Pots and tubs of blooming flowers reward even the casual gardener with lush summer displays. Indoors, blooming plants brighten the home year around. Growing flowers in pots gives the gardener the option of bringing favourite flowers into the spotlight and moving them away between bloom periods. The patio, deck or porch comes alive with potted flowering plants. Flowering plants are simple to care for in pots of sufficient size, good drainage and the correct growing medium.
It is safe to plant annuals in the garden or in pots when they become available in your local nursery. Sun-loving annuals may be potted together. Petunias, geraniums, snapdragons, sweet alyssum and lobelia combine well. Calibracoa, or Million Bells is effective on its own in a hanging basket or potted at the top of a plant stand. The small, petunia-like flowers come in blues, pinks, reds, white and cream and hide the foliage with their abundance. For areas in part shade, place pots of pansies, impatiens and annual begonias. Feed and water annuals regularly throughout the season. Consider installing a simple drip-irrigation system for your potted garden.
Pelargonium (Common Geranium)
There are well over 200 species of Pelargomium, commonly sold as annual geranium. These summer plants produce extravagant floral displays in pots and window boxes throughout the summer months, and are perennial in frost-free regions. These are easy-to-grow flowers in white, cream, reds, pinks and variegated variations of these colours. Most are less than 2 feet tall, with miniature and dwarf varieties available that are less than 8 inches tall. Sun-loving and preferring a well-drained soil, they thrive as indoor or outdoor potted plants. Keep moist, not soggy, throughout the summer heat. Pinch back stems for bushier growth, and deadhead regularly for continuous bloom.
Bulbs and Tubers
Both spring and summer flowering bulbs are easily grown in pots. Tulips, hyacinth and grape hyacinth and Lily-of-the-Valley are spring-blooming bulbs for pots. In the summer, potted Oriental lilies will bloom. Place them near seating areas where their pervasive fragrance will be enjoyed. Asiatic lilies are showy, though not fragrant. Move pots of lilies away from view after blooming. Summer-flowering tubers include the many varieties of begonias and dahlias. For shaded, protected areas, including porches, choose begonias. Dahlias are sun-loving, extravagant bloomers that will perform until frost.
Roses and miniature roses grow well in pots. Choose fragrant rose standards, (tree roses) to bring the scent to nose level. Place potted rose standards flanking an entry to the home or garden for an inviting welcome. Potted shrub or miniature roses growing on a sunny deck or patio invite close-up viewing. Provide containers, 5 gallons or more, for shrub roses, or rose standards, and climbing roses. Miniature roses may be grown in smaller containers. Containers must have good drainage and allow for a generous layer of soil around the root-zone. Keep potted roses well fed and watered through the season. In cold-winter climates, potted roses must be moved to a shed or garage. Select cultivars suitable for your climate zone.