5 Tips and 5 Recipes For Enviable Flowering Containers

Ilona Erwin

If you are looking for a container garden recipe or two (or three or more!) I have a number of pages dedicated to meeting your desire. I include five on this page, along with the tips you can follow for blooming success.

Follow These 5 Easy Container Gardening Tips

To get the most beauty from your patio plants…

  1. Use sphagnum moss to retain moisture.
  2. Planting in sun? Don’t use dark colored containers which soak up more heat. Use the largest containers to give your plants the best root growing environment. Larger containers look more impressive, too.
  3. How you water is an extremely important part of container gardening. Use a good potting soil, water often.
  4. Choose plant companions with similar water, soil, and light needs
  5. Add worm castings to your container soil and fertilize every two weeks
sunny combo

sunny combo

My greatest problem each year has always been the periodical drying out of the containers. When allowed to go too far, the plants are stressed to the point that the display really suffers. Even deep watering after that point doesn’t help. So the way I’ve found to deal with that, that works best for me, is to use a moisture holding amendment in the soil to begin with.

You can buy that amendment as a moisture retaining gel, or you can buy a potting soil that has moisture retentive properties. I’ve been using Moisture Control potting soil.

I have also run into the opposite problem, pots that drown the plants. This is always from forgetting to remove the plug at the bottom of the pot. If your plants are out in the weather and subject to heavy rains… be sure there is sufficient drainage hole to allow the soil to drain.

What is a “good potting soil”?

Most bags of soil sold for purposes of container gardening are good, but if you like to make your own, a contributor on Dave’s Garden Forums, offers this recipe:

Tapla’s 5-1-1 Mix

5 parts pine bark fines
1 part sphagnum peat
1-2 parts perlite
garden lime
controlled release fertilizer (not necessary)
a micro-nutrient source (seaweed emulsion, EarthJuice SeaBlast, Micro-max, STEM)

See More…
Container ideas
Plant Great Containers

More Flower Container Tips

Almost anything can be a container for plants, but look for a wide enough opening to give your plants some room to spread.
Try several containers together- but stagger heights and keep color/style of containers similar. For added height place a container on a cinder block disguised by the front pots.

Container Garden Recipe List

Five Beautiful Recipe Combinations For Your Flowering Pots

Container Garden Recipe #4

Classic color combination: Red White and Green

  1. Purple Sun:1 Lavender plant, 1 Purple Heliotrope,2 purple petunias, lavender and purple verbenas, 1 licorice plant-Helichrysum petiolare ‘Limelight’, Miscanthus sinensis “Super Stripe” or other striped grass.
  2. Grandma’s Quilt::2 ‘Lemon Symphony’ Osteospermum, deep lavender violas, 3 ‘Yellow Madness’ petunias,1 ‘Dreamsicle’ Calibrachoa, 1 ‘Victoria’ blue salvia
  3. Shady Strange Brew:2 Strawberry begonia –Saxifraga sarmentosa, 1 Light Coral New Guinea Impatiens, 2 variegated ivy, 1 Caladium x hortulanum ‘Rosebud’.
  4. Red, White, and Green Fireworks:1 Red dahlia, 2 variegated ivy, 1 fiber-optic grass plant- Isolepis cernua,1 Phormium tenax ‘Variegatum’
  5. Sweet Summer Days:  1 Purple Heliotrope, pink snapdragons, 2 Dusty Milller (Senecio cineraria), pink Bacopa, 3 ‘Angelface’ Angelonia angustifolia.

Container Garden Recipe Bonus Combos

– just because I like you!

  • Tibouchina grandifolia, pink flowered portulaca, Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’, dichondra argentea.
  • Snake plant, golden marguerites, Ipomoea batatas ‘Margarita’, and Melampodium divaricatum

More Container Planting Success.
Container ideas
Recipes for Success- tips for making your own combinations gives you some tried and true ways to make container gardening easy and beautiful.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.