In order for a container garden to thrive, it’s really important that you choose a planter that suits the location and type of plants you’ll be using it for.
Here are some practical things to consider when you're buying an outdoor plant container:
- Drainage This is the single most important thing to look out for. The planter simply has to have good drainage holes in the bottom. This is absolutely essential for outdoor plants, as without drainage holes, plants can drown if too much water gets into the container (which, let's face it, isn't unlikely given the UK's climate).
- The bigger the better No matter how small your outdoor space, the bigger the planter you can fit, the better. Large containers retain moisture better than small containers, which means your plants fare better for longer, with less maintenance.
- Weight If you're someone who rents, or you move around a lot, you might like to think about getting a lightweight container, as a large stone container filled with compost can be very heavy and might get damaged or broken when moving.
- Frost The ideal planter is frost proof. Some types of natural stone are great at absorbing water, but this means that they can crack if water is trapped within the stone if the weather turns very cold after it's been wet. Terracotta is an amazing material to have outdoors if you live in the Mediterranean, but may not be as well suited if you live in the UK and your outdoor space is likely to get very cold in winter.
- Permeability The ideal container is impermeable, as this helps to keep the water in, which is especially important during hot summer spells. This again means less watering is necessary, which is important especially if you're someone who forgets to water plants, or who doesn't always have time to do it.
So that's your checklist when looking for an amazingly practical plant pot for your outdoor space, but we all know gardening isn't just about being practical. Don't forget to also put your own personal stamp on your garden, no matter how small.
- Be creative If you're prepared to put in some extra work, almost anything can be made into a planting container. Old wellington boots, barrels, bicycle baskets, hessian sacks, you name it. They might need some DIY repurposing or adjustments, but the only real limit is your imagination.
- Aesthetics Choose something you love. That's what gardening is all about. There are pros and cons to lots of different styles and materials, but if you've got your heart set on a particular plant pot that's going to make you spend more time outdoors and enjoy your plants and outdoor space more as a result, go with it. You will soon figure out what works and what doesn't, and you're sure to learn a lot along the way!
We would love to see examples of your inventive or unusual planters! Send us your pics on social media, being sure to tag Lazy Flora and use the hashtags #lazyflora and #perfectplanter.