Container gardening is a great way to add pops of color to your home and landscaping. It’s also useful when you’re working with limited gardening space and want to make the most of what space you do have.
When you’re container gardening in Florida, you’ll want to consider a few important factors, such as water conservation and native plants, in order to make your garden a success. These tips for container gardening in Florida can help you to get started.
Tips for Container Gardening in Florida
Choose Plants That Require Minimal Water
Smaller container gardens usually dry out faster than larger gardens, meaning that you could go through a lot of water keeping your garden thriving. If you don’t want to see an increase in your water bill, then choose plants that are drought-friendly and need minimal water. Succulents tend to fit the bill, and you can find them in countless varieties.
Water usage may also affect your choice of a pot, too. If you want to minimize your water needs, then avoid terra-cotta pots, since they dry out faster than plastic or ceramic options. Hanging baskets also dry out faster because the wind sweeps around them on all sides.
Get Creative With Your Container Choice
Don’t feel that you have to restrict yourself to commercially-available pots and gardening containers. As long as a container holds water, you can use it for gardening. Consider creative options that will give your garden a unique aesthetic, such as:
- Fabric Pots
- Old watering cans
- Old metal teakettles
- Recycled tin cans
- Jugs and jars
Fabric Pots for Container Gardening
Fabric pots are a great alternative to regular pots. They have many benefits that older style pots don’t have.
- Excellent drainage
- Air pruning
- Great for vegetables
- Easy setup
- Can relocate quickly
They’re super inexpensive on Amazon & come in all different sizes and shapes. 80% of my garden is fabric pots purchased from Amazon. For my vegetables, I usually go with fabric pots that are at least 5 gallons. My squash did really well in a 7 gallon fabric pot.
For even lower-cost items, head to some local yard sales – you’ll be surprised how many items you can find. You can also check out local marketplaces where people in your area can list their custom planters. The Facebook marketplace is a great place to look!
One that comes to mind is Dirt Don’t Hurt Garden Company located in New Port Richey, Florida. They make 100% cypress planters that are both rot and pest resistant. Since they’re custom made, you’ll be able to get the perfect size for your garden needs.
Consider the Heat
When choosing the plants that you want to include in your container gardens, think about the heat and cold that they will need to be able to tolerate. A few Florida-friendly options include:
- Bush daisy – Blooms year-round and attracts butterflies
- Calibrachoa – Can withstand both cold and heat, and is available in many colors
- Cape daisy – Tolerant to both cold and heat, and will thrive in both sun and shade
Looking for more options? Staff at your local garden center can likely recommend some plants that will fit the bill.
Be Ready for Frost
What’s that? Sometimes we get them in Florida! One of the great aspects of container gardening is that you can get containers in many different sizes, making for intriguing and artistic arrangements. However, keep frost in mind when you’re designing your garden. Many flowering plants won’t survive a frost, so you’ll need a way to bring your containers into your home.
Not only should you keep the container size and weight in mind when designing your garden, but also think about where you can store your containers during a frost. If you’re locating your garden a distance from your home, investing in a garden cart can make it easier when you do have to move your containers. Obviously this is not a huge concern for Floridians.
Set Your Plants Up to Thrive
In order to set your plants up for success, buy a quality potting soil for the containers. The more soil, the better – it may be tempting to fill up half of your containers with mulch to save on soil, but a container that’s full of soil will retain more water, so you can water less frequently.
In most cases you’ll also need to add fertilizer to the soil, and then continue to fertilize your plants every two weeks or so.
Mix and Match Carefully
You’ve chosen the plants you want to incorporate into your garden, and you’re armed with a selection of pots. Planting multiple plants in one pot can give you a beautiful layered effect, but you also need to be careful about your choices.
It’s important to pair plants together that will thrive in the same environment. For instance, you should only pair together plants that will require the same amount of water and sunlight.
Combining plants with different needs will result in a situation where some of the plants won’t thrive, because you can’t give all of the plants just what they need to be healthy.
If you’re not sure about a plant’s specific needs, then ask staff at the garden center or look up the plant’s needs online. You can also check out my list of the Best Herbs for Companion Planting with Vegetables.
Know How to Handle Dying Plants
All gardeners, no matter how talented, will face dead or dying plants at some point. Knowing how to handle these plants can help to preserve the rest of the plants in your container.
In some cases, you may be able to trim back a plant that isn’t looking healthy, and within a few weeks it will have recovered.
In others, there may be nothing you can do. If a plant looks diseased or is dying, it’s best to remove it from the container immediately in order to prevent any disease from spreading to your other plants.
Container Gardening Success in Florida
You can create some truly beautiful container gardens in Florida. When they’re only given limited space to be creative, especially in assisted living homes, container gardening gives them the option to create a beautiful garden in a small area. Not only does it get them out of their home, it keeps them active and social.
Don’t like your current setup or want to expand or change up your garden? When you’re working with individual containers, it’s easy to make changes. Do a bit of experimenting and you’ll soon discover just what works best for your yard, your setup, and your goals for your container garden. I hope my tips for container gardening in Florida for helpful! Don’t hesitate to ask any questions in the comment boxes below!