Potted plants add color, texture, beauty and versatility to your indoor and outdoor spaces. Here's everything you need to know about container gardening.

Bog Garden in a Pot

Learn how to grow a unique container garden full of plants that prefer damp soil.

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Bog ContainerEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

If you have no space for a bog garden but would like to grow some of the plants that prefer damp soil, create a container display. Simply plant up a large, nonporous pot — made from glazed earthenware, synthetics or galvanized steel — with your favorite plants to perk up a shady patio or poolside.

When to Start: Late spring
At Its Best: Early to late summer
Time to Complete: 2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • large, nonporous container
  • plastic sack
  • gravel
  • soil-based potting mix
  • well-rotted organic matter
  • Astilbe 'Fanal'
  • Carex 'Silver Sceptre'
  • Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon'

Line the Container

Select a large nonporous container and make sure it has a drainage hole; drill one if it doesn't. Line the container with a thick plastic sack, such as an old compost bag. With a fork, pierce a few small holes around the sides of the sack, about 2 in. (5 cm) from the bottom.

Lined Container With Drainage Hole for PlantingEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prepare to Plant

Fill the base with 3 in. of gravel, which will prevent soil from clogging the drainage holes around the sides and create a water reservoir at the bottom of the pot. Then add a layer of soil-based potting mix with some well-rotted organic matter.

Gravel-Lined PotsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add the Plants

With the plants still in their pots, check that they will sit at least 2 in. below the rim of the pot when planted. Then water the plants, and remove them from their pots. Place them on the layer of potting mix, and fill in around them carefully with more of the mixed soil and organic matter.

Transplanting into ContainersEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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