8 Biggest Container Fails

Discover the common pitfalls gardeners make when planting container gardens.

Photo By: Image courtesy of ProvenWinners.com

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo by Julie Martens Forney


Photo By: Photo by Julie Martens Forney


Balanced and Beautiful

A classic urn container dazzles with a planting that shows balanced design, contrasting texture and eye-pleasing color combinations. But not every container garden turns out this glorious. Learn about the typical mistakes gardeners make when designing container gardens—so you can avoid creating the same problems in your own plantings.

Opposites Don’t Attract

When choosing plants for your container gardens, make sure they demand the same growing conditions in terms of light and moisture. This container has sun-loving canna lilies paired with shade-craving impatiens. That’s a combination that won’t shine as the growing season unfolds.

Too-Small Pot

New dwarf shrub varieties can grow in containers, provided the pot has a large space for roots. In this container combination, a dwarf dark leaf weigela and a chartreuse sweet potato vine will assuredly overtake and likely kill the Mexican heather and geranium. This container garden would have been better off planted in two pots.

Keep Plants in Scale With Your Pot

When choosing plants for a pot, the mature height of the tallest plant in the combination should equal roughly 1.5 times the height of the container. These calla lilies are just a smidge too tall for this large pot.

Overplanted Container

This tub planter has plenty of root room for the ‘Tiny Wine’ ninebark shrub, but only two of the remaining plants are needed. By season’s end, the shrub will overrun most of this container, shading other plants and taking all the moisture out of soil.