Caring for Perennials in Containers

Caring for Perennials in Containers

When planting perennials, you have more flexibility in terms of how they will look, however, one should know the ways of caring for perennials in containers before growing them. Using perennials, together with annuals, offers a wider choice of plants for your garden. Especially for small containers in shade, this is a great way to combine perennial shrubs and flowers into your landscaping and bouquets.

The best part is that perennials can be started in small pots and have enough room to grow and bloom again the next year. So many perennials are available that it is easy to create a spectacular display in your garden. Following are some tips helpful in caring for perennials in containers,

Choice of Pots for Perennials

As a rule, you should plant perennials on the outside of your containers. This means using containers such as peat pots, square shaped, holes punch or drainage holes. Don’t plant annuals into your containers because they will quickly become overgrown. Annuals are not hardy in containers and some, such as lavender, are not even a good fit in small pots.

Potting Annuals

Annuals should be divided and taken care of differently from perennials. In larger containers, leave some of the plant attached to the bottom, helping to form a root system. You can move plants about every couple of years and keep them contained, but don’t try to take them outside. Keep in mind that your soil will need to be decomposed a bit before putting any plants into the soil.

Drainage of Pots

Smaller pots and squares work best for providing drainage. If you plant them on the outside, place drainage holes at the bottom of the container. You should check on the development of these holes at least every few weeks. If your container doesn’t have drainage holes, don’t put them until you know the soil is properly drained. It’s also important to make sure there are no overhanging branches that could damage your plants if they fall down.


As for mulch, you’ll want to use organic material, such as bark, pine needles or wood chips. Avoid using newspaper mulch, because it’s hard and needs to be thoroughly raked out before planting. Mulch made from pine needles and other materials should be applied in layers to help keep the soil moist. Don’t over-fertilize the potted perennials because it can damage the roots.

Best Perennials for Container Gardening

Perennial vegetables and fruits that don’t need to be dug up to move are great choices for container gardens. For example, you can grow herbs like basil, chives, dill, coriander, fennel and oregano in small containers with no soil at all.

Some of these plants can even be grown in flowerpots. A little care will allow you to enjoy a natural look all year long. Just be sure to check on the drainage when you water, and if you’re putting a plant into a container, think about how the container will be affected if you put any weight on it

Soil Mix For Perennials

Many people like the natural look of bare soil in their containers, but if you want to add some plant foods, that’s OK. Start out with a half-kitchen starter soil mix and then add your plant foods. Keep an eye on the drainage, and add your plant foods one time each week until your soil is moist enough to support a healthy plant. Be sure to only water your container plants as needed, because constant watering can cause the roots to rot.

Taking Care of Perennials from Various Factors

Take care to watch for insect damage and diseases, because those things can kill your perennial plants. Most perennials will survive most kinds of pests and disease, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s also a good idea to have annual maintenance performed every two years, to make sure your containers are getting the proper amount of water, nutrients, and drainage.


Caring for Perennials in Containers is very simple. You won’t go far wrong if you choose plants that are hearty plants that can survive in containers. You can grow nearly any vegetable or herb in containers, as long as you have good soil, plenty of water, and regular feeding. If these plants will be managed properly with some extra care they will stay healthy and will retain their best quality.

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