The Benefits of container gardening is the ability to soften paved areas and create focal points, both with the colour of the pots or containers and the plant itself. They can be moved easily and provide interest at varying heights e.g. hanging baskets.
Any plant can grow in pots and containers and because there is the restrain of growth, it leaves a tidy plant that hasn’t grown too big in the ground.
How to Care
It is important that when planting in pots or containers, that you do not use garden soil. We recommend the following:
Outdoor containers: use Debco Pot Power.
Indoor pots: use Thrive Potting Mix.
Specialist mixes for certain plants: African Violet Mix, Cacti and Succulent Mix, Bulb Mix and Orchid Mix.
Feeding and Watering
Container grown plants have a restricted root system and a limited supply of nutrients in the mix. Feed small amounts of food regularly to keep plants growing strongly and apply fertiliser to moist soil mix.
There are many fertiliser options for container gardening.
Slow or controlled release fertilisers are easy and safe to use. They will not burn the plant roots. These need to be applied 2-3 times a year.
Liquid/Soluble powder fertilisers are mixed with water before applying and need to be applied to damp soil. They are fast acting and need to be applied more often than slow release fertilisers. They require application every 10-14 days during growing season.
Slow or Controlled release fertiliser: Osmocote Pots, Planters and Indoors
Liquid/Soluble fertilisers: Nitrosol, Thrive, Phostrogen and Baby Bio.
The size of the container and the size of the plant will affect the amount of water available to the plant. On hot summer days, daily watering is necessary. Small pots and hanging baskets may need water twice daily.
With a watering wand or soft spray nozzle, water thoroughly by filling the gap between the top of the potting mix and the top of the pot and allow to soak through the pot and drain out the bottom.
If the mix dries out it can be difficult to water as it tends to run off. Add Saturaid wetting agent to mixes when planting to avoid this.
To help water storage, add Yates Waterwise water storage crystals to mix when potting up. The crystals hold and store water which becomes available to the plant when potting mix dries out. This does not replace the need for watering the plant.
Pests and Diseases
Container plants can be susceptible to the same pests and diseases in the garden. Key ones to watch for are snails, caterpillars, scale, mealy bugs, mites, aphids, mildew, black spot and blights.
The best products recommended to combat pests and diseases are:
- Insects – Confidor and Mavrik.
- Mites – Mavrik
- Blackspot - Supershield
- Blight - Champ DP Copper