container gardens are an excellent way to enjoy all the benefits of a garden without many of the drawbacks of maintaining a whole yard. However, some people worry that they may not have green enough thumbs to keep pot plants alive. To obtain the best results from your potted plants simply follow these container gardening tips.
One of the most important criteria for potted plants is the issue of water. Plants in containers will need more watering than most established gardens in the yard.
There are many different factors that will effect the amount and frequency of water that your potted plants will need:
The smaller the pot, the more easily it will dry out and the more frequently it will require watering.
If your plants are in direct sun they will need watering more often.
If you live in a hotter climate your plants will require more frequent watering.
If the plants are in darker colored pots they will dry out faster as the darker colors absorb more heat and warm the potting mix up faster.
The type of pot will also play a factor in watering. Terracotta pots lose moisture out the sides, due to the porosity of the fired clay. These pots require more watering. Plastic planters require less watering as the plastic does not allow for evaporation of the water from the soil.
How often should you water?
Until you get to know the water needs of your various plants, check them daily. If the top half-inch, or 1 cm, of potting mix is dry, the plant needs watering. You may need to water your plants twice a day in summer, depending on where you live. Your plants will generally require less watering in winter.
Too much water is almost as bad as too little. Water that cannot drain away will cause rotting and plant disease quickly. To alleviate this, you need to ensure that your container has drainage holes in the bottom. In addition, your container should be raised a little off the ground to encourage water drainage, and to also allow air to circulate underneath the container. Sitting your pots in drip trays may well save the carpet inside the house, but it is not healthy for the plant. Allow the pot to drain freely and empty those drip trays, if you have to have them, daily.
Potted plants require more fertilizing than those planted in the ground, especially during their flowering and growing stages. The best types of fertilizer for container gardens are slow release pellets and liquids. Dry fertilizers can sometimes burn the roots of potted plants, and therefore need to be used with extra care. There are many commercial varieties of fertilizer available for potted plants. Ensure that you are buying the appropriate type for your particular plants. Read the instructions as some plants require fertilizers to be more diluted than other plants and flowers. You may need to fertilize your container garden every two weeks in their most prolific stages.
Potting mix is a blend of ingredients made for plants in containers. The soil in your yard (if you have one) is just not going to do the same job. Potting mix is one example where you will get what you pay for. Generic blends are cheaper, tend to have less nutrition, often have no wetting crystals added, and will need to be replaced more often. These often tend to be a false economy. By the time you have added everything else you may as well have bought the quality mix.
It is a great idea to purchase potting mix with wetting solutions or crystals incorporated. These crystals absorb water when you are first watering the plant in, and help prevent the plant drying out too quickly.
You should always wear gloves, and try not to breathe in the mix or get it in your eyes, mouth or nose. The reason? The live organisms in the mix are great for the plants but are not so healthy for us.
Most potted plants require some sunlight. Check the plant requirements before you purchase. Be wary of leaving a potted plant in full sun during summer as the pot and soil may just become far too hot. The more sun your container is going to be exposed to, the lighter the container color should be, otherwise your poor plant may become very hot indeed.
Container gardens require water, drainage, nutrition, sunlight, and a good quality potting mix to thrive.
About the Author:
Scott Gray is a garden enthusiast who loves to relax taking care of his garden. For more information about container gardening ideas, teak planters and organic fertilizers be sure to visit his site allgardenplanters.com.