5 Container Gardening Tips (Soil) That You Need To Know Now

Suyash is a Master Gardener and the Editorial and Strategy Director at BalconyGardenWeb.com. With a focus on houseplant care, he combines over a decade of hands-on horticultural experience with editorial expertise to guide and educate plant enthusiasts.
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Growing plants in pots is fun and challenging at the same time, but these Container Gardening Tips will ease out the fuss for you!

Container Gardening TipsWhen you grow plants in pots, you save a decent space while enjoying a pretty green bed of your own in a limited area. However, it comes with its challenges, so to help you out, we’ve brought you the best Container Gardening Tips.

Have a look at the best Container Gardening arrangement ideas here

Container Gardening Tips

1. Avoid Using Garden Soil


Garden soil is heavy, the water can’t drain from it freely. Clay particles in soil fit tightly together and prevent water from draining away and air from entering, which is not good for plant roots.

If you want to use the garden soil, you’ll need to amend it. Mix it with compost or well-rotted manure, peat, coir, etc. so that it will become light.

Have a look at how to make potting soil for plants here

2. Don’t Fill the Container to the Top

Most of the container gardeners do this—filling the pot to the top. While it doesn’t do any harm to your plant, it makes watering a difficult job. The best idea is to leave an inch of space between the rim of the pot and the top layer of the soil.

3. Change Potting Soil Periodically

Container Gardening Tips 2

The soil in a container for months and years gets compacted, this thwarts the drainage and aeration. That’s why it is important to change your potting soil, once a year, for the optimum growth of plants.

Soil changing procedure is most important if your plant is suffering from soil-borne diseases. You may think it’s a costly idea as potting mixes are not cheap, and you can’t buy them again and again.

To avoid this, make your own potting mix. We’ve shared the link above already, and you can also find dozens of recipes on the web.

Pro Tip: If you don’t want to change soil, scrap and replace 1/3 of the top layer with organic matter like compost or manure.

 Check out the DIY soil tests you can perform at home here


4. Consider Plants and Climate at the Time of Preparing Soil for Containers

Plants are not the same and can’t be grown in the same type of soil. Each plant requires a different soil type. Succulents need well-draining soil that doesn’t retain moisture, whereas some plants prefer soil to be consistently moist like the calla lily.

Also, consider your potting soil type based on where you will be keeping them and your climate. For example, a plant kept outdoor in a hot tropical climate is going to need soil that retains some moisture and remains cool compared to a plant in a container in a cold climate.

5. Do Not Use the Soil from a Diseased Plant Container


Avoid using soil from the container of a diseased, damaged, or pest-infested plant as you will end up transferring the disease or pest from the previous plant to the new one. It is always a good idea to discard the old growing medium of the previous plant altogether and use a fresh potting mix for new plant.

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  1. I liked that you had mentioned that when setting up a container it can be important to avoid using solid made specifically for gardens. My wife has recently gotten really into plants and everything that goes with that and I’ve been trying to help her with just little things around the house. I might have to look into getting the right soil supplies because I may have made a mistake and purchased just normal soil for gardens.

  2. I found it really fascinating what you said about making sure you get the right soil for the plant that you own. Climate as well is a big factor that every beginner should be sure to pay attention to. I am sure that my cousin who has been looking into a soil supplier would like knowing this.


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