Container gardening is a great alternative to traditional gardening if you are low on space and don’t have time for weeding. Potted plants also offer the benefit of being able to better control the soil, which allows for a superior soil type and drainage.
Still, it’s important to water your potted plants 3-4 times per week as the soil is likely to dry out more quickly. Cindy Haynes, Associate Professor of Horticulture Iowa State University, stresses that it’s important to find a balance between the amount of sunlight and water the plant receives, as too much water in a dark space for a long period can have harmful effects.
When choosing your plant container, Haynes says that it's a good idea to add water-absorbing crystals to help when watering plants in a hanging basket. Otherwise, any container can be used for a potted plant as long it meets a few essential requirements.
“Anything can be a container as long as it’s the appropriate size, it has some sort of drainage hole, and it starts out clean. It’s up to you and whatever your gardening style is.”
On this Hort Day episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Haynes and ISU Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron. They discuss the best methods for keeping potted plants healthy and take questions from listeners.