I live in a ground floor apartment in Reno, NV, zone 7, (I believe), and my neighbor cut down the large shrub that was shading my west wall. I can only plant in a long, narrow container.
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The right container, growing material, and size are all important considerations when planting flower pots. Some flowers will also perform better in containers or pots than others. When planting flower pots, a gardener should look at the material of the pot as well as its features before choosing it. Instead of using dirt from the ground or garden soil, she should select a mix specially made for flower pots.
Some materials are better for planting flower pots than others. While traditional pots are made out of terracotta or clay, this material isn't exactly ideal. Uncoated terracotta absorbs water quickly, which can dehydrate plants in the heat of summer. Clay or terracotta pots are also very breakable and can shatter if tipped over or even if exposed to freezing temperatures.
The best material for planting flower pots is plastic. Plastic doesn't absorb water, nor does it break easily. Metal is another good choice for a flower pot, as long as the pot gets some shade, because metal absorbs the heat from the sun very well. Most plastic pots and some metal ones are also lightweight, which can make it easier to move the flower pot when it is full.
Ideally, the flower pot will have a hole in the bottom so that extra water can drain out. If there is no drainage hole, the roots may rot from too much water. When planting flower pots for indoor use, it's important to have a small platter or dish under the pot to catch the extra water and avoid damage to the floor.
Size is another consideration when planting flower pots. The best plants for small flower pots will have shallow roots and won't need very large containers. If a gardener wants to plant a small flower, one that doesn't grow larger than 12 inches (30 cm) high, she can use a small pot, such as a 4-inch (10-cm) or 6-inch (15-cm) pot. Larger flowers require larger pots.
The soil used in flower pots is not the same as the soil used in an in-ground garden. A gardener should choose a soil-less container mix. The mix is formulated to drain well and contains the nutrients the flowers need to thrive. Depending on the type of flower she is growing, she may want to choose a container mix designed for that specific plant. Some gardeners also choose to use a fertilizer designed for containers and flower pots, especially if the plant has been in the container for a long time.
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