What To Know About Container Plants Part 3

800px-Garden_hose_pistolNow that you’ve read Part One and Part Two in our container plant series, Part Three is here to help readers understand how to care for container plants in an ongoing fashion. Growing plants in containers can be tricky, so here’s our best ideas on how to keep them healthy and thriving in the Oregon area.

How To Care for Container Plants


Watering container plants has a tendency to flush out fertilizer and nutrients. It is important to add a slow release fertilizer when you plant the container plants, and then to also apply a water soluble fertilizer every two or three weeks during the growing season.

Container Size

By their very nature, containers limit how expansive that the root system can grow. Generally, the bigger the pot you can give a plant, the larger it will allow the roots to expand, producing a healthier, fuller plant.

Sunlight Needs

While you want to follow the best sunlight instructions for each plant individually, avoid placing a container plant in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can “cook” the root ball with too much heat and kill the entire plant.


Take extra care to continually prune container plants. Deadhead and trim as often as possible to promote the growth of new flowers or fruits.


Container plants need extra water and fertilizer because their roots are limited in space. Most containers need water every day, and in particularly warm weather, twice daily.


Long-term plants like shrubs and trees will need repotting every 2-3 years. There are two methods you can use to repot a tree or shrub. The first method is to remove the plant, cut away several inches of roots from the root ball and then return it to the original container. The second method is to replant the tree or shrub into a container that is a few inches larger than the original. Either way, the plant needs extra space to develop new roots.

Well, we are wrapping up this series on container plants, and hopefully we’ve given you all the information you need to keep your container garden bountiful this summer. If you have more questions, you can find other resources on our blog, or by giving us a ring. We provide landscaping design and installation for any intimate space  or other specialty landscape designs in Portland and the surrounding suburbs.

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