Container Gardening?

Question by catherine02116: Container Gardening?
I am an empty-nester, living in a city apartment in zone 5. I really miss my mixed borders and have started container gardening out on my terrace. Annuals just don’t do it for me, and I have had success with containers of daylilies, hosta, astilbe, lilac and PJM Rhododendrons. Can anyone recommend some good books or web sites on growing perennials in containers? Thank you!

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Answer by fluffernut
Can’t come up with a book but realize you are fighting perennial’s roots in a confined space. What makes a perennial and perennial is some food storage device; tuber, bulb, rhizome, woody stems, etc.

To carry the plants over you must protect the roots from the cold by insulating the pots and every year or so you’ll need to either pot up or somehow manipulate the plant to keep it in the correct size for the pot……which in turn might interfere with flowering.

I’m not saying it’s impossible as I’ve done it, but it was tough: frequent repotting, root trimming, more watering and feeding due to confined roots and little soil, floppiness, etc.

Think smaller perennials and a shorter bloom period.

What do you think? Answer below…

6 Responses to “Container Gardening?”

  1. Amy Y says:

    I have two books that I really like:
    -Container Gardening for Dummies by Bill Marken
    -Indoor Plants- The essential guide to choosing and caring for houseplants by Jane Courtier, and Graham Clarke

    Here are a couple websites:,1784,HGTV_3558,00.html

    I prefer container gardening myself. I have a nice yard, but it is just so much easier to move things around, and pull things up and change them with something else if they are in pots.

  2. Steve C says:

    try sawdust in a bucket put one cap of fish emulsution in 1 gal.water. use half a gal. a day its light weight and growes fast.try it

  3. GARDEN DOK. MG. says:


    I started out as a container gardener in a small walk up 4th floor apartment in Chicago. It wasnt much fun lugging supplies up 4 floors, but I had the best darn 4th floor balcony garden in Chicago. One year I even grew sweet corn on the balcony. The folk on the 3rd floor weren’t very happy with me, but that’s another story…

    Zone 5 or zone 15, inside or out, the best answers to all your garden or container garrdens still come from one place. Your local state univ extension service MASTER GARDENER. Always the best answer the very first time. Master Gardeners are trained to respond to the area they serve. So when you have a question for zone 5, that is only answer from experts that garden right in our own neighborhood..
    Urban gardeners / container gardeners have unigue problem that need to be addressed. The urban Master Gardeners are trained to meet those unique situations. Most sights have special printed info to answer all your questions and problems. Not only will you get a live person on the phone to guide you, they will pop the printed info into the mail or via fax or e-mail right to your door. All the info will be just for your own local area. Like having a garden expert living right next door.
    Find your state college extension office in your phone book under state government or get linked up locally by using…
    or the name of your state and master gardeners on the web. tell ‘um where you live and they’ll hook you up to a sight near by your home.

  4. Cassie says:

    I am LOL as I loaned all my good container growing books to a nursery owner friend of mine….just walk in Barnes and Noble….the best ones are usually in hard back and just find the pictures of containers which appeal to you…..
    I used to own a container gardening business and the secret to beautiful gardens all year is to mix perennials, evergreens and annuals…..this way the container always has something wonderful blooming….get 24-28 inch pots and don’t be afraid to use large center pieces of plants in the middle….Malcom Hillier and David Joyce are two names I do remember as authors of some books I have. I will try to find some good sites for you.

  5. ZOE says:

    Go to and they have a group for Container can even grow a rose in a pot..all kinds of plants!!

  6. Jae says:

    This website can answer any gardening questions

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