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Top 10 plants for a thriving container garden

Updated July 20, 2017

Just because you don't live in the Shires doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful garden. Container gardens are perfect for people who live in flats or in areas where soil conditions are not optimum. Containers come is a variety of colours, shapes, materials and sizes that suit any style. Create separate container gardens of flowers, vegetables and herbs or mix them together for an eclectic look.

Impatiens

Impatiens are popular because they are easy to grow and come in a variety of colours. It is best to use a soil-less mix rather than garden soil when growing them in a container. Water regularly and fertilise weekly.

Begonias

Begonias are most commonly white, pink, yellow or scarlet, but a variety of hybrids have been cultivated because of their attractive flowers and leaves. Begonias can be grown outside year-round in tropical and subtropical climates but, given our British weather, they will fare best as houseplants.

Marigolds

Marigolds take 45 to 50 days to flower after their seeds are planted. Plant them indoors in late March or early April and move them outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Keep the soil moist but not wet and remove dead flower heads for continuous blooms.

Cacti

Create a decorative container garden with various species of cacti. These easy-to-care-for plants are perfect for those without a "green thumb."

Lettuce

Always have fresh greens on hand when you grow lettuce in your container garden. Lettuce prefers cool climates but needs only 6 to 8 inches of soil depth.

Carrots

Carrots are used in a variety of dishes -- salads, soups, stews and even cakes. The root vegetable is good for container gardens because it needs only 25cm (10 inches) of soil depth and a 25-by-25cm (10-by-10-inch) area.

Jalapeno peppers

The jalapeno pepper is a medium-sized chilli pepper that is 5 to 8cm (2 to 3 1/2 inches) long and commonly eaten while still green. Occasionally, it is allowed to overripen to a crimson red. For any variety of pepper, you need about 40cm (16 inches) of soil depth.

Tomato

Cherry tomatoes need only 30cm (12 inches) of soil depth to grow, and standard tomatoes need 60cm (24 inches). Pick your favourite variety to add to salads or make your very own Italian pasta sauce.

Rosemary

Rosemary should be put in a separate container from other herbs because it likes to dry out between waterings, not sit in water. This herb dries well and can be moved indoors next to a sunny window during the winter.

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About the Author

Charlotte Southern is a multimedia journalist based in Denver. Her work has appeared in "The Miami Herald," "Bloomberg News," "West Kendall Today," "The Prague Post" and other publications. Southern graduated from the University of Miami, earning a Bachelor of Science in communications with double-majors in photojournalism and studio art. She also holds a Master of Arts in interactive media from Elon University.