Just What Kind of Gardener Are You ? Part 2- Container Plants

Many gardeners want a nice garden, but may not have the time or physical ability to maintain a landscape garden. I am well aware of what happens when a large garden can get out of control, and it happens rather fast. For those people who want low-care gardens, or for those who have limited space or time, consider container gardening. The catchy new term for this is "containerscaping", to go along with the other pop-garden terms of hardscaping, lightscaping, nighstscaping, aquascaping, and probably every other garden aspect-scaping. I prefer the old-fashioned term of 'container gardening'. There are lots of variants on this theme, but as with so many other parts of life, the basics still apply.

Growing plants for the long term in pots means that you need well drained soil that breaks down slowly, pots large enough to allow for years of growth, and provisions for water drainage. Keep in mind that the roots are completely confined, and can't find new sources of water or nutrients, so water and fertilize plants gently.

Millions of people grow plants in containers indoors successfully. We have the added benefit that we can rehabilitate plants outdoors in the shade when the plant looks tired of being indoors. Just make sure the pots are off the ground, to allow water to drain out. Choose plants which are suited for indoor culture, and know something about them before you buy the plants.

For instance, cacti can be great windowsill plants with a lot of sunlight whereas Peace Lilies are better suited for filtered light. Many common landscape plants are used as indoor plants such as Lady Palm, Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen ( Aglaonema), Dracaena ( Dragon Tree), and a host of others. Be aware that these plants are good indoor plants once they have acclimated to shade conditions.

If you choose your plants wisely, understand the restrictions and conveniences of container gardening, and tend to container plants carefully, you'll have the pleasure of gardening indoors, without the bugs and weeds and sweat.

Craig Morell
Pinecrest Gardens