An Overview Of Plant Selection

A review of what you need to know to choose your plants

One of the great things about container gardening is that you can grow anything regardless of climate - because you can always move the tender plants indoors for cold weather. One of the more difficult things about container gardening is knowing what kinds of plants will work best for your plan. Ideas range from wanting to use specific containers to wanting to create mini-gardens of multi-colored companion plants.

Any good nursery can advise you about what conditions plants need, and if they don't, shop elsewhere where the salespeople know their plants.

And what do you need to know? Whether a plant has shallow or deep roots, whether it needs full sun or can take shade, whether it likes conditions dry or damp, whether it's cold hardy, whether it is an annual or a perennial - plus its eventual size, and its good and bad habits (like foliage that always gets rust, or pests that plague a particular plant).

Pick the plants that best suit the conditions you have to offer, and you're off to a good start. But remember that how you take care of them after planting will make or break your container garden's success.