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Container Gardening


  • Excellent for small gardens e.g. flats, units, apartments
  • Soften paved areas
  • Create focal point in the garden
  • Can be moved easily
  • Provide interest at different heights e.g. hanging baskets
  • The pots and containers add colour and interest as well as the plants
  • Restrain growth of plants that would grow too big in the garden
  • Almost any plant can be grown in pots and containers

Soil Mixes

  • Do not use garden soil in pots and containers
  • For outdoor containers use
    • Debco Pot Power
  • For indoor pots use
    • Thrive Potting Mix
  • Use specialist mixes for certain plants
    • African Violet Mix
    • Cacti and Succulent Mix
    • Bulb Mix
    • Orchid Mix


  • Container grown plants have a restricted root system and a limited supply of nutrients in the mix
  • Good and drainage and frequent watering mean plant nutrients are lost more quickly
  • Feed small amounts of food regularly to keep plants growing strongly
  • Apply fertiliser to moist soil mix

Fertiliser Types

  • Slow or Controlled release
    • Osmocote Pots, Planters and Indoors
    • Slow release fertilisers are easy and safe to use – they will not burn plant roots
    • They need to be applied 2-3 times per year
  • Liquid / Soluble powder
    • Nitrosol
    • Thrive
    • Phostrogen
    • Baby Bio
    • These need to be mixed with water before applying
    • Apply only to damp soil
    • Fast acting
    • Need to be applied more often – every 10-14 days during growing season


  • The size of the container and the size of the plant will affect the amount of water available to the plant
  • On hot summer days , daily watering will be necessary
  • Small pots and hanging baskets may need water twice daily
  • Water thoroughly – fill the gap between the top of the potting mix and the top of the pot with water and allow to soak through the pot and drain out the bottom
  • Use watering wand or soft spray nozzle
  • If mix dries out it can be difficult to water – the water tends to run off
  • Add Saturaid wetting agent to mixes when planting to avoid this
  • Add Yates Waterwise water storage crystals to mix when potting up.
  • These hold and store water which becomes available to the plant when potting mix dries out
  • This does not replace the need for watering


Pests and Diseases

  • Container plants can be susceptible to the same pests and diseases as the garden
  • Key ones to watch for are
  • Snails, caterpillars, scale, mealy bugs, mites, aphids
  • Mildew, black spot, blights

Pest and Disease Control

  • Insects
    • Confidor
    • Mavrik
  • Mites
    • Mavrik
  • Blackspot
    • Supershield
  • Blights
    • ChampDP Copper