Container Gardening in Shade

Container gardening will add interest to those areas in shade you have all but given up on. The containers or pots can be moved around the garden for a different look whenever you feel like it, and you can use all kinds of containers to put your plants in that will add a little something different to your garden atmosphere.

Containers

You will find many beautiful containers for sale through catalogs and garden centers. Also look around your home and see what you already have that could be used for planting.

Any container that will hold soil will do provided you can drill the necessary drainage holes.

Be creative and consider using: old boots, clay drainage pipe, watering can, buckets, or a wheel barrow.

Put large containers where you want them while still empty. They are heavy when filled with soil and will be more difficult to move once you have planted them up.

Container Gardening in Shade

Drainage

Good drainage is essential to prevent roots being damaged from too much water.

Cover the drainage holes with pieces of broken clay pots, and/or add a layer of pebbles or polystyrene in the bottom of the container.

It's a good idea to raise your container off the ground to make it harder for bugs to enter through the holes.

You can stand you container on feet or bricks. This helps your container to drain more effectively as well. Make sure it can't blow over though!

Soil

Container Gardening

Soil for container gardening is different from soil used in the ground. Container soil needs to drain well and still hold enough moisture and nutrients to grow healthy roots.

There are a lot of good mixes on the market. You can make your own using equal parts of:

  • soil
  • peat moss
  • compost

Shrubs like rhododendron, azalea and camellia need an acid soil/compost mix. Adjust the basic soil mixture by adding:

  • sulphur
  • leaf mold (cut up leaves) or
  • extra peat moss

Soil mixes for different species of plants will be within the content of their page if they have any special requirements.

Watering

Whatever plants you use for container gardening in shade, remember that they need regular watering and feeding to keep them well established and looking good.

To cut down on how frequently you need to water, when filling your container with soil, add:

  • water retaining crystals
  • controlled release fertilizer
  • peat moss

Container Gardening