We love Spring Container Gardens, how about you?
Typically Available April through July.
Pots, tubs, and half barrels overflowing with flowers add appeal to any garden, but container gardening can serve a practical purpose too. Container gardening is ideal for those with little or no garden space, but can help enhance front porches, back decks, pathways, and more within your outdoor space.
InColor grows a large assortment of spring container gardens. Sizes and designs vary by availability and retailer, so we recommend checking your local InColor retail partner for our great selections! It's first come, first served!
Want to create your own amazing container gardens?
Container gardening adds versatility. Plants lend instant color, provide a focal point in the garden, or tie in the architecture of the house to the garden. Place them on the ground or on a pedestal, mount them on a windowsill, or hang them from your porch.
A pair of matching containers on either side of the front walk serves as a welcoming decoration, while container gardening on a deck or patio can add color and ambiance to such outdoor sitting areas.
Consider arranging groups of pots, both small and large, on stairways, terraces, or anywhere in the garden. Clusters of pots can contain a collection of favorite plants — hen-and-chicks or herbs used both for ornament and for cooking, for example — or they may feature annuals, dwarf evergreens, perennials, or any other plants you’d like.
Container gardens with a single species can be gorgeous. And container gardens planted with a mix of plants are fun to create and offer almost unlimited combinations.
An easy guide for choosing plants is to include “a thriller, a spiller, and a filler.” That translates to at least one focal-point plant (the thriller), such as coleus or a geranium with multicolored leaves, for example, combined with several plants that spill over the edge of the pots — such as petunias, bacopa, creeping zinnias, or ornamental sweet potatoes.
Finally, add the fillers, which are plants with smaller leaves and flowers that add color and fill in the arrangement all season long. Good fillers include salvias, verbenas, ornamental peppers, and wax begonias, as well as foliage plants like parsley or licorice plants.
It’s easier to grow plants in large containers because they hold more soil, which stays moist longer and resists rapid temperature changes.
Consider the size and shape of a plant’s root system; whether it is a perennial, annual, or shrub; and how rapidly it grows. Rootbound plants, which have filled up every square inch of the soil available, dry out rapidly and won’t grow well.
Light-colored containers keep the soil cooler. The maximum size of a container is limited by how much room you have, what will support it, and whether or not you plan to move it.
If your container garden is located on a balcony or deck, be sure to check how much weight the structure will safely hold.
Whatever container you choose, drainage holes are essential. The holes do not need to be large, but there must be enough that excess water can drain out.
If a container has no holes, try drilling some yourself. A container without holes is best used as a cachepot, or cover, to hide a plain pot.
Cachepots (with holes and without them) are useful for managing large plants and heavy pots: Grow your plant in an ordinary nursery pot that fits inside a decorative cachepot so you can move them separately.
Self-watering, double-walled containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes are available. These are a useful option for dealing with smaller plants that need frequent watering.
Clay or terracotta containers are attractive but breakable and easily damaged by freezing.
Concrete is long-lasting and can be left outside in all weather. They are very heavy and not suitable for some areas. Try hypertufa for a lighter pot, but with a concrete appearance.
Plastic and fiberglass containers are lightweight and available in many options. Avoid thin and stiff ones. Containers made of polyurethane foam weigh up to 90% less than terracotta or concrete containers.
Wood is natural and protects roots from rapid temperature swings. Choose a rot-resistant wood such as cedar or locust. (Don’t use creosote, which is toxic to plants.) Metals are strong, but they conduct heat, exposing roots to rapid temperature changes.
Since container gardens are heavy once they’re filled with soil, decide where they will be located and move them into position before filling and planting.
If keeping them watered during the day is a problem, look for sites that receive morning sun but get shaded during the hottest part of the day.
While your containers must have drainage holes, it’s not necessary to cover the holes with pot shards or gravel before you add potting mix. The covering won’t improve drainage, and pot shards may actually block the holes. Instead, place a layer of paper towel or newspaper over the holes before adding mix.
If your container is too deep, you can put a layer of gravel in the bottom to reduce the amount soil. Plain garden soil is too dense for container gardening. For containers up to 1 gallon in size, use a houseplant soil mixture. For larger containers, use a relatively coarse soil-less planting mixture to maintain the needed water and air balance.
Pre-moisten soil either by watering it or by flooding the containers with water several times and stirring. Be sure the soil is uniformly moist before planting.
If you are planting a mixed container, ignore spacing requirements and plant densely; you will need to prune plants once they fill in. For trees and shrubs, trim off any circling roots and cover the root ball to the same level as it was set at the nursery.
Firm the planter mixture gently and settle by watering thoroughly. Don’t fill pots level to the top with soil mixture — leave space for watering.
Almost any vegetable, flower, herb, shrub, or small tree can grow successfully in a container garden. If you are growing fragrant plants, such as heliotrope, place containers in a site protected from breezes, which will disperse the perfume.
Use your imagination and combine upright and trailing plants, edibles, and flowers for pleasing and colorful effects. Container gardening can be enjoyed for one season and discarded, or designed to last for years. When designing permanent containers, remember that the plants will be less hardy than usual because their roots are more exposed to fluctuating air temperature.