Outdoor Plants: Potting Tips and Tricks

potting plants salt lake city utahOutdoor plants don’t have to be planted in the ground; they can thrive in containers too. This way you can enjoy them all year long, instead of just during the summer months.

Simply plant your favorite plants in containers and follow these helpful potting tips and tricks, and you’ll keep them blooming and beautiful all year long.

The Container

The containers you choose for your precious plants must have drainage holes — they allow extra moisture to drain from the soil, ensuring a healthy plant.

If you can’t find containers with holes, you can drill them yourself, unless the pots are clay. Clay pots without holes will require a liner pot with drainage holes.

You must also consider size when choosing a container. When you re-pot a perennial plant, pick a container that is one size larger than the container it’s in. Annuals should be planted in containers that they will fit in as fully grown plants. This will save you from having to repot it several times during one season of growing.

The Soil

  • The soil you use depends largely on the type of plant you select.
  • Houseplants grow best in a standard potting soil.
  • Cacti and succulents need a quick-draining cactus soil mix.
  • Vegetables and annuals require a moist standard mix.

Avoid soils comprised of:

  • Sedge peat
  • Pure compost
  • Garden soil

These types of mixes drain poorly. You can use compost if you like, but mix it with potting soil. If you want to mix your own blend, add equal parts sphagnum peat, perlite and compost. This will work for most plants.

How to Plant

Most plants require potting with the crown, or part of the plant where the stems emerge from the roots, sitting at or just above the soil level. When potting the plant, remember these important steps:

  • Fill the container with one-third potting mix.
  • If the soil falls through drainage holes, line the pot with a coffee filter before adding the soil.
  • Set the plant in the container, then add or remove soil until the crown is 1 or 2 inches beneath the pot’s rim.
  • Add more soil around the roots without covering the crown.
  • Water the soil thoroughly after potting, so it can settle around the roots properly.

Caring for Your Container Plants

After potting, you may notice the plants wilt slightly or grow slowly. This is normal, as the roots recover from handling and become established in the container. Make sure to:

  • Provide daily sunlight (based on the plant variety).
  • Shade from intense afternoon light for at least the first three to four days after planting.
  • Water plants when the top inch of soil feels dry.

Millcreek Gardens, northern Utah’s favorite family-owned garden center, has all the materials and supplies you need for any garden or landscape project. Stop by today and let our friendly, helpful staff assist you with all your indoor and outdoor plants.