How to Plant in Outdoor Pots


Welcome to our ultimate guide on how to plant in outdoor pots! Whether you have a small balcony or a spacious backyard, planting in outdoor pots is a great way to add some greenery to your space. Plus, it’s a perfect solution if you don’t have the time or space to maintain a full-fledged garden. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to plant in outdoor pots, explain the best practices, and provide some tips and tricks to ensure a successful and thriving potted garden.


Step 1: Choose the right pots

The first and most crucial step in planting in outdoor pots is selecting the right pot. The pot should have sufficient drainage holes, be deep enough to hold the plant’s roots, and be made of durable and weather-resistant material such as ceramic, plastic, or fiberglass.

Step 2: Pick the right soil

The second step is to choose the right soil. It is recommended to use potting soil, which is formulated to offer aeration and proper drainage while still retaining moisture to feed the plants.

Step 3: Select the right plants

Selecting the right plants is essential for a successful potted garden. Find plants that thrive in your region and are appropriate for the amount of sunlight and shade your outdoor setting provides.

Step 4: Planting

After selecting appropriate pots, soil, and plants, it is time to plant them. Place some stones or pebbles at the bottom of the pot for drainage and fill it halfway with soil. Then, place the plant in the pot and cover the roots with soil.

Step 5: Watering

Watering is one of the most critical aspects of planting in outdoor pots. Overwatering or underwatering can both be harmful to plants, so it’s crucial to find a balance. Water the plants once they start to look dry, and avoid getting water on the leaves when possible.

Step 6: Fertilizing

Fertilizing your potted plants is necessary for their growth and health. Use a starter fertilizer when planting and then add a balanced fertilizer once a month.

Step 7: Pruning

Pruning is necessary to keep your potted plants from becoming overcrowded. Remove any dead or yellowing leaves and cut back overgrown stems to encourage new growth.

Step 8: Repotting

As plants grow, they may outgrow their pots. Keep an eye on the plants’ roots and repot them when necessary into a larger pot to give them more space to grow.

Step 9: Protecting from pests and diseases

Pests and diseases can wreak havoc on potted plants. Keep an eye out for any signs of infestations or infections and address them immediately, whether through natural or chemical methods.

Step 10: Overwintering

Not all plants can withstand the cold winter months. Determine whether your potted plants can survive the winter or if they need to be brought indoors or covered.

Step 11: Mulching

Mulching is essential to keep moisture in the soil and protect plants’ roots from extreme temperatures. Use organic mulch, such as bark or compost, and add a layer around the plant base.

Step 12: Air circulation

Good air circulation is crucial for potted plants as it helps prevent mold and mildew growth. Place your pots in areas with good airflow, or use fans for better circulation.

Step 13: Sun protection

While plants need sunlight to grow, it’s essential to protect them from excessive sun exposure, which can cause scorching and sunburn. Move them to shaded areas during the hottest parts of the day.

Step 14: Harvesting

If you’re planting in outdoor pots for a kitchen garden, you’ll want to harvest your crops once they’re ready. Be sure to pick produce when it’s ripe to encourage new growth.

Step 15: Maintenance

Maintaining potted plants requires diligence and attention. Keep an eye on your plants and address any issues quickly to ensure they continue to thrive.

Explanations and Tips


Now that you know the steps to planting in outdoor pots let’s dive into some of the best practices to help ensure your potted garden’s success.

Tips and Tricks

1. Choose plants that are compatible with each other in terms of light, water, and nutrient requirements.

2. Consider adding vermiculite or perlite to your soil to help with drainage and aeration.

3. Use saucers or trays to catch water runoff, which can be reused to water plants.

4. Choose a potting mix with added nutrients like worm castings or compost for healthier plants.

5. Regularly check the soil for moisture by sticking your finger an inch into the soil. If it’s dry, water your plants.

6. Use a watering can with a long spout to water your plants’ roots instead of the leaves.

7. Place your potted plants on risers or wheels for easy cleaning and movement.

8. Consider incorporating companion planting, where two or more plant species are intentionally planted together to boost growth and deter pests.

Ready to Plant!

Now that you know how to plant in outdoor pots, you can bring some greenery to your outdoor spaces, no matter how small. Keep in mind the best practices and tips we’ve highlighted, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different plant varieties to find the perfect combination for your potted garden. Happy planting!

Strengths and Weaknesses of Planting in Outdoor Pots


1. Flexibility: You can move your potted plants around to find the best spot for sunlight and shade.

2. Accessibility: With an outdoor pot, you can easily reach your plants, which makes pruning, watering, and harvesting easier.

3. Pest Control: Outdoor pots can help prevent your plants from being attacked by pests and insects since they are elevated from the ground.

