Potted Plants on the Job

As you’re figuring out what to plant where in your garden this spring, don’t forget about pots! Even if you have a glorious yard and garden, there are still plenty of benefits to container gardening. In fact, some plants perform even better when they’re planted in pots. Here’s why:

They avoid trouble. Plants in containers are safe from most of the soilborne pests and diseases that thrive in open ground. Even hostas — tasty targets for slugs and snails — are easier to protect when you grow them in pots.

They’re a no-sprawl zone. Some plants are born with a roving spirit that just won’t quit. Planted in the ground and left to their own devices, these wandering gypsies will take over an entire garden in a single season. But with their roots in pots, even the most enthusiastic ramblers stay at home.

They’ll add color to your palette. Containers enable you to grow plants that could never survive in your in-ground garden. When the weather turns too hot or too cold, all you need to do is whisk both plant and pot to shelter. And you can amend the potting mix to suit the needs of any plant — which is not always possible to do in your garden.

They keep the show going. No matter how well you plan and tend a flower garden, the great wheel of life keeps on turning — which means gaps are bound to appear now and then. And that’s where potted plants come in. When the seasons change, and empty spots in your garden appear, view that as a jim-dandy opportunity to liven up your scene with pots of colorful annuals or bulbs.