Landscaping Tip: Container Gardening

Add color and interest to your outdoor living space using containers and pots. 

An easy way to dress up your patio or deck is by utilizing containers and pots in these areas. Putting a container garden together requires very little effort and can make a fun weekend project. Follow these steps to make your container gardening adventures a success.

Select a Container

Select a pot that will fit your desired location and accommodate the plants you wish to use. It is also important to make sure the pot has a drainage hole as plants should not be in standing water. Some larger pots may require a layer of rock in the bottom to help with drainage as well.


Good potting soil is the key ingredient in any container garden. Some gardeners prefer to make their own mix using any combination of peat, perlite, sand, topsoil and fine mulch. If making soil isn’t for you, bagged potting soil is readily available and of comparable quality.  Choose a potting soil that includes slow release fertilizer incorporated into the mix.


Try to use a mix of annuals, perennials and tropical plants in your containers. Flowering annuals are great to use as they add long lasting color throughout the summer. Plants with attractive foliage color and texture will also create visual interest to your space. A plant that grows and drapes over the pot is also an attractive feature with a vertical planting.

Watering & Care

Water requirements for pots will vary based on pot material, size and location. The best way to check if plants need watering is to press your finger into the soil. If the soil feels dry ,then plants will need watering. Some pots during hot summer months or in direct sunlight could need watering once or twice daily.

It is also a good practice to keep plants maintained by removing dead flowers and leaves. Weeds should also be pulled as soon as they become visible.

If you would like additional information or have questions, please contact me. 

Brian Jones is the President of Scenic Green Inc., an Indianapolis based landscaping firm. He is a certified horticulturist and a former 7th grade social studies teacher.


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