Caring for Potted Plants

potted plants

Potted plants are a decorative addition to any home, patio or porch. They also offer a way to start plants when it’s still cold outside or to protect plants during the winter.

If you live in an apartment and don’t have a yard you can still enjoy greenery in your home by adding a few potted plants.

Potted plants are not hard to care for but you do need to know the basics of their care to ensure you have healthy plants.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is choose your containers. These can be beautiful terra cotta pots, old wooden barrels, or low cost plastic containers. You can even recycle items from around your home such as milk containers. If you go this route, be sure and wash the containers with a bleach solution.

The best pots will have a hold in the bottom to allow for water to drain out. This assures your plants are not sitting in soggy soil. Don’t assume that all pots at a garden store will work well for growing plants. Some are merely decorative and are made for other pots to be set inside them. They don’t have the proper drainage to grow plants.

Next, you’ll need to buy a good potting soil. Do not use dirt from your yard because it can contain weeds and disease. Give your plants the best chance of thriving by using a good quality potting soil.

Choosing your plants

pottedplantsMany plants and flowers grow well in pots so you’ll have a wide variety to choose from. Read the directions for each plant or the seeds you purchase. Each plant will require different amounts of care. If you’re unsure of how to get started or what plants to choose; talk to your local nursery. They’re often willing to help and they’re familiar with your climate.

Think about where you’ll place the pots. Some plants need direct sunlight and others need some shade. You’ll need to consider this when you’re deciding what to buy and where to place your plants.

Also, what aesthetic value are you hoping to achieve? Do you want bright, colorful flowers to brighten up your living room? Do you want lush green plants for your patio? Do you want to grow an herb garden to enhance your cooking with the fresh flavors?


Plant your seeds or plant about two inches into the soil. If you’re using a plant be sure the roots are loose and not in a tight ball.

Add some fertilizer or compost after planting. Liquid fertilizer can be added every few weeks as you water your plants.


Too much water or too little water are both damaging to potted plants. When you place your finger in the soil and it feels dry for an inch; it’s time to water. Also, if the leaves on your plants look wilted or droopy it is time to water.

Plants in containers do dry out faster than outside plants in a garden; so stay alert to their watering needs.

The amount of direct sunlight on your plants will also affect how often they need to be watered as well as the amount of humidity in the air.

But don’t flood your plants. They should never be left in standing water.

Trim dead leaves off of plants and repot when your plants have outgrown their container.

Potted plants will add much beauty to your home if they are cared for properly.

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