4. Aesthetics: Potted plants help enhance the beauty of outdoor spaces by adding color, texture, and dimension to the area.

5. Control Over Soil Quality: With outdoor pots, you have better control over the type and quality of soil your plants grow in.


1. Limited Growth: Since outdoor pots have a finite amount of space, plants cannot grow as large as they can in the ground.

2. Watering Challenges: Potted plants can dry out quicker than plants in the ground, which means they require more frequent watering.

3. Root Bound: Plants that are kept in pots for too long can become root-bound, which hinders their growth and development.

4. Temperature Sensitivity: Potted plants are more susceptible to temperature changes because they are not insulated by the ground. This means they are more vulnerable to extreme heat and cold.

5. Maintenance: Outdoor pots require more maintenance than plants in the ground. They need to be fertilized and soil needs to be replaced more frequently.


How to Plant in Outdoor Pots

Q1: What type of soil should I use for outdoor pots?

A: Use a good quality potting soil that is well-draining, fertile, and holds moisture. Avoid garden soil, which can become too compact in pots, and use a mix that includes perlite or vermiculite.

Q2: How big should the pot be for outdoor plants?

A: Choose a pot that provides enough room for the plant’s roots to grow, taking into consideration the plant’s size and growth rate. A container that is at least 12 inches deep and wide is usually sufficient.

Q3: Should I line the bottom of the pot with rocks or gravel?

A: It’s not necessary to line the bottom of your pot with rocks or gravel, as this can actually hinder drainage. Instead, ensure that your pot has drainage holes and place a layer of plastic screening or a coffee filter over the holes to prevent soil from escaping.

Q4: How often should I water my outdoor potted plants?

A: Water your plants when the soil feels dry to the touch, usually once a week. The frequency may depend on the plant’s needs and the weather, so check the moisture level regularly and adjust as necessary.

Q5: Can I plant multiple plants in the same pot?

A: Yes, you can plant multiple plants in the same pot as long as they have similar water and light requirements and there is enough space for them to grow. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot.

Q6: Should I add fertilizer to my outdoor potted plants?

A: Yes, potted plants need regular fertilization to thrive. Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.

Q7: Do I need to re-pot my outdoor plants?

A: Yes, re-potting is necessary when the plant outgrows its current pot. Signs that it may be time to re-pot include roots growing out of the drainage holes, soil drying out quickly, or stunted growth.

Q8: Can I move my outdoor potted plants around?

A: Yes, you can move your pots around to adjust for sunlight and temperature changes, but be gentle when doing so to avoid damaging the roots.

Q9: Should I prune my outdoor potted plants?

A: Yes, regular pruning can help keep your plants healthy and promote growth. Prune dead or damaged branches and leaves, and trim back any overgrown branches to encourage new growth.

Q10: How can I prevent pests from getting into my outdoor pots?

A: Keep your pots clean and free of debris, remove dead leaves and branches, and use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or soap spray. Check your plants regularly for signs of pests and treat them promptly.

Q11: Can I plant herbs in outdoor pots?

A: Yes, many herbs do well in outdoor pots. Choose a pot with good drainage and a mix of potting soil and compost for added nutrients. Place your herbs in a sunny location and water them regularly.

Q12: Can I plant vegetables in outdoor pots?

A: Yes, many vegetables can be grown in outdoor pots, such as tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce. Choose a pot that is at least 12 inches deep and wide and use a potting mix that is rich in nutrients. Place your plants in a sunny, sheltered location and water them regularly.

Q13: How do I prepare my outdoor pots for winter?

A: Empty your pots of any dead or dying plants and soil. Wash the pots and dry them thoroughly, then store them in a cool, dry place. You can also cover them with a tarp or a thick layer of mulch to protect them from freezing temperatures.


Planting in outdoor pots is a great way to bring some natural beauty to any outdoor space. By following the right steps, planting in outdoor pots doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating. Some of the most important things to remember are to choose the right pot size and material, use high-quality soil, and water the plants regularly. Taking care of the plants once they are in the pot is also important, including feeding, watering, and occasionally trimming them. By following these tips, anyone can create a beautiful, thriving garden in an outdoor pot.

When it comes to choosing what to plant in outdoor pots, the choices are endless. Some of the best plants for outdoor pots include flowers, greenery, and herbs. These plants not only look beautiful in pots, but they can also attract pollinators and provide fresh herbs for cooking. In addition, planting in outdoor pots is a great option for people who have limited space, want to create a mobile garden, or who want to experiment with different plant combinations. Overall, planting in outdoor pots is a fun and rewarding activity that can turn any outdoor space into a colorful, vibrant garden.