A Guide to Container Gardening

Container gardening is a great way to bring plants into your life. Whether you live in an apartment or simply want more green in your life, knowing how to grow plants in containers is a must.

Pick out a container that fits your plant’s needs. Small plants work well in small containers and large plants in large containers. Ensure that there are a few holes at the bottom of the container for proper drainage. You can re-purpose old containers or run out to your local garden or hardware store to choose your favorite look. Trees can even be grown in old wine barrels. Remember that the size of your plant will determine what size container you need.

While the soil you choose will also depend on your plant, there are some generalities we can go off of. Growing in containers is like growing in a mini-ecosystem in itself. Choose soil that is very well drained as containers can often hold too much water. Adding perlite or sand to your soil mix will allow for proper drainage of your container. It is often recommended to add an inch of sand or rocks to the bottom of your container to make sure that water isn’t sitting at the bottom.

The soil will also need nutrients to feed the plants. Vermiculite is great for adding nutrients to container gardens. You can also mix in compost or use natural fertilizers.

fundraising pot

Once you have your container and filled it with properly mixed soil, you are ready to put your plants in! Follow our guide for transplanting if you need some tips.

Watering your plants evenly can prove to be difficult in containers. When you water, make sure that the entire soil profile is wet. Then allow the soil to naturally drain out and be used by the plant.

A little trick you can use is to put your finger into the outer edge of your pot. Feel the soil up to the point of your second knuckle, if you can feel any moisture at all, hold off on watering. You don’t want your roots to become water logged.

Pick a bright windowsill or an area that gets at least six hours of full sunlight to place your container. The biggest trick to container gardening is finding the right location. Some plants will like as much light as possible, while others will want to sit far away from natural sunlight.


It will take some time to find each one of your plant’s best growing spot. But this is half the fun! Moving around your plants will not only benefit your plants, but also add new life, color, and decoration to your living area.

Container gardening brings so much happiness, life and enjoyment to any location. Use it to mix up things in your house, as inspiration in an office, and/or as living art in any location.

Just because you don’t have a plot to grow in doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the magic of growing plants. Have you tried growing plants in containers? What is your favorite type of plant to grow in containers?


Photos: Unsplash, Jake Frazier


PrintBy Jake Frazier

Jake Frazier is an outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Residential Ecology, a sustainable ecological resource management company. He uses existing natural systems to improve the quality of life for both humans and the Earth. Jake is interested in permaculture, living systems and exploring. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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