Problems With Container plants

Solving Container-Grown Plant Problems

Container Plants-problems-with-container-plants
Container Plants

Growing Plants with the help of containers is not new but has been around for some time, this method is known as container gardening and does have its advantages but like any other garden type, there are challenges that must be addressed to have success.

I have spent many years in the landscape and gardening field and one of those areas where I worked most of those years was working as an interior plantscape designer and plant technician where I was faced with the good the bad and the ugly. But before we discuss container plant problems let’s take a closer look at the advantages of growing plants from containers.

Advantages of growing plants from containers

  • Your garden plants can always be moved around to a more secure location when the weather is no longer favorable
  • The weed problems are kept at a minimum
  • Utilizing the space that you have
  • Containers can be placed just about anywhere even indoors
  • Containers can always be shifted around for a different look and feel
  • Maintaining a container garden is less laborist
  • It is much easier to treat plants that are growing in containers for disease and garden insect pests
  • With container gardening, you bring nature indoors
  • Indoor plants will remove toxins from the air
  • The start-up cost is less expensive
  • Container gardening can beautify both out and indoors

Problems with container plants

Now that we have looked at the advantages of container gardening let’s take a look at the issues that are involved.

I know it may be hard to believe that with all the positive that has been said about container gardening, there are also many issues, well keep reading to find out you will be surprised.

Stunt a plants growth

Many years ago I was given two birds of paradise, one of the birds I planted directly into the ground after a few months of being in the container, and the other bird was left in its container. As the years passed, I kept an eye on these plants.

The bird which was planted in the ground grew while the bird which was left in the container hardly grew this was because the root ball was restricted to the container, the plant’s roots were not free to run nor were the roots able to come in contact with soil nutrients. Restricting the root ball can control or slow the plant’s top growth.

Less water availability

Container-grown plants are depending on us for water because these plants are restricted to the container, therefore, it is important that we give them the required moisture to survive. Too often container plants are neglected and die because of a lack of moisture.

Less nutrient availability

Plants that are installed directly into the soil have an available amount of nutrients which they take up through their roots, container-grown plants are restricted and depend on us to give them the needed nutrients (fertilizers).

Root Rot

Container-grown plants have a higher risk of root rot because either you’re overwatering, the container does not have drain holes or the drain holes may be clogged and must be unclogged or the soil may be poorly drained soil.

Moisture Level

Plants that are installed in containers may dry out more quickly so keep an eye on the soil’s moisture level.

Limited food crop

Growing food crops such as an edible garden from containers will limit the amount of food your plants produce.

Container Type

Here is a list of things to grow your plants from.

Container garden has taken on a different twist and with this twist comes creativity which can create interest bringing that much-needed flavor by letting those creative juices flow. There are lots of ways this can work and what you have around your home can make a great container for container gardening.

  • The use of buckets will work wonders
  • Grow bags will certainly do
  • I have seen plants growing from a discarded toilet bowl
  • Window Boxes will give that BANG
  • That old pot that you are no longer using to cook those scrumptious meals can be used to grow your plants
  • What about a bathtub you no longer use but is laying around the yard
  • You can not go wrong with wooden crates
  • And old boots or boots will look great with flowers growing from them
  • Hanging baskets are just simply beautiful
  • A tin tub lined with landscape fabric will bring that WOW
  • What else can you think of remembering to get creative and have fun?

Some plants which are great for container gardening

Edible Plants


Garlic Herb
  • Basils
  • Mint
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Lemon Balm
  • Onion
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme


Tomatoes growing on vines
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Beetroot
  • Radish
  • Chard


Red Apples-problems-with-container-plants
Red Apples
  • Peaches and Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapples
  • Apples
  • Lemons
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Bananas
  • Oranges and Citrus

Additional Information

1. When growing plants from containers ensure that the soil is free of disease and weed seeds a good potting soil from your plant nursery will work wonders for your garden plants.

2. Know the watering needs of your plants and give that amount of water.

3. The use of organic fertilizers makes a great choice especially when growing food crops but if using synthetics or man-made fertilizers read and follow the manufacturer’s label.

4. When treating garden insect pests start with chemicals that are least toxic or use products that are safe on edible food crops and around humans and pets. For more on treating garden insect pests refer to the category section of this website.

5. Ensure that the containers have drain holes for water to flow freely after watering.

6. Your container plants should be given the right amount of sunlight.

7. Keep a hand pruner close by to keep your plants growing nicely.

The final word

Container gardening does have its advantages, I have worked with these garden types for years and have seen the many benefits. These gardens are great and can be so much fun as you let those creative juices flow creating a masterpiece for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy so why not go for it you will be surprised as you let your imagination run wild by connecting with nature in this amazing way.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

10 thoughts on “Problems With Container plants”

  1. Hi! I appreciate your experience taking care of container plants. It’s nice to consider all their benefits, that they are many. But it’s also good to consider their disadvantages. I have personally had problems in my garden with root rot. And I know how important it is to moisture our container plants but not to overwater them.

    • Container gardening is truly amazing and does work wonders. A word of caution is to always ensure you know the water requirements of your plants and that your container has drain holes for water to drain. I hope this helps, all the best to you.

  2. I have also spent a good portion of my life gardening. It’s so rewarding. But I have most of the time taken care of plants directly on the soil outdoors. Recently due to my age, I have shifted my activities to container plants and I’m impressed with the growth factor. I understand the container limits the root and there are not enough nutrients and water is not so abundant. Good points to consider and take care. Thanks 

    • Abel so happy to meet you and it seems that we have the same interest, Gardening is really great and has so many benefits. All the best to you and have a good day.

  3. I really prefer container gardening to any other form that can be suggested because of its convenience and it mobility. A stone goes on, I always like to change the position of my plants so as to change the look of my garden to suit my present taste, as you’ve said in this article, it’s reduces the stress of weeding. It’s true that it doesn’t give the plants access to nutrients enough but I think if proper care is given, there are nutrients in form of compost and plant supplements that can be used like I do to mine and they are actually doing fine. Thanks

    • All that you have said about container gardens is true these gardens doses have it advantages and can make life as a gardener much easier. So happy to help and thanks for sharing.

  4. I really commend your efforts for gathering another wonderful information about garden, it’s always a delightful experience for me to read through your articles as I get a lot of new ideas for my garden. The additional tips are always helpful too. Container gardening has it own downs but I think o we Time, this has been improved a lot and some of the tips we use are in this article. It’s a very useful article, I’ve learned a lot from it.

    • Container gardens do have their advantages and we can have beautiful gardens with containers once we have the proper knowledge. Thanks so much for your kind words, all the best to you so happy to help and have a good day.

  5. Hello Norman,

    I personally like container gardening. That is simply because of the minimum weed problem and it’s ability to change the overall look in our garden at anytime we want. Even though I prefer container gardening, I think plants prefer their natural soil and land. As you have mentioned if we want our plants to grow healthily for a long time I think planting them in the ground is the way to go. Could you please tell me what plants we should never grow in containers?

    • Hello Anjali you can grow just about any plant in a container as long as the container is large enough to accommodate your plant along with planting in the right soil type, giving your plant the required lighting or sunlight, the right amount of water and fertilizer and ensuring that your container has sufficient drain holes 5-6 both you and your plant will be happy. Hope this helps.


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