Spring into Container Gardening

Spring Planter Design Spring is just around the corner—time to put all your winter planning to work in your next container garden. While it is still a little early to plant in most regions, there’s lots of preparation to be done to ensure your container gardening success this year!

Let’s start the year with a quick refresher on the basics of container gardening. Whether you are planning for one container or planter, a grouping of planters or perhaps an area filled with a grouping of planters—the fundamentals are the same.

Container Gardening is all about location, location, location

  • Where is the planter or grouping going to be located?
  • What are the growing conditions of that location? Sunny? Shady?
  • How much time do I have to spend caring for my planter(s)?

Don’t put a single plant on your nursery list until you have narrowed your choices to only plants that will be able to thrive in the location you have chosen.

How about the planters

Once you know which plants are suitable for your growing conditions, it’s time to assess your containers and planters.

  • How many planters do you want to have? How many do you need to create an effective display in the chosen location?
  • What size(s) are your planters?

If you didn’t do your clean up work before winter, now is the time to make sure all of your planters are cleaned and ready for the new container gardening season. If you already have some perennials in planters, be sure to check them for signs of insects and diseases and discard any unhealthy plants. Refresh the potting soil in these planters as well.

Choose your plants

Now you can figure out how many plants you need to purchase and if you need to add any planters to complete your vision. You’ve figured out the numbers, now the fun part…which plants to buy. Here’s where we need a reminder on the most effective planting strategy for containers

For planters with multiple different plants:

  • Planters against a wall where you only see front and sides need a tall back to short front planting.
  • Freestanding planters that you will see all around, need a tall center to short around the perimeter planting.

For mass planting of a single plant:

  • The proportions of the plant’s final size and the planters become very important. For example, be sure you aren’t planting short flowers or foliage plants in a tall, deep container or very tall plants in short container that can’t hold enough soil for the roots.

Of course you will consider color both your personal favorites, the location of the planters and the color of the planters themselves to decide on a color grouping that is appealing to you. For a little guidance, check our article, ‘Color in your Garden Planters‘ for help with planning your container garden color scheme.

Now you can produce a simple diagram to take with you to the nursery. It is so easy to become overwhelmed when you are standing in the middle of a nursery full of beautiful plants trying to remember what you need to purchase. You will certainly allow for purchases that aren’t on your list that really catch your eye—that is, after all, what makes gardening so enjoyable!

If you want more in-depth information, be sure to check the Container Gardening Tips section for lots of great tips on growing a successful container garden.

If you’re just getting started with container gardening watch this helpful video ‘Container Gardening for Beginners‘ from the Greenland Garden Centre.


Sunsational planter design by Proven Winners. Visit your local nursery for Proven Winners plants including new introductions for 2012. View more garden planter ideas from Proven Winners. Find a Proven Winners retailer near you.