The Q&A Archives: Container Garden

Question: Could you please recommend some good plants for a container garden indoors? And then plants for outdoors in zones 5-6? Preferably ones that might bloom?

Answer: Let's see if I have this right: you're seeking container plants that will grow and blossom indoors this winter, and another set of container plants that will thrive outdoors next spring and summer? We can do that! The plants need to fit your indoor environment (light exposure and duration, humidity, etc.). If you'll depend on natural light from windows, you can grow geraniums, coleus, lantana, miniature roses, and many herbs in a sunny southern window. Uncurtained west- or east-facing windows will support blooms of begonias, caladium, fuchsia, ginger, gloxinia, impatiens, kalanchoe, and flowering maple. Group them in containers based on their moisture needs (well-drained, soil and frequent watering; well-drained soil and less-frequent watering; etc.).

For outdoors, the choices are almost endless if your containers are situated in sun -- any annual flowers are fair game. Choose varieties that are listed for container growing, since they tend to have a more compact habit, but also choose different shapes and growth habits -- trailing plants to cascade over edges (lobelia, vinca, nastutiums), and tall plants to add a good vertical element (cleome, liatris).

Perennials are a little harder, because you need to insulate the container against the cold, or the roots can easily be damaged by the cold. If you'd like info on wintering container perennials, or anything else, please post another question, and we'll help you out. Have fun planning and growing!

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