Growing wildflowers in containers can be easy and rewarding, provided that the ideal conditions for the flowers are recreated in the pot. Without the appropriate soil moisture or sunlight, not even native plants can survive. Wild flower container gardening is perfect for apartment-dwelling gardeners and yard gardeners alike. It has the added advantage of allowing gardeners to cultivate specimen plants that garden soil can't support, or that have excessive water needs. Container plants are easy to relocate without damaging the root system.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Potting soil
Lay a loose layer of pottery shards in the bottom of the pot to prevent soil from falling through the holes when the plant is watered.
Add potting soil, compost or both, a little bit at a time, pressing down on the soil as you work to eliminate air pockets. As you get close to filling the pot, arrange the plants, allowing plenty of space for growth. Leave 1 inch between the top of the soil and the edge of the pot to act as a reservoir when watering and to prevent water from overflowing the edge.
Add mulch to cover the soil. Mulch keeps the soil from drying out too fast in the heat of the day, preserving water.
Plant seeds according to the directions on the seed packet. Make your own wild flower mixture by mixing the seeds of your favourite annuals and planting them in the same pots or window boxes.
Tips and warnings
- Consider the amount of daily sunlight and shade that your container garden's location will receive and---if they are located on a ground-floor patio or balcony--how likely they are to interfere with passersby or neighbouring walkways.
- Decide between clay or plastic pots. Pots made from clay and other porous materials absorb water more quickly than plastic or non-porous pots. Clay is also heavier than plastic, which is something to consider if you plan to move the pots around or move them indoors during the winter.
- Select compatible plants for a given container. Compatible plants share the same light and water requirements. Plants may be compatible even if they bloom at different times. This may be more desirable as it allows for pots with changing themes and colours.
- It is against federal law to collect any plants or plant parts from state or national parks. Even native plants should be left where you find them. Rather than uprooting native plants, consider collecting their seed pods about one month after the flowers have bloomed.
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