After art supplies, the thing I get asked most about is PLANTS!
If you've seen my Instagram account you know I love my deck full of flowers! Because of where we live, growing a traditional garden directly in the dirt has proven challenging to us due to limited sunshine, clay soil, rocks, pine needles, moles, and gophers! So creating a container garden made the most sense.
So here are my top-ten favorite easy-to-grow plants for containers:
1. Petunias- One of my favorite annuals for container planting and especially hanging baskets. There are so many colors to choose from and they are super easy to grow. Mine do well in partial sun and continue to bloom until late summer with a good dose of fertilizer throughout the season. Deadheading will keep them blooming all summer.
2. Zinnias- Easy to grow, long blooming and tons of varieties. I've had good luck growing them from seed and from starts. Keep them in a sunny spot and avoid powdery mildew by watering at the roots only and keeping the leaves as dry as possible.
3. Geraniums- Fool proof and another long bloomer if deadheaded throughout the summer. I've heard you can bring them indoors over the winter if it freezes in your area but I haven't tried it yet. I love their variegated Dr Seuss leaves.
4. Marigolds- Another super easy to grow flower which blooms all the way into fall. Most are short and stubby but last year I grew one variety that was four feet tall!
5. Creeping Jenny- Beautiful spilling over containers and window boxes. They need to be planted in a tall enough container or in a window box to fully appreciate how long they can grow! Because our climate is relatively mild, ours keeps coming back each spring and looks fresh with a little trimming.
6. Sweet potato vine- Another great "spiller" for containers. It has lush chartreuse or dark purple leaves and does well in every corner of my garden no matter how much sun.
7. Nasturtiums- Oh I love nasturtiums! Their cheery yellow and orange flowers make me smile. Don't let their soil get too dry in between waterings and you're good to go. And... they're edible! They look quite fancy in a salad or floating atop a cocktail.
8. Dwarf Sunflowers- Smaller varieties do well in containers and give unexpected height. They are easy to grow from seeds which makes growing them a great project for kids. And they provide seeds for birds as they fade.
9. Hostas- These are beautiful, shade-loving plants with striking leaves. And, I love them because they come back year after year. Most of my container plants are annuals (they only last one season), so I'm trying to incorporate more perennials into my container garden.
10. Echinacea- Another perennial with tons of varieties. Their iconic, daisy-like flowers bloom mid to late summer. Make sure your pot is large enough to give them enough room to grow.