Gardeners Share Their Top Container Gardening Ideas

Updated: Apr. 08, 2022

Gardeners reveal their best container gardening ideas. Plus get inspired by gorgeous container combinations from Ball Horticultural Company.

Container Gardening Ideas: Plant Multiples

Ken Orich of Lethbridge, Alberta, shares that one of his best container gardening ideas is to use space wisely by planting multiple plants in a single pot. He says, “When space is limited, I use a tomato cage in a pot and plant snow peas, scarlet runner beans and other climbers. I space the seeds about 1 inch apart both inside and outside the lowest ring.”

Learn how to plant a hanging flower basket in 5 easy steps.

Recycle Plastic Lids for Container Gardens

Instead of throwing plastic lids from food containers away, Mary Kay Wierenga of Saranac, Michigan, saves them for her garden. She says they make great drain dishes for different-shaped pots.

Clean out your clutter with even more recycled garden ideas.

Choose Plants for Container Gardens Carefully

Mary Anne Thygesen of Portland, Oregon, takes her time to make sure that the plants in her containers thrive under similar growing conditions. She says, “put full sun plants together—keep shade plants separate.”

Consider planting a few of the best shade plants for containers.

Add Coffee to Perk Up Container Gardens

Here’s a container garden idea that will be sure to give a plants a boost. To add nutrients to the soil of containers, Laurie Lundy of Forth Worth, Texas, looks no further than her morning cup of joe. She says, “When I was growing up, our neighbor always poured leftover coffee in her houseplants. I’ve been doing that and my plants love it!”

Should you use coffee grounds in the garden?

Design Containers Well for the Biggest Impact

Pat Northington of Austin, Texas, says, “I follow this rhyme when choosing plants for containers: a thriller, a spiller and a filler. More than that, though, use great soil and tightly pack in plants.”

Check out the top do’s and don’ts of garden containers.

Keep Your Patio Clean

Here’s a helpful container garden idea to keep your deck, patio or porch clean. “Cut landscape fabric or paper towels so it’s larger than the pot’s diameter,” says Donna Rearick of Saltsburg, Pennsylvania. “I place this over the drainage hole to keep the potting soil from filtering through.”

Grow potted flowers and plants that attract hummingbirds.

Container Garden Combinations for Spring

Ball Horticultural Company designed container gardening combos to provide inspiration and make your garden pop all season long. These container gardening ideas are perfect for brightening up your space without having to worry about what florals pair well with each other. The experts at Ball have compiled these container recipes with color, texture, and growing habits in mind. 

For a Grand Look

Forever Grand Mix21 29350Courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Group red verbena, white verbena, white euphorbia and scarlett portulaca together to make a statement in your spring garden.

Design a container with patriotic red, white, and blue flowers.

For a Container at the End of a Rainbow

container garden ideas, End Of The Rainbow Mix21 29353 AlCourtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Combine the bronze scarlet canna, orange flame lantana, and gold mound sedum together to give a golden flare to your garden.

Try the top 10 golden plants to make your garden glow.

For a Dramatic and Daring Look

container garden ideas, The Black Knight Mix21 29354 AlCourtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Pair the lancelot salvia, hemerocallis black stockings, wasabi coleus, red petunia, and black ipomoea together to make a bold statement for your outdoor garden.

Check out the top 10 black plants for your garden.

To Turn Up the Heat

container gardening ideas, Spicy Spotlight Mix21 29365Courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Pair the fire zinnia, salsa verde coleus, rose kiss calibrachoa, and red heart ipomoea together to add some zesty flavor to your spring gardening.

Add more garden pizzazz with the top 10 colorful coleus varieties.