Gardening Containers:
Choosing a Container for your
Container Garden

Gardening containers come in such as infinite variety that it should be an easy task to pick one out, right? Actually, when you choose a container for your container garden there are many factors to consider. Successful container gardening begins when you choose your pot or planter. Although personal preference and cost are generally what determines our choice of a particular container, there are many qualities to consider when choosing your pot.


The assortment of sizes, shapes, materials, types, and costs of a gardening container can be overwhelming when you’re trying to choose a container for your flowers and plants. Your first task is to decide what type of container you need (pot, hanging basket, over sized planter?), where you want to put it (sunlight or shade?), and how much space is available (one large pot or several small ones?)  Once you've got an idea of the purpose you're trying to fill with your container garden,  it will help you to figure out what kind of container or containers you'll need.

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Terra-cotta pots and planters are by far the most popular containers available, as they are available in a multitude of sizes, shapes, and prices. Because of their popularity, they are often made in other materials that mimic their look but add other functional qualities to the containers.

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But gardening containers can be found made in a variety of materials that will reflect the look and feel of any style or type of container garden you want, from rustic....

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to whimsical!

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Many materials containers are made of, such as this metal urn, you may not be familiar with...

while others, made of plastic, fiberglass, or resin, you may have used before.

Containers are available in all the colors of the rainbow!

They can be found in all sizes, from the very small....

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to the very large....

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with pots available in all the shapes you can imagine,

and some you've never thought of!

You can find a gardening container to suit your formal garden,

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or to fit perfectly in your cottage garden.

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Practically any gardening container can be used to house your plants, but what a container is made of and other attributes it may or may not have not only reflects the look and feel you are trying to attain, but will also affect the living conditions of your plants.

And the amount of money that you want to spend will definitely be determined by the containers size and what it’s made of!

But here’s some great news! Containers are now being made from new materials that mimic heavier, more expensive materials, retaining their elements of style and beauty while also being lighter, more durable, less fragile, and a great deal less expensive!

So the sky really is the limit when it comes to the variety of pots and planters available when you’re choosing a container. 

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you go shopping for your gardening container....

What type of container do you have in mind? What purpose are you trying to fulfill? Do you want a basket to hang your plants, or do you need a planter to put on a railing? Where you want to place your container will often determine what type of container will work out the best for you.

What is the container made of? Container materials, finishes and textures vary immensely and your choice may determine what flowers to buy, where to put the pot, and how much it needs to be watered, among other considerations.

The size and shape of the container will affect a great deal more than how much dirt you need to buy! 

The weight of the container determines its portability and stability.

The color of the container is not just an aesthetic consideration; light and dark colors will absorb light and heat differently.

Where the container will be placed is an important consideration. Whether the pot will be in the sun or the shade determines several factors including moisture control and what plants you will choose.

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With these considerations in mind, it’s time to go shopping! When you find a gardening container that you like, be sure to check it over for cracks or chips. And be sure that it has adequate holes for drainage... at least one for certain! Choose a container that is the correct size for the plant or plants you want, and if possible, take the pot with you when you pick out your plants. 

Happy shopping!

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