How to Grow Potted Plants:

Potted plants are a great way to bring the beauty of the natural world indoors. You can also keep potted plants outside, as a way to decorate your deck or patio, or to complement your garden. Grow potted plants by choosing plants that are easy to maintain, giving them plenty of room in their containers and watering them regularly.

1. Select pots. Pots can be any containers that will hold the plants while they grow.

  • Make sure there is at least 1 hole at the bottom of the pot. This will allow water to move and drain through the soil freely. Include a saucer or dish under the pot to prevent leaking.
  • Choose any pots that you find appealing. They can be simple or decorative, and they come in all sizes. Lightweight pots such as plastic and resin are easy to move around. For sturdier pots, choose those made from wood or clay.

2. Find a good potting mix. Soil from your yard or garden will not work for potted plants. You need something loose and light.

  • Buy a soil mixture from your local garden or home improvement store. Make sure it includes peat moss and other organic matter.
  • Look for a potting mix that include fertilizers. Some soil comes with time-release fertilizers, which will cut down on your plant maintenance by fertilizing the soil when it is needed.

3. Decide which plants you would like to place in your pots.

  • Consider the space that you will keep your potted plants in. Choose plants that will do well in sun or shade, depending on where you plan to keep them.
  • Check the tags on the plants in the garden center for tips on how much sunlight and water each type of plant requires.
  • Assign one plant per pot. Even if you have a large pot, use only one kind of flower or plant in it. This will prevent overcrowding.

4. Place soil in the pots. Fill the pot up to about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the top of the pot, and pat the soil down lightly with your fingers to push out any pockets of air.

5. Put the plant or flower into the pot, digging a small hole in the soil to accommodate the root ball, or base, of the plant. Fill in the pot with additional soil.

6. Water the plant. Keep the soil moist, but not saturated with water. Pay attention to any watering instructions that come with the plant.

7. Maintain your potted plants by watering them regularly and trimming away any dry or dead leaves.

8. Follow the same steps if you are growing your plants from seeds. Instead of placing the plant in the soil, sprinkle the seeds onto the soil and cover with additional soil.