Choosing Materials for Your Garden Containers

Containers come in a wide range of materials, from metal to ceramic to wood, but the right choice depends on three key factors: the design of your garden or patio, where the containers are to be positioned and the size of your budget.

Font
  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends

x

All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.

Refresh

Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail

Success!

A link to %this page% was e-mailed

Metal

Advantages: Shiny metal containers have great appeal, particularly in modern, minimalist settings. Use with shapely, sculptural plants, such as bamboos, grasses and large-leaved exotics.

Disadvantages: Metal heats up quickly on scorching midsummer days. To avoid plant roots becoming frazzled in hot, quick drying potting mix, line the insides of containers with bubble plastic or plastic sheeting. This will also act as a quilt in winter, protecting the roots from freezing temperatures.

Tip: Plant metal containers with spreading, shapely leaves for a sculptural touch.

Plants in Steel ContainerEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Synthetic

Advantages: A wide range of synthetic containers (usually plastic) are now available in many different colors and shapes. Inexpensive and fun in the right setting, they’re also lightweight (for those with badbacks), and are ideal for roof gardens and balconies where you need to minimize the load.

Disadvantages: Not suitable for tall or top heavy plants, which may blow over in strong winds. Avoid using them in sober, traditional settings, where they can look cheap and tacky.

Tip: Set off flashy containers with equally strong planting.

Wide Variety of Synthetic ContainersEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited
12Next »

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

We Recommend...

Choosing Containers for Your Garden

Choosing Containers for Your Garden

Before buying containers, work out what sizes you'll need, how they'll look, what plants you want to grow and how much time you...

Caring for Your Garden Containers

Caring for Your Garden Containers

All containers need thorough washing every so often to make sure they are clean and pest-free—but wood, metal and stone...

A Colorful Container Garden for Mild Climates

A Colorful Container Garden for Mild Climates

A basket garden full of colorful foliage and flowers will create a welcome focal point for the patio during chilly weather.

Advertisement

HGTV Outdoors Newsletter

Find out how to make the most of patios, decks and all your outdoor areas, plus tips from master gardeners for beautiful flower beds and bountiful vegetable gardens.