Container CPR: Know the Vitals for Container Success
Karen Chapman has been designing beautiful container gardens since 1996 in the Pacific Northwest. As a self-proclaimed “busy” gardener, she offers these survival tips for reviving container plants and keeping them thriving.
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CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONTAINER
The type of container you select will have a big impact on the success of your plants.
Container size is more important than shape. The larger the container, the better. They’re easier to manage and you can water less often.
Use lightweight, synthetic fiberglass or ceramic containers. My material of choice is ceramic containers because they are gorgeous and come in a variety of colors and they perform better. They have thick walls which hold in moisture, they are frost resistant, and they don’t absorb water.
Avoid terra cotta. The biggest problem is that terra cotta is porous and it leaches vital water that is necessary for plant growth. Also, in the winter it freezes and cracks. In the summer, it absorbs and takes away water from the plants.
Avoid metal containers. Because they absorb heat, metal containers can become too warm for proper plant growth and run the risk of scorching your plants. If your heart is set on a metal container, use it in the shade, but even then, it can be too limiting.