Sunday, June 28, 2015

How to Plant Container Gardens and Xeriscape Tips

Although I've gotten behind on my gardening posts, I have definitely been keeping busy in the garden. I've also been taking lots of pictures so I hope to catch up on garden blogging soon! In June I planted my container gardens with a red, white and blue theme. Since I've been asked before how I get my container plants to survive, I thought I'd share a few details.

I didn't get a picture of the first step, but be certain that a hole has been drilled in the bottom of the container for drainage. On top of that hole I always place a rock that covers it, although I don't want it water tight. I don't want all of my soil to run out with the water when the water drains. However I do want the water to drain so that the roots don't get water logged.

I might add that this year we spray painted our containers black to match the shutters. Even though I liked the rustic greyish green look of the containers they did not match with the house.  Now that they match the shutters it's a more cohesive look because the eye doesn't have to work to see all the different colors. Now it's a more harmonious flow.

Next I fill the container with a good quality potting soil that has moisture control elements as well as fertilizers in it.  The moisture control helps the plants survive the heat of the day in the summer, especially in the south.

Then choose plants appropriate to the lighting conditions. This container will get lots of direct sunlight in the middle of the day, so I need sun loving heat tolerant plants. I found mandevilla, periwinkle and blue daze. These are so heat tolerant (which also means they don't need a lot of water) that they are considered xeriscape plants (at least where I'm from in San Antonio, Texas). Choosing xeriscape plants not only conserves water and saves  work time in the garden but it's quite thrifty too!


Whenever I depot a plant to transplant, I break apart the roots because they are usually root bound. This is one reason why I prefer to make my  own container gardens as opposed to buying them ready made in the store. The ones I make last much longer and survive heat stress far better!


Because the mandevilla is the tallest of the plants, I planted that in back of the urn. It is actually a vine so later I will put a trellis up for it to climb on. I like to have varying heights with a container garden, especially if it's near the front door as this one is. I want a plant to grow as high as I can get it so it will not be dwarfed by the door.  


Next I planted the periwinkle...


Followed by the blue daze. Now it's time to sweep!


I'm linking up to the Tuesday Garden Party. Be sure to stop by to see all the lovely gardens!

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