Potted plants are awesome and offer so many benefits to your landscaping, inside and out. The one thing to thing to remember, the rules for container planters are different than the rules regarding plants that live in the ground. You must respect and adhere to these differences in order to create a successful container garden. Every gardener makes common planting mistakes at one time or another; the good thing is that many of these common planting mistakes are the same. Meaning you can learn from wilted, brown, or even dead plants without incurring any of your own. Here we provide answers on how you can avoid the 7 common planting mistakes.
1. Don’t Forget How Heavy Full Planters Can Be
Sure without a plant inside, the planter isn’t so difficult to move around. Once you get the soil, plant, and water in there though, your potted plant will suddenly gain a lot of weight. When you first put your potted plant together make sure that it is in the location you plan to keep it. Or at least have a dolly cart nearby to help lug it elsewhere.
You should also keep planter weight in mind if you are thinking of putting heavy planters in locations that will require being moved at certain times of the year. As your plant grows it will only get heavier. Therefore, it’s best to put oversize planters in permanent locations and allow your smaller planters to adorn less permanent spots around your landscaping.
2. Don’t Assume Potted Plants Need The Same Amount of Water As Ground Plants
If you are used to growing plants in the ground you might make common planting mistakes like remembering to water everyday, but most potted plants require regular doses of water. Since container planters are not as large as any ground surface, planters cannot possibly retain as much water for the plant to use. Unless you have self-watering planters, plants will be out of luck when it comes to getting nutritious hydration if they are not watered all of the time.
If you notice that your plants are looking dry, you can save them by pouring on the water, although you don’t want to make a habit of drying plants out then excessively watering to resuscitate them. If you do this too much the plant becomes overly stressed out and can ultimately stop making a recovery.
You also don’t want to make common planting mistakes such as over-watering your plants. Standard potted plants (not including self-watering planters) do not have a drainage system, and so the water has nowhere to go. This means the water sits at the very bottom of the planter, over time excessive water build up will rot the plant roots and cause an icky mess.
3. Common Planting Mistakes In Picking The Wrong Planters
You want to be careful when selecting the right planter for your plants. If you fail to provide the correct sized planter for each plant, plants can look awkwardly placed, or worse, be unable to thrive. If a plant is too small for a container it can look like it’s swimming in a big sea of dirt. On the other hand, plants that are too big for a container wont have enough room to grow, causing the roots to become stumped, or even busting out of flimsier containers. Balancing out the size of a planter with the size of a plant is crucial to creating a look that flows and is full of healthy, hearty plants.
4. Common Planting Mistakes Of Pick Flowers Out of Pity
Buying flowers shouldn’t be like adopting a dog; if you buy the one plant that looks like it needs the most help you won’t be doing yourself any favors. If a plant looks sickly it is likely to remain sickly, no matter how hard you try. Make life a little easier on yourself and always go for the best looking plants at your local nursery. They might cost you a little more or take extra time to seek out, but they will save you time and money down the road. Plus, so long as you do everything else right it’s practically guaranteed to look great.
5. Don’t Buy Planters & Plants That Don’t Fit With Your Lifestyle
If a certain flower looks pretty you must find out what it needs to survive before making the purchase. In order to ensure that the plant will do well where you plan to put it, find out requirements for watering, sunshine, temperatures, and soil preference. Find out how particular a certain plant is, if it is harder to keep alive you have to be honest with yourself and decide if you are willing (and able) to put in the extra time.
Do you go out of town every summer? If so, who waters your potted plants while you are away? For busy-bees and frequent travelers self-watering planters can ensure your plants get water while you are away. If you tend to be forgetful you probably don’t want ultra sensitive plants, although with help from a self-watering planter your options expand. Knowing your options and all of the responsibilities that come with different pots and plants can help you achieve container gardening success.
6. Common Planting Mistakes In Picking Nutritious Soil
Potted plants require more nutrients than plants in the ground. Make sure they get enough fresh fertilizer that is plump full of nutrients. Keep in mind that many soils don’t come with nutrients included, be sure to read the ingredients and add nutrients as necessary. Around once every year you should change out the soil around the plant, careful in the process not to damage the roots. (See 9 common planting mistakes with containers)
7. Don’t Make The Common Planting Mistakes Of Under Reacting To Problems
There’s an old fable about a Japanese farmer that preplans each growing season that 1/3 of his crops will go to weather, 1/3 will go to bugs and critters, and the final 1/3 he will actually sell to market. While this is a nice earth-friendly idea, if you take on a similar way of thinking you might end up with 100% infested or ruined plants. If bugs eat one plant, they are likely going to move on to the next nearby plant. Before long your whole garden could get out of control, overrun by pests. The same can be said about diseases, if one plant catches a disease, it can spread to other plants in the area. If you notice a potential problem you want to take care of it right away so that it gets better instead of worse. (Read more about common planting mistakes when container gardening)
At TerraCast Planters we can help your container garden remain problem free and looking great, check out our wide variety of quality planters today!