Stunning Container Gardens

Stunning Container Gardens

150 150 jcharlow


Potting Basics

  • Clean re-used containers – ½ cup bleach and 2 gallons warm water.
  • Protect containers with water block – spray inside and out twice.
  • Cover drain hole – use screening, old pantyhose, pottery shards.
  • Use appropriate potting soil – regular mix vs. cactus mix.
  • Plant depth – fill pot with soil and position plants no deeper than 1 inch below pot rim. Fill in empty spaces and add slow release fertilizer. Water thoroughly.

Design Basics

  • Height/Texture – Tall plants at back or center, trailing plants around edge and mid-sized varieties to fill in gaps. Mix different foliage textures and shapes to add interest.
  • Proportions – Match tall or cascading plants with taller/vertical containers and low pots with low-growing plants.
  • Color – Group “hot” colors, “cool” colors, complementary colors, monochromatic colors, themes (red, white, blue). Balance lights and darks.
  • Fullness – Fill containers to look lush, not skimpy. Leave some room for growth.
  • Size – Larger containers filled with large plantings look more substantial. Moisture will be retained longer.


  • Sun vs. Shade – Select the proper site for your plants’ needs.
  • Water – Water in morning and don’t overwater, especially in fall/winter.
  • Grooming – Pick off dead blossoms/leaves. Check for pests/disease.

Harlow Gardens
5620 E. Pima Street
Tucson, AZ 85712