Containers for plants can be anything!! As long as it has: Drainage!!
Plant containers can be anything that holds soil !! Remember: Drainage
Know your plant’s moisture requirements ! Moisture-loving plants can stand in water: bacopa, peace lily, cannas. Plastic pots are good for these plants. Most plants cannot stand in water and need oxygen as much as moisture. Double pot these or use containers with several drainage holes. Dry loving plants require drainage and pots that dry out: terra cotta, or clay. Plastic is worse for these plants.
Container options: terra cotta or clay Classic choice because it is great for plant root growth: provides good air or oxygen exchange. Heavy Dries out quickly Develops mold, salts etching
Container options: plastic & fiberglass Lightweight, maybe too lightweight Hold moisture longer, maybe too long No staining Colorful, can be decorative and attractive
Container options: wood Minimum temperature fluctuation: good insulators Needs replacing eventually, can last many years Informal, natural appearance
Container options: glazed ceramic Beautiful Non-porous and can be too airtight for root growth May clash with plants flowers and foliage Phormium, New Zealand flax
Container options: metal Little insulation: can be very hot or very cold, less of a problem in large containers Can be very attractive
Container options: stone, hypertufa troughs Heavy in weight and cost Harder to find Moss grows on containers Drainage may be a problem.
Traditional Container Soil Mix: *1 part garden soil *1 part peatmoss (wet first: soak in a bucket) *1 part sand Use new soil each year.
Most people use synthetic soil. Lightweight; holds water and air; ideal for plant growth.
Combinations for Containers Resources, fun websites: http://www.plantbynumber.com/ Ball Horticultural, Inc.http://www.plantbynumber.com/ http://www.provenwinners.com click on: Combinationshttp://www.provenwinners.com
Proven Winners: A. Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ 2 plants B. Lobelia ‘Laguna Sky Blue’ 3plants C. Petunia ‘Supertunia Double Purple’ 2plants “Pennies from Heaven” Proven Winners AA B B C C B
Containers can provide beauty and interest in winter. In our zone 4, nothing survives the winter in a container, without significant protection.
Further References: Best Annuals for Minnesota: http://www.florifacts.umn.edu/ St. Paul (USDA Winter Hardiness Z4; Heat Z5; 169 growing days) Books: Contain Yourself by Kerstin P. Ouellet, 2003. Ball Publishing.