Container Planting Tips

planting a container garden

Containers allow you to enjoy plants in any area – on your deck, by the front door, even in the shadiest spots.

Ups a daisy planter


Before planting containers, check for drainage holes. If your containers lack drainage, drill holes into containers, or create drainage by adding Styrofoam packing pellets or chunks of Styrofoam to bottom third of container. Our Ups A Daisy pot inserts create instant drainage and are reusable
and available in various sizes to fit any sized pot.


For successful containers, proper soil is a must. Use a soil mix specifically suited to container use, never topsoil or soil from the garden. Sea Soil mix is 100% organic and contains a lot of nutrients.


For extra moisture retention in standard container mixes, you can add in Soil Moist water retaining crystals before planting.


Another effective product is Cocoa Earth. The shredded coconut fibres can be mixed with soilless mix (1/3 cocoa earth, 2/3 soil). Fill your containers to the top, then water soil so it settles before planting.


If you would like to re-use soil from year to year, ensure you remove roots and debris from the previous season, and always top up with 1/3 of a new bagged mixture.


When you take the plant out of the plastic pot, always be sure to ‘tickle’ the roots. This means gently pulling or cutting the healthy white roots to loosen them up. In doing this, you will encourage the roots to grow outwards, helping them to adapt to the soil more readily. Always water in plants with a transplant fertilizer such as 10-52-10 or Pro Mix Root Booster.

Plant Nanny


Here are some tips on keeping your pots looking great right up until fall:

• Water consistently. In the heat of the summer, smaller containers may need watering up to twice a day.

• Use your fingers to test the soil – if the soil is dry, water soon. Prolonged dryness can cause irreparable damage.

• Watering aids like a ceramic watering spike can help keep soil moist between waterings, especially in times of heat and drought.

cil 15-30-15 fertilizer
dr earth annua bloom


Unlike Sea Soil, many soilless mixes do not contain nutrients, therefore, plants in containers will require consistent fertilizing once established.


Choose a well balanced water soluble fertilizer such as C-I-L 15-30-15. Use once per week at the recommended rate on the label.

If you prefer to fertilize less often, before planting mix into the soil a slow release fertilizer such as Dr. Earth Flower Garden Fertilizer 3-7-4. These granules will slowly release small amounts of fertilizer over the growing season. Since nutrients are released slowly, most annuals will also require an application of water soluble fertilizer every two weeks, to help promote new growth.


Annuals often require ‘deadheading’ – remove spent flowers when they brown or shrivel. This will encourage rapid development of new, vibrant blooms. If the plant is getting leggy, do not hesitate to shear it back. This encourages healthy new growth.

Watering While Your Away

Plants that are in containers will require special attention while you’re gone.

• Move all pots to a shady, protected area (i.e. by the side of the house under eaves or under a shady tree). Even plants that require sun can go into the shade.

• If you have not incorporated slow release fertilizer into your pots, doing so will ensure your pots are fed while you are away.

• If you have a shallow water feature or a children’s pool, place pots in there (no deeper than 4” of water). Pots will water themselves from the bottom up.

• The best option… have someone water while you are away.