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container gardening 101: plant pairings

  • by Your Friends at Veradek
Container Gardening 101

container gardening 101:
plant pairings

How does one go about picking plants for their container garden? It depends on what you're going for! Some people opt for vegetables and fruits to add some fresh ingredients to their daily cuisine, and some people pick florals to create stunning arrangements around their living spaces. But no matter your style or needs, here are a few tips to help you decide which plants to add to your newly transformed space!

What can you plant in a container?
Nearly any vegetable, flower, herb, shrub, or small tree can grow successfully in a container with the right care. You'll want to be sure to choose plants that pair well with the climate they'll be residing in. Even if they're not meant to last year-round, your garden will look the best when the plants within it are receiving adequate water, light, and heat. Each type of plant will have different needs and requirements, and it's important that you know the difference before you plant them.

Vegetables & Herbs
Vegetables are often very happy growing in their own containers, as many require a lot of space. For grouped container gardening, dwarf or miniature forms of larger vegetables like tomatoes, pumpkins, or squash prove to do well. Keep in mind that most vegetables are annuals, meaning they will need to be planted every year. Many herbs, on the other hand, are perennials, meaning that there's a good chance they'll grow back year after year! Herbs are also an easy way to start container gardening as they don't require much space and typically grow very quickly.

As mentioned above, annuals are planted at the beginning of the year and last one to two seasons when they'll germinate, blossom, then die. Plants like geraniums, marigolds, wax begonias, coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), scarlet sage (Salvia splendens), and flowering tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) are all great choices choices, but you will find many more and different options at your local garden center. The great thing about annuals is that if you don't like how a certain plant looks in your grouping, you can either simply cut it out or wait til next year when you plan your next garden container arrangement.

Perennials & Shrubs
Mentioned above, perennials are any plant that comes back year after year. Of course, they can sometimes completely die and not pop up again, but the idea is that they're planted once and renew with each passing year. Hostas and daylilies are great container gardening plants, but many other perennials work as well. Other examples of perennials are ferns, European wild ginger (Asarum europaeum), sedges (Carex spp.), lavender, lamiums (Lamium maculatum), sedums, and lungworts (Pulmonaria spp.). Ornamental grasses are great in container gardening, too, along with dwarf conifers and small shrubs.

Evergreens are plants that maintain green foliage year round. These plants make for a timeless look, and are often hardier than annuals or perennials. Examples of evergreens you might like to incorporate are pines, junipers, boxwoods, azaleas, or peace lilies.


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