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Now that winter is upon us, many of us are searching for a fabulous way to add light and color to the dreary, monochromatic scenes of the season.
One way to incorporate the lovely views of spring inside your home is by planting houseplants that can grow in containers.
Whether you intend on leaving them inside all year long or occasionally place them outdoors, you can’t go wrong with these incredible specimens.
What flowers do well in shallow pots?
The types of plants that do best in shallow pots are those with small, compact root systems. They don’t ask for a ton of room to spread out and thrive in various growing conditions.
1. Petunias (Petunia atkinsiana)
The best thing about petunias is their long flowering periods, which offer intense colors for months at a time. The only drawback is that they love warmer weather.
So if you live somewhere outside the USDA hardiness zones of 9-11, then you should probably grow these flowers indoors.
The key to their success is to provide them with plenty of direct sunlight throughout the day. Set them beside a window and water them only as necessary.
Using a soil-less mix, like Miracle Grow, also assists your petunia’s growth by improving the drainage in the container.
As an added benefit, it keeps out harmful, external elements commonly encountered in regular soil.
2. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
There is a reason so many home design shows and gardeners feature lavender. It’s easy to care for, grows almost anywhere, and offers a pleasant odor that instantly fills any room.
In fact, the lavender fragrance acts as a stress reliever while naturally deodorizing the air.
It’s why so many people use them as cut flowers, dry them, then place them in various decorative locations throughout their home.
Beyond sunlight and regular watering of the plants, furnish these species with plenty of room to grow. The average height is two feet, so a container that suits its tall stems is ideal.
Pruning is another essential task to add to your routine to ensure new growth each year.
3. Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)
A shade-loving plant like the impatiens makes growing them indoors all the more convenient.
These low-maintenance flowers feel just as home in flower beds as they do when set beside a nice window in a pot.
Their tendency to spill out over the edge of their containers in a glorious fountain effect also makes them perfect for hanging baskets.
The soil is what really cinches it for the survival of this plant. A potting mix that is rich in humus and drains easily is essential for promoting healthy growth.
If planning on transferring them outdoors, add a slow-release fertilizer to ease the transition.
Consider using coco coir for your plants.
4. Zinnias (Zinnia elegans)
Another easy-to-grow plant is the zinnia. This versatile family of flowers comes in such a wide variety of species that it’s easy to uncover the color and style that suits your tastes.
They range in height, single versus numerous rows of petals, and even develop into different shapes depending on the species.
Zinnias are a fun plant to grow from seed, especially for beginners. They don’t require much to get started and typically sprout up into full bloom after only two months.
Cutting the flowers into lovely bouquets is one of the highlights of this plant. Not only does it make a stunning centerpiece on any tabletop, but it also helps the plant produce more daisy-like blooms overtime.
5. Cape Daisy (Osteospermum)
Along with the same family as zinnias are Cape Daisies, also known as the African Daisy. These lovely plants display shiny centers and petals with vividly intense colors that just pop.
In fact, the hues are so luxurious that many believed the plant color to be manufactured when they first came onto the market.
Growing only about 1-3 feet tall, this petite plant is perfect for sprucing up any room in your home. While they love the sun, humidity is not their friend. See some ways to increase humidity for houseplants.
So wherever you place them, ensure there are proper air circulation and a bright sunny window. You can even add in some organic soil mix to keep them healthy and thriving.
6. Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium graveolens)
Geraniums are another favorite among homeowners and gardeners alike. They fare incredibly well in container gardens and even bloom year-round when given enough light indoors.
Not to mention, they come in a variety of smells that range from floral to minty, as well as vanilla and chocolate.
When caring for geraniums, let the top layer of soil dry out in between waters but not too much. Geraniums are the type of flowers that prefer a little dryness to their feet getting wet.
Deadheading any old or spent flowers are also a great way to encourage new blooms to grow.
The most significant drawbacks of these flowers are that they occasionally entertain pests like mealybugs.
How often to water potted plants?
The frequency with which you water your potted plants differs depending on the time of year and the species. In spring and those times with lower temperatures, watering your flowers every 3-4 days is the best practice to keep.
As temperatures rise and depending on whether you leave your container flowers outdoors, increase that time to once or twice a day.
Related: 4 Best Perlite for Indoor Plant
In spring, lower temperatures, water every 3 to 4 days, but hotter temps may require an increase in watering from once a day to even twice a day.
The rule of thumb is to check your plant’s soil. Some recommend the ground to remain moist, while others ask that the soil dry out an inch or two between watering.
Use this as a rule for when to water your plants based on the needed requirement.
Don’t forget to water them in the winter. Even dormant plants need a little loving to get them through those long winter months.
How do you know if a potted plant needs water?
The most effective method for determining whether your plant needs more water or not is to stick your finger into the soil. If it’s dry, give your flowers a little drink. The earth should feel moist, not saturated, and not soggy.
Keep an eye on the top layer of the soil for any signs of overwatering. Ensuring it doesn’t remain soaked long after watering is a fantastic way to be proactive with your routine.
Plants need air pockets within the dirt to circulate oxygen to the rest of the plant. If your container is small enough, lift it to gauge whether it is lighter than usual.
A heavier than normal pot indicates the soil is too compact and full of water, while a lightweight container lets you know it’s time for another watering.
How do you tell if a plant is overwatered?
Wilting leaves that show signs of yellowing or turning brown are clear signs of overwatering. These symptoms also indicate the plant is thirsty and requires additional water, so take the test another step further by judging the leaf texture.
As you’d expect, underwatered plants possess leaves that are dry and crisp. Those with too much water develop soft limp leaves, the same way many materials become after soaking in water for too long.
Can plants recover from overwatering?
Some plants never recover from the damage caused by overwatering, especially if you don’t notice the signs until it is far too late to salvage them. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
There is also a small window of hope that your plant may recover using basic strategies to combat overexposure. Most gardeners see results in a week, so don’t give up hope until then.
The first step in this recovery mission is to remove dead and dying leaves from the specimen.
Next, check the pot for any inconsistencies with draining. Amending irrigation issues may be as simple as replacing the type of container used or perforating the soil.
Moving around the dirt breaks up any clumps or dense spaces that prohibit the flow of oxygen from reaching the roots. Doing this allows your plants to breathe.
For significant water damage, treat your flowers with a fungicide. Since the consistent moisture often breeds complications of fungi and mold, this helps ward off these issues.
Do houseplants need sunlight?
Yes. All plants need sunlight to convert nutrients into much-needed energy sufficiently. The only difference is that some require more sunlight than most, while others may only require a small amount of light each day.
So how do houseplants get their daily fill of sunlight? Placing them by a window in your home that receives plenty of light is the ideal solution.
Some homeowners also set their plants out on balconies or porches during the day to soak up some healthy rays.
Whatever technique you choose, just make sure your plants receive their recommended hours of sun for the day.
Adding plants to your home adds style, fragrance, and a lovely touch of the outdoors everyone can appreciate. There are numerous plants and flowers to choose from when it comes to selecting your houseplants.
The best way to discover what’s right for you is by visiting your local nursery or garden center today!