Choosing Plants for Your Container Garden

Edible plants are most often chosen to be grown in container gardens as most people don’t think of flowers or houseplants as being suitable for container gardening. The same basic principles are utilized for container gardens regardless of choosing plants most people don’t generally classify as being container plants.

To most people the term container gardening only refers to growing edible plants, so that’s what we’ll focus on here. The truth is that many different types of herbs, flowers and vegetables can be grown in containers, and even some types of fruit.

The most commonly grown edible plants in containers are herbs. Vegetables come in second place, flowers in third place. Fruit is seldom grown in containers – probably because gardeners tend to think it would be difficult to grow fruits in containers.

One fruit that can grow well in many styles of containers are strawberries. Strawberry plants are sturdy and easy to grow in containers. They can even be grown in specially designed “grow bags” which can be hung on outdoor walls.

You can often grow dwarf fruit trees in large containers. The smaller varieties of dwarf citrus trees can grow nicely in properly sized containers and if kept well-pruned they can be used as inside decorations. Some dwarf berry bushes can be grown in containers, but may be hard to move to different locations due to their weight. Dwarf varieties of raspberries and blueberries have often been grown successfully in containers.

Many herbs grow well in container gardens. Parsley is perhaps the most well known of the herbs for container growing. Other extremely popular herbs for growing in containers are Basil, chives and cilantro.

The truth is, almost all herbs can be successfully grown in containers. The key is matching the size of the container to the herb being grown. For example chives, parsley, and basil can all grow in relatively small containers.

But some plants grow a bit larger and need a pretty big pot. Bushes such as sage and flowering plants such as oregano grow rather large and need larger containers. Tomatoes are probably the most popular fruit (“vegetable”) grown by home gardeners in containers and required larger containers.

The popularity of growing tomatoes in containers is probably due to good tasting tomatoes being very difficult to find in stores. The tomatoes found in most grocery stores are artificially ripened after being picked green so the taste is different from home grown tomatoes that ripen naturally.

Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and small salad tomatoes are a few of the varieties of tomatoes that grow well in containers. Cucumbers, carrots, salad greens such as lettuce, many types of beans and peas, radishes, scallions, squashes, all types of peppers, and even corn and potatoes can all be grown in container gardens.

You can grow most vegetables in containers when you use the proper procedures. You can even plant seeds in the container to start your plants if you wish. If you choose to grow from seeds, then you must be careful that you do not damage the delicate seedlings during the thinning process.

You should probably grow most of your plants from seedlings that you purchase locally, but you can also start your own seedlings indoors in smaller pots, and then transplant them into larger pots later.

So it is easier to buy your bedding plants from a nursery and transplant them to their containers as small plants. While It’s easier to start plants from seedlings you may find you receive a lot of satisfaction in starting your own plants from the seeds.

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