Planting, Growing, and Caring for Plants in Containers
Choose a plant that is adaptable to a container. Generally most plants with a moderate to small root system will grow in a pot, some larger growing specimens, such as shade trees, large shrubs, and deep-rooted large perennials are best planted in the ground.
Select a container that corresponds to the size and quantity of plants you have chosen. Use a quality potting mix in a pot with holes to ensure good drainage. Fertilize and water carefully as needed, since containers create a smaller root zone for plants.
In areas with cold winters, consider a plant's hardiness. Some plants will need to be moved to an enclosed area for winter, such as a garage or cold frame, and given minimal water. Some plants will survive in a sturdy planter in a sheltered location, especially if they are rated for a zone or two hardier than the zone where they are being grown. For example, if you are in a zone 5, it is suggested to select plants hardy to zone 4 or colder.
Another option is to enjoy your plants for a season in a container and then approximately 6 weeks before the ground freezes remove them from the pots, plant them in the garden and mulch around their root zones. Look for additional information specifically for your hardiness zone from your nearest arboretum, public gardens, or university extension services.
Shrubs, trees, and conifers form the backbone of a landscape, creating the feeling of permanence and advancing maturity. Their flowers, leaves, berries, and bark herald the changing seasons.