Plants Grown in Containers

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Plants grown in containers offer homeowners flexibility, whether the plants are houseplants indoors or colorful annuals on an outdoor patio. Planting in containers allows a gardener to easily make changes in location if sunlight or temperatures do not encourage plant growth. Indoor container plants not only improve air quality but also help to enhance the visual interest of a home (Figure 18–1). Outdoor containers offer people without a large yard or garden the opportunity to grow vegetables, herbs, or flowers for personal enjoyment (Figure 18–2). Gardeners with physical limitations may find that plants in raised containers are easier to maintain than those planted in the ground. The possibilities are endless—with new exciting plant varieties that thrive in containers and the bounty of beautiful containers that can be found at local retailers and garden centers.

All plants need the same basic environmental conditions to survive. Correct management of growth factors—light, water, temperature, air movement, relative humidity, and fertilization—and the proper growing medium are the keys to success with container-grown plants. Indoor and outdoor container-grown plants share many characteristics, but each situation also has some unique needs. This chapter first explores what all container-grown plants have in common and then reviews the differences between outdoor and indoor container gardening.

Diane Mays
Kim Richter
Lucy Bradley
Julie Sherk
Mark Kistler
Joe Neal
NC Coorporative Extension