How to Plant in Gardening Containers

To ensure that plants in gardening containers grow and perform as well as possible, you need to plant them properly.

Step 1: Water Prior to Planting

Planting Prep

Planting Prep

When replanting to a container, water the plant thoroughly about an hour before planting, then position it, still in its original pot, inside the new container.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Water the plant thoroughly about an hour before planting, then position it—still in its original pot— inside the new container.

Step 2: Add Potting Mix

Potting Mix

Potting Mix

When planting containers, add potting mix to raise the plant to one inch below the rim; this allows space for watering. Also add potting mix around the sides.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add potting mix to raise the plant to 1 in (2.5 cm) below the rim; this allows space for watering. Also add potting mix around the sides.

Step 3: Firm Mix

Firm Potting Mix

Firm Potting Mix

When planting containers, firm the potting mix well around the pot. Lift out the plant in its pot, leaving a hole in the potting mix. Remove the plant from its original pot.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Firm the potting mix well around the pot. Lift out the plant in its pot, leaving a hole in the potting mix. Remove the plant from its original pot.

Step 4: Tease Root Ball

Tease Root Ball

Tease Root Ball

When replanting to a container, tease out the roots around the root ball. Place the plant back into the hole in the potting mix and firm in.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

If there is a tight mass of roots around the root ball, tease them out gently. Place the plant back into the hole in the potting mix, and firm in.

Step 5: Give it a Good Watering

A Good Watering

A Good Watering

When planting containers, check that the plant is at the same depth as it was in its old pot. Cover with potting mix and water well.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Check that the plant is at the same depth as it was in its old pot. Then cover the top with a little more potting mix, and water well.

Step 6: Add Mulch

Ornamental Mulch

Ornamental Mulch

When planting in containers, finish off with a layer of ornamental mulch such as gravel to retain soil moisture.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Finish off with a layer of ornamental mulch. This helps to retain soil moisture and suppresses weeds, as well as anchoring the pot.

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