Caring for Plants in Containers

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Container planting can be great for the home or porch, but they do need a bit more care.

plant container
I wanted to share this photo. What a container for those plants. I wonder if they take care of it, or if it has gone wild. My father took this picture while he and my mother were visiting relatives in Uruguay. I do not think my neighbors would care for this, if I did it in my yard. I am more into containers this year. Container gardening can be a wonderful way to enhance a space, but they do need your attention more often than a garden bed.

    The weather has not been the best for gardening. I did decide to greatly expand a garden bed that is dedicated to my children. I wanted to surprise them when they came back from their vacation. This did leave me with a bed with no plants. Since my timing was not the best for new plantings, I threw caution to the wind. I took whole seeds from my spice containers along with some beans for this area. To my surprise, the fenugreek has sprouted. I cannot wait for the cumin. Fenugreek seeds add a flavor that you may be familiar with in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, but we may not know what produces that flavor. The leaves are used for teas and flavoring as well. When we had a bit of a dry patch, I did paint the fort that has been growing. My son had not completed the paint job, so I thought that I would compete the task. I have seen other fathers build tree houses and forts for their children, but they do nothing to protect the wood. This can really damage the wood, causing pieces on the fort to become unsafe.
    Most of this week, I began to think of containers. I started a few plants in different pots. I hope to be growing red peppercorns soon. I had to organize storage for some containers. Then I spent time on my porch. This is when I realized that I had ignored the care of my pots here. I deadheaded the spent flowers to have more blooms. A few plants were too soaked by the rains, while others were drying out. You really have to look at the containers each day to find out what their needs are. My eggplant in the container has not produced, but it is growing well. The haberneros have been abundant. I am thinking of making a sauce with galanga, garlic, and the habeneros. The miniature rose in one container has been flourishing in this weather. Katya had coupled this with a kolanche which is also doing well. The vincas had a hard time of it though. So much rain and humidity does not seem to have agreed with them. The portaluca is fine. Most people forget that this is a potherb. I have been using it in salads.
    The gardening centers are having sales right now. This is not the best time to plant, and they need to move some stock. I did buy a crepe myrtle; burgundy leaves with white flowers. At first I was thinking of keeping it in a container. The shady porch can be a good place for these plants to wait out till the fall. I decide to plant mine in a space where a morning glory vine died. However, I think that buying some plants now for containers may be a good way to save money. I can transplant them in the fall for next year. As I said, keeping track of my containers is necessary any way, so I could nurse these plants for next year.
   Mornings and evenings have been nice on the porch. I have been spraying garlic in the yard to lower the mosquito count. Wish that I could have more dragonflies in the yard or bats. They would handle the mosquito population. At least, I am enjoying the plants in the containers, which means I am paying them more attention.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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