How to plant up a container garden

Container gardens

Lazy Flora is trying to make gardening truly hassle free and more accessible for an increasingly urban population. We know that a lot of our customers don't have gardens, or large outdoor spaces. So the easiest way to get a little bit of nature in your life if you do have outside space, is to put plants in a container on a balcony or terrace.

If you've never had a garden before, and have never planted up a container garden, getting started can be a little intimidating. Here's our step-by-step guide to help make planting up super simple, as well as a few insider tips on how to make your plants look just amazing.

1. Gravel

Lazy Flora planting up a container

Position the container where you want it before you start planting up. It will be heavy when planted, so it will be harder to move. Add a small mount of drainage gravel to the container.

2. Compost

Lazy Flora planting up a container

Top the gravel with a layer of compost. The compost should be deep enough so that when you place the plants on top of it, the level of the soil is about 3-5 centimetres below the lip of the container.

3. Start with the biggest plant 

Lazy Flora planting up a container garden

Remove the packaging from your plants, leaving them in the pots. Set them out on the ground in the positions you want to plant them in. If you're planting up from a Lazy Flora plant collection, take a look at one of the layouts we've suggested as a guide. 

Then, take the largest plant and remove the plant opt so you are just left with the soil and the roots. Do not shake off the soil.

To get the plant out of the pot, the best thing to do is to gently squeeze the plant pot and gently coax the soil out of the pot. Try not to pull the stem of the plant, as this may damage it. If you find the plant is stuck because the roots have grown into the pot, try twisting and squeezing the pot. You may hear little tearing noises as the very ends of some of the roots detach in the pot - if you handle the plant carefully, and ensure the main root mass is intact and undisturbed, this will cause no harm to the plant and you can confidently plant it up in your container.

4. Positioning in the container

Lazy Flora planting up a container

Place the plant on the compost in the location you want it in your container, ensuring that the top of the soil is around 3-5cm from the top of the container lip.

5. Pack the plants close together

Lazy Flora planting up a container

One by one, take each of the remaining plants out of their pots and place them in the container in the location you have chosen for each of them. 

In Autumn and Winter especially, try and place the plants as close together as possible, as this will ensure you have a brilliantly impactful display all season. As plants tend to grow less at this time of year, this means you won't be left with patches of bare soil on display.

6. Fill the gaps with compost

Lazy Flora planting up a container garden

Once you've positioned all the plants in the container, fill the gaps between them with compost. This is the part of the process that will take the longest, and is the point at which you need to take the most care with the plants. Try not to spill compost on the plants themselves, and move the delicate leaves and blooms with great care to avoid damaging them. This bit will probably take longer than all the rest of the planting process put together, but it is very important that all the plants are surrounded by fresh compost and that there are no gaps in the compost. If you don't put enough compost into the container, your plants are more likely to dry out quickly. The most compost they have, the more moisture they can draw from.

7. Water!

Lazy Flora planting up a container

Once the planting is finished and you've added all the compost you need, be sure to water your plants to bed them in.

Watering should always be done at the roots of the plants, and you should avoid getting water on the flowers or leaves, as the weight of the water can damage them, and the moisture can cause them to rot. In summer, water on vegetation can cause it to burn.

8. Enjoy!

Lazy Flora planting up a container garden

That's it! Now you can sit back and admire your beautiful handiwork! All you need to do now is to ensure that the plants continue to receive sufficient water. If you need a bit of help with this, we've set up a handy watering reminder service to help you out

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