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Cedar Planter Containers

There are so many lovely plant containers and pots available for use in our gardens, on decks and porches and indoors. How do you choose the best one? Too often we are guided by our taste alone. However to keep your container gardens growing happy and healthy you should give some consideration to the plant's needs when choosing a planter. Some things are common sense, like ensuring your planter has drainage holes. Here are some other things to think about:

 There are three basic questions when selecting a container, but after those questions are answered, your only limit is your imagination.

Be Sure Plant Can Live

First, will the plants live? To ensure success, make sure there is:

bulletgood drainage provided by plenty of holes in the bottom of the container and no drain dish to hold water around the plant roots;

bulletsufficient root space for the plant to grow as large as you want it to. The same tree could be a bonsai in a 2-inch pot, a patio decoration in a 10-gallon container, or a shade tree in a 200-gallon container. Generally you would need a planter with capacity two times the size of the root ball of the plant you intend to plant.

bulletenough weight to provide support to the plant. It is most distressing to find a prized plant sprawled across the deck days before all the flowers were to open. Many of today's containers are made of plastic, and when used with synthetic soil mixes, they are very light. If your plants will get top heavy, consider adding a few stones or a brick to the bottom of the container before planting.

Plant Selection

We often leave the choice of plants to the very end of creating a container garden. It's not crucial that you know ahead of time exactly what plant you plan to use in your container garden, but you do need to consider a couple of key facts when deciding on a planter.

  1. Can the plant survive in dry conditions?


  2. What is the mature size of the plant you've chosen? Be sure you've chosen a pot that is big enough for the plant's root ball as it grows.



Will the container be exposed to the hot mid-day sun? Will it be in full sun all day? How about strong breezes? We've already mentioned that all pots dry out faster than soil in the garden, but certain exposures will exacerbate the situation. If you are planting in full sun, you will probably want a pot made from material that is not porous. Terra cotta dries out very quickly. Synthetic resin pots stay cooler and retain moisture longer


Is someone able to water everyday? If not, does the pot or container have a drip tray or a reservoir so that it can be filled from the bottom and soak up water as needed? Once a plant has been stressed from lack of water, it may never recover


Will you be leaving the planter out through the winter? In USDA Zones 7 and above, this usually won't make a difference. Colder climates will need to choose frost safe containers like stone, cement and wood.


Do you need to move the pot around? Sometimes a planter on a deck needs to be moved for convenience. Maybe you want the ability to move your container garden where the sun or shade is or you plan on taking the container in for the winter. If you need the ability to move the pot for any reason, think twice about buying either a heavy or cumbersomely large planter. You may also buy a planter dolly to move your planter around. Concrete urns are gorgeous, but they should stay where you put them so as not to break either your back or the urn.

Materials - Clay & Stone

Cedar wood: Cedar is naturally rot resistant in outdoor, they are natural looking, Cedar Planter Containers and the log wood planter is the best choice for container planting if you live in the city, they are light weight. Bamboo planter and willow planter are made of rapidly renewable material also make great looking planter, except they do not last as long as the cedar wood planters. Terra cotta: Traditional, but porous and dries out quickly. Many are not frost-resistant. If it was made in a warm area, like the Mediterranean, it's probably not. ------ Stone and Concrete: Both are good for maintaining soil temperature and moisture. They heat up, but also insulate. Both can be left out over winter, but not great choices if the planter needs to be moved. Great if you need a planter the dogs can't knock over.

Materials - Synthetic

Fiberglass and resin: Synthetic pots have come a long way. Many can easily fool the eye into thinking they are a natural material, especially as they age. They are light, durable, inexpensive and often frost-resistant. ------ Plastic: Lightweight and moisture conserving. The semi-flexible pots work best for cold winters and are also good as liners. Plant directly into the plastic pot and then slip the plastic pot into the more decorative container. You get the benefits of both.




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Last modified: August 28, 2014