How to Plant a Colorful Container Garden

Learn how to add a few potted plants and flowers to your outdoor space with these guidelines.

Container of Colorful Mix Adds Seasonal Interest

Container of Colorful Mix Adds Seasonal Interest

Colorful flowers planted in one pot injects seasonal interest into a garden, patio or window box.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials Needed

  • container plants and/or flowers
  • water-retaining crystals
  • potting mix
  • gardening pots
  • gravel mulch

Step 1: 

Before you plant the container, add water-retaining crystals to the potting mix.

Add Water Retaining Crystals to Potting Mix

Add Water Retaining Crystals to Potting Mix

Before planting container, add water retaining crystals to the potting mix. These will swell up once moist and provide plants with an extra reservoir of water.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

These swell up once moist, and provide plants with an extra reservoir of water, which helps to ensure plants do not suffer in dry spells.

Step 2: 

Arrange your selected plants in their original pots in the container.

Arrange Nursery Pots in Container Before Planting

Arrange Nursery Pots in Container Before Planting

Arrange selected plants in their original pots in the container to see how they are going to look. This way, adjustments can easily be made. Once satisfied, plant each one.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

This will give you a better idea of how they will look once planted and adjustments can be easily made. When you are satisfied, remove the plants from their pots and plant the container.

Step 3: 

Fill around the plants with potting mix when they are in their final positions.

Fill Around Plants with Potting Mix

Fill Around Plants with Potting Mix

Fill around plants with potting soil once the plants are in their final position. Allow room for easy watering and a gravel mulch.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Leave a 2-inch (5-cm) gap between the top of the soil and the rim of the container to allow for easy watering and a gravel mulch.

Step 4: 

Spread a 3/4-inch-deep gravel mulch over the top of the soil.

Spread Gravel Mulch Over Top of Soil

Spread Gravel Mulch Over Top of Soil

Spread gravel mulch over the top of the soil to help conserve moisture in summer, deter weeds, and prevent soil splash when watering.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

This will help to conserve moisture in summer, deter weeds, and prevent unsightly soil splash when watering. It also makes an attractive finish to the planting.

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