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by Carole SchwalmPicture of small cacti growing in containers. Picture of bougainvillea plant The image at left is a south window. The bougainvillea (the pink flowers) starts blooming in November and flowers until late March, and sometimes into early April. We brought the nasturtiums into the house pre-frost in early October and they are still blooming. Since the picture was taken the nasturtium has vined up the wall and throughout the bougainvillea.

A handsome plant deserves a handsome planter
Your container can be artistic, but it also has to be durable and able to deal with weather and watering. With the latter, drainage is important. A saucer under your container prevents stain. Put pebbles in the bottom. Add water to the pebbles to increase humidity.

Your container should fit the plant. How tall will your plant grow? The bougainvillea above came into the house approximately 2” tall. It now spans 5’ across and is almost 5’ tall, from the dirt base. It didn’t start out in a large container, but graduated to one. Size-wise, this large of a plant needs a big planter and occupies a terra cotta urn.

Picture of several container pots stacked outside. One tall plant, for example a kumquat provides height. Surrounded by daisies and by a plant that overflows the container by vining down is stunning. (Many like “crowded” living – it’s a group thing). One plant in the pot is the focal-point.

Never let the soil dry get completely dry, and when watering, water thoroughly.

Now is the perfect time to order containers, so you have them on hand when it is time to start gardening outside.

*Gardening in Containers – a Sunset Book 1971

Share your container planter gardening experience or if you'd like more information.