4 Tips for Growing Great Potted Plants

how to grow plants


How often have you paged through a magazine and thought your potted plants never look as good as the photographs? While it’s true that there is a certain art to flower arranging, there are also some basic tips that anyone can employ to create the picture perfect pot. Everything from the pot to flowers to positioning can make a big difference in people stopping to admire your pots or walking right by them.


Use these easy tips to create three season pots, spring through fall, to dress up a patio or balcony just like you see in your favorite magazines and award winning gardens.


Picking the Perfect Pot

Your garden and personality will determine the look of the pot you select for your patio, but there are still a couple things you need to consider to make the job easier. The best potted plants are those that are versatile and can be moved around, keeping every space versatile. Shop for pots of every size that are half the weight of their counterparts. Instead of solid terracotta pots, pick up the faux terra cotta pots, or fiberglass and foam version of stone pots, that hold just as much and can be shuffled around the patio without any strain. Mix up shapes and sizes too, urns, rectangular, and low saucers are all great options to add to a container garden.


Go For Foliage

Flowers that provide pops of color and blooms to sniff are great and all, but they only bloom for so long. Instead, shop around for plants that pack a lot of colorful foliage because when the flowers are gone, colorful foliage gives every pot something to show off. If the plants you choose have flowers that bloom too, take that as a bonus. Plants that creep, mound, and spike are all great pot fillers so look for palms or ferns, ivy and vines and dwarf grasses. Colorful foliage complements flowers and traditional green plants, so choose a color and shop for plants with leaves that are in that color family, but all grow differently. Purple, white and yellow leaves really make a bold statement and can create a beautiful background for the florals that you decide to add later.

Pack in Flowers

Container gardening is a very different atmosphere than garden beds, and flowers need to be grown in groups in order to improve their health and appearance. Pack in as many flowers in the beginning as the pot will hold to ensure a full look from the beginning and the flowers will grow with and around each other. Place creepers and vines around the edges of your pot, place shooters or tall plants in the rear of center of pots, depending on where you are placing the pot in your garden. Finally, place flowers with blooms or mounds in the middle where they can spread out show their colors. Pots that become too tight can always be changed as the year progresses.

Change With the Seasons

Picture perfect pots change with the season, some plants do better in the spring than the summer, so let your container garden change with the environment around it. Add poppies in spring that can be removed in the summer and replaced with long blooming flowers. If anything has outgrown the pot, replace it with a smaller or younger plant. Changes in the arrangement and placement of pots should also happen with each season. A versatile garden keeps things from looking stale or boring. As the season drags on and plants grow, some pots may overshadow others, so make arrangements as necessary.

With these tips, anyone can create magazine photo worthy pots and even put together an entire container garden for the patio or balcony.


  1. alicia k (Petite Pilates Pixie) says:

    great tips! i tend to kill plants haha

  2. Sandra VanHoey says:

    I do not have a green thumb at all. I think I had one year when I was able to grow my outdoor plants and they actually grew and were beautiful. They usually end up not doing too well

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