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If you want to turn your so-so yard into a so-terrific garden retreat, nothing could be easier or more effective than introducing container plants. Beyond a simple potted plant or two, you can create masterpieces with a few simple design tips and plant suggestions. And if your idea of digging a hole to plant something is using a garden trowel in a container, you’re already on the right track!
Practically anything will work. Elaborate or simple, small or large, lightweight or stone…the choices are limited only by your imagination and preferences.
Here are some ideas to get your creative thoughts going:
You can plant practically anything in a container! Just give careful thought to the mature size of the plant and its root structure to make sure the contained environment is suited to specific plant needs.
Annuals. These are typically “container plants of choice” for most gardeners. Annuals are easy to pop in a container; they give a lot of “flash” during a single growing season and you can have a different look each year for your container by planting different annuals.
Perennials. Some perennial plants actually do better in containers than in the ground, particularly if your garden soil doesn’t drain well; for example, heavy clay. Hostas and Heucheras are easily grown in containers, which also makes it easier for these shade-garden plants to be placed under trees instead of digging and damaging tree roots to plant them in the ground.
Bulbs and Tubers. A bowl full of colorful Caladiums is so quick and easy to plant! And because this tropical plant cannot live outside during winter, except in frost-free climates, it’s a snap to bring them indoors when cold weather threatens.
Shrubs. Most shrubs are suitable container plants. And if you choose a flowering shrub, such as Red Sensation Hydrangea, you’ll enjoy spectacular flowers, too! Because container plants are not insulated by the ground, choose a shrub that is hardy to one zone warmer than yours. For example, if the USDA hardiness zone where you live extends to zone 7 at the coldest end, choose a shrub that’s hardy to zone 8 to grow in a container.
Ornamental Grasses. As a standalone container plant, ornamental grasses are pretty. But as an accent in a mixed container planting, ornamental grasses are even prettier. They add texture, color and height to surrounding flowers. Consider using Fireworks Red Fountain Grass as a colorful addition to a container of flowering annuals.