The Q&A Archives: Plants for Containers

Question: What kind of things grow well in big pots that get lots of sun all day long. Topiaries do not fair well at my house

Answer: Almost any plant will adapt to growing in a container. I think the problem you've experienced has more to do with hot sun being absorbed by the container and cooking the roots. When you are growing plants in pots or planters, that those plants are much more dependent on you to provide their necessities in life. They are in a limited amount of soil, with their roots restricted, and exposed to the elements far more than if they were field grown. It is important for the plant's health that pay close attention to watering and feeding requirements of the plant. Plants in containers will dry out much sooner and need watering more often. To determine when the plant needs watering, stick your finger down into the soil and if is dry water the plant thoroughly. Because frequent watering will wash the plant food out of the soil, and the plant will utilize the limited soil nutrients they will be depleted much more rapidly, so a regular feeding program should be established according to the type of plant. During the growing season, either a slow release type plant food should be used or a soluble complete fertilizer should be used every two weeks. Always follow the manufacturers recommendations.

Shrubs of all kinds will grow in containers, as will annuals and perennials. Choose your favorites and be sure to pay attention to their watering needs. Best wishes with your new plants!

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