Since container growing is so popular more and more people use them for their vegetables, herbs, and flower gardens. Container growing is the only way to have a colorful flower garden for those who live in condos or apartments that only have a balcony. Some who live in townhomes or houses with small patio or backyards find it more convenient for a container garden. There are several different types of containers that can be used such as those that sit on the ground, fit on a railing or hanging baskets.
The larger the container the more room your flowers will have to grow. A large flowerpot holds moisture longer and also plenty of room so your flowers will not become root-bound. The flowers will remain healthy as long as the roots are not fighting for space. No matter what type of container you use you need to be sure it has drainage holes so the extra water can drip out. The soil used should be potting mix that is good quality and designed for container growing. The majority of mixes probably do not contain actual soil but a mixture of peat moss or bark combined with perlite, vermiculite, or sand. Some mixes will contain a slow release fertilizer and others contain water holding crystals that release water to the plants when needed.
Living in areas of the country that have freezing conditions during the winter, you may prefer only to have annuals in a container garden unless you have enough room inside your house to bring your container flower garden indoors. You can plant your annuals in the containers early in the spring and if the forecast calls for frost you bring the containers indoors. If flowers are planted close together it gives the container the look of fullness. Some annual flowers that prefer the sun and work well in containers include salvia, marigold, lantana, and petunia. Those that are able to tolerate shade are impatiens, begonias, caladiums, and flowering tobacco.
Some flower design ideas in regards to your container can include a color scheme or your life style. Before you plant your flowers into your containers arrange them in groupings first to see if you like it. One suggestion is a color theme, flowers all the same color equals a monochrome look; pastel colored flowers will be beautiful in morning sun or semi-shade; and bold, bright colors work best in the bright sun because they do not have a washed out look. A formal look can be one large plant or a container with several varieties of one plant. An informal look is a mixture of different colors and heights of flowers. A custom look would be to match the containers with the style or color of your house; you can also have the color of the flowers match the color of the container for another look.
Container growing a flower garden just needs good flowerpots, good soil, and some good locations. You will find there will be better control over garden pests and diseases. You will probably be watering more often because a container garden does need more water. Also before you plant, place the containers in the areas that are condusive to your plants such as the sun or shade, to be sure you have everything you need. If the flowers are not placed in the proper area they will not survive. Be sure there are enough drainage holes in the containers and the placement of small stones should take up at least an inch at the bottom. Now you can fill the container with potting soil, potting mix, or compost to approximately 2 inches from the top of the container; this should give you ample room to plant the flowers and move the soil around.
Carefully remove the flowers or plant from the original pot, loosen the roots of the plant particularly if they are winding around the bottom. Make sure the hole you dig is large enough for that flower; place the flower in and adjust it around so the top of the root is level with the soil. Now you can tamp the soil around the root and add more if needed. To encourage the roots and more flower blooms pinch off any flowers behind or under the flower head at the top. Water the flowers just enough so the soil is damp or wet, not muddy. Water the plant again only when an inch of soil on top feels dry.
Just a little container care on a regular basis should make you a successful container gardener. Watering only needs to be done to keep moist soil; how often this gets done depends on the size of your containers and your weather. For summer long flower blooms you will probably need to fertilize regularly, but always follow the label directions. Grooming those flower when needed will help them last longer and you can start by promptly deadheading any faded flowers and clipping off discolored foliage and broken stems. Check your plants often for pests or diseases; if caught early it will be easier to control.