What to Know About Container Plants Part 1

container plants by All Oregon LandscapingWith yards getting smaller and smaller in bigger cities, and even here in Portland, containers have become a way to add color, scent, and liveliness to a small yard or what we like to call an intimate space. Just because you’ve got limited outdoor space doesn’t mean it has to be void of all plant life. Container plants are a great way to boost the fun in any space, large or small, and today we’ll talk over the basics of choosing containers in part 1 of a 3 part series on container plants. Look for more on the All Oregon Landscaping blog over the next few weeks to learn all about container plants.

Choosing the Best Container

There are all sorts of containers available, and here’s the rundown on what makes the perfect container.

Clay pots: Mostly inexpensive, but can dry out quickly.
Terracotta: More expensive than clay, but usually last longer and dry out slower.
Ceramic containers: Can come in any design, but have a tendency to be fragile and break easily.
Plastic pots: Lightweight and cheap. With too much light they can quickly become brittle. TIP: Make plastic containers last longer by placing them inside of a clay or ceramic container.  
Wood containers: Will ultimately rot. The time it takes to rot depends on the type of wood, and the level of moisture. TIP: Cedar and Redwood are the most resistant to rotting. 
Tin containers: Will rust over time. But that can be an appealing look for some.
Whiskey barrel: A good size for shrubs and small trees, but get heavy and difficult to move.

Choosing the best container for you plants and yard is about both style and functionality. If you are the type to spend quality time caring for your plants and their container homes, any of the above will probably suit you. If you are more of a “plant them and forget them, except to water them” type, try a low-maintenance container like plastic. You can always spruce up the appearance by putting plastic containers inside something more fashionable.


If you need help designing a garden or your container plants for the year, just give us a ring. Container plants and intimate spaces are one of our specialties. Check out our photo gallery to see some of our work in smaller spaces. We work throughout the Portland Metro area including Tigard, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Sherwood, Wilsonville, Tualatin, Hillsboro, Gresham, Oregon City, and more – just ask.

Have any great photos of your container plants? We’d love to see your designs, so share them in the comments or on Facebook.

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