“Lanai is not a Maryland word,” said Claire Jones, Maryland resident and presenter at the March 6 General Membership Meeting. “But I want one.” Using a slide show and hands-on demonstration, Claire showed NGC members the wonders of container gardening. “To have beautiful containers from day one,” Claire told her audience, “use larger plants and more plants.”

Her containers last all season because she edits and grooms. She prunes back leggy plants and pulls out and replaces failing ones. Vegetables are great in containers and look beautiful. Foliage comes in many colors and textures, so works well in container plantings. “You don’t need flowers everywhere,” Claire notes. Some of the more interesting containers she used were old grills and stoves, a toy truck, chairs, table, broken pots and a suitcase.

Some of Claire’s Dos and Don’ts for Container Plants:

  • Container plants require lots of water. Don’t assume your containers are watered if it rains.
  • When planting a container, be sure the plant root balls are wet.
  • Buy good-quality terra cotta pots and elevate them using bricks, etc. so they can drain.
  • Fiberglass and plastic pots work well since they require less water.
  • Use quality potting soil. A soilless mix is best.
  • To reduce weight, use old soda cans or empty pots in the bottom of containers.
  • Fertilize, fertilize, fertilize about once a week to ensure plants are getting enough nutrients.