Easy Container Growing: Big Ideas for Small Spaces

plants and flowers in containers

Nothing says spring like a wild abundance of bright green leaves and flowers. This magical season brings a delicious awakening to the earth plants practically burst into blossom all around us.

If you find yourself wishing you could create some of that spring magic but lack the space, you’re not alone. In this case, container growing is the way to go. The best part? You only need a sunny spot as small as your pot (even an outdoor wall will do!) and the possibilities are almost endless.

First Things First – Choose a Container

The vast majority of flowers will happily grow in containers. Whether it’s a window box, a fancy decorative ceramic planter or basically anything you can find that has some depth, you can plant in it. But before you start to fill your cart with all of the spring color you can handle, there are just a few things you need to consider.

Lighting is Everything

When it comes to your flowers, the level of light can mean a thriving abundance of beautiful blooms, or a sad pot that isn’t doing well. If you’ve experienced a set-back or two – and let’s face it, every gardener does – don’t let it stop you from trying again! Oftentimes it’s simply a matter of adjusting the placement of your pot so it’s catching the right amount of sun.

How Do I Know the Perfect Amount of Sun?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just ask the plant? Well, in a way, we can. When you’re making your selections, you’ll see that each plant has an indication on what it requires in terms of light.

They are:

Full Sun: 6+ hours per day

Full Shade: Less than 1.5 hours per day

Partial Sun: 4 – 6 hours per day

Partial Shade: 1.5 – 4 hours per day

Get Creative

The absolute best part is choosing your flowers. This is where your own personal taste and creativity get to shine. Remember: there are no rules! Go with the ones that capture your attention first. Or you might find that if you’re in a certain mood, you’ll choices will suit it. Check their sun requirements, match it up with your spot and you’re ready to go.

Need a Little Inspiration?

coleus and phlox in container

Coleus and Phlox: A Perfect Mix

The Main Street Ruby Road Coleus adds lovely texture, softness and  bright flash of red/burgundy color to the mix while the pretty Delilah Phlox brings a visual sweetness.

geranium in containerFlickr Sheallaine Godbold

Geraniums: More is More

Sometimes simple is best. If you find a flower that you love, and works in your space, try filling a window box or other container in what is called a ‘mass planting’. Here these Rocky Mountain Dark Red Geraniums are enjoying the spotlight, bringing a bright spark of red set against dark green and a ruffly texture.

calibrachoa petunia in window box

Flickr betsy sammarco

Calibrachoa for Color

 Calibrachoa are an absolute favorite for containers, and for good reason. Here is the Superbells Apricot Punch Calibrachoa exploding with blossoms, set against the pink, the contrast is amazing.

Flickr Jamie

Marigolds: Sweet Simplicity

Sometimes the littlest things bring the most happiness. Here we see how an abundance of Inca II Yellow African Marigolds provides elegant simplicity.

Flickr Martha W Mcquade

Crazy for Coleus

Another great angle is to find a plant you like and try mixing different varieties for a wild visual effect. Like this stunning box, carrying no less than seven different types of coleus. For those times when you truly can’t decide.

So this spring, don’t let a lack of space prevent you from taking part in the planting extravaganza. Choose your favorite plants, grab a container and some potting soil and see what beauty you can create.


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  • Reply
    May 2, 2018 at 9:47 am

    LOVE the Calibrachoa! That peachy color! And the Coleus variety! Nice ideas here!

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