Gardeners Share Their Best Container Garden Ideas

Experienced gardeners share their greatest container garden ideas, from helpful plant design tips to how to keep your patio clean.

Container Garden Ideas: Plant Multiples

Ken Orich of Lethbridge, Alberta, shares that his best container idea 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.”

Build a vertical pallet garden and a vertical herb garden to make the most of your planting space.

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 28 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 7 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.”

Want more ways to perk up your outdoor space? Check out the best outdoor patio and porch furniture.

Molly Jasinski
Molly Jasinski is a writer, editor and social media manager for Birds & Blooms. She enjoys watching the robins, cardinals and occasional goldfinch seen around her apartment.