Container Garden Soil Toppers

Add interest to your container garden while helping retain soil moisture when you add stones, shells, or other toppers.

Looking for an easy way to make your container garden more interesting? Consider adding some soil toppers around the base of your plant. This is especially effective for plants where the soil is exposed, like with my amaryllis bulbs shown below. These soil toppers will also help keep your soil moist longer, and can prevent curious house pets from digging around in your dirt.

Container Garden Soil Toppers

I used small pebbles and shells collected from local beaches in my pots, but there are plenty of options. Just remember to pile the toppers no more than half an inch to an inch thick, so you can still stick your finger down into the soil to check to see if it needs to be watered. Also make sure that the toppers you choose won’t leach any damaging chemicals into your soil, and give anything you choose a good rinse in a colander before adding them to your container garden. Here are some other soil toppers to try:

  • Spanish moss
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Glass or plastic gems
  • Sand
  • Marble chips
  • River rocks
  • Beads
  • Corks
  • Crushed shells
  • Wood chips

Container Garden Soil Toppers

Need help choosing a container for your plants? Try this handy chart!

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Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.