How To Create Beautiful Small Container Gardens

Love outdoor plants and need something smaller to manage? Here is how to create beautiful small container gardens for your outside space.

What can I grow in a small container garden? Lots of wonderful plants that you can grow in your small container gardens.

How To Create Beautiful Small Container Gardens

Easy DIY Herb Container Gardens

If you are looking for a budget container garden, try herbs. Most herbs in the local nurseries or Lowes garden section range from $2.49-$6.99.

For small container gardens, pots from 12″ to 20″ in diameter work best.

In this 12″ diameter Terra Cotta planter, I will be using three small pots of cilantro, tarragon, and rosemary with one large pot of basil. There will be room for the plants to grow and fill in the container.

Start by cleaning the inside of your planter thoroughly with plain warm water and a microfiber cloth. Never use soap or bleach on a container that is unglazed. The pot is porous and will hold the toxic and kill your plants.

Your pot should have drainage holes or a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. If not, you can use a drill and drill bit to make three holes.

How to create beautiful small container garden.

Next add about an inch of gravel in the bottom of your container. It will help with drainage.

You need to fill the Terra Cotta planter with Miracle Grow Potting Soil. Using a spade, you can make holes in the potting soil.

Easy DIY Plant Gifts Part I F

Adding a marker to your planter gives it that extra touch. Try using a marker with the herb names.


Kitchen herb garden in a terra cotta planter with basil, rosemary, cilantro and tarragon.

Here are some other ideas for your herb garden:

  • Italian Herb Garden for someone you love to cook. You could include herbs such as basil, marjoram, oregano, and rosemary.
  • How about Bartender’s Garden? Your container could include herbs such as basil, mint, rosemary, lavender, or Sage.

Does this look amazing? I love how it adds texture to my regular herb garden. Add this container on the back porch for easy access from the kitchen for cooking.

Easy Succulents Small Container Gardens

How do I make an outdoor succulent garden? Succulents are perfect for small container gardens. They look beautiful on porches, patios and even in flower beds.

What makes a plant a succulent? Succulents are plants with fleshy, thickened leaves and stems that store water. These types of plants can survive on limited water resources, such as dew and mist. It makes them drought tolerant.

What do I love about succulents? Succulents thrive in a nice sunny place outdoors. They require little water.

Unlike the herb planter, you will need to fill this planter up to the top with potting soil. Succulents have less roots than herbs.

To create a small succulent container garden, you should select a variety of succulents. The cost for succulents is a little more than the herbs. The plants ranged from $3.99-$4.99 for the smaller plants and $6.99 for the large one. Most are perennials and will come back.

The front two plants are not succulents. They are Wojo Jems. A vine that will spill over the pot and grow down.

Succulent plant loosing roots for small container garden

You should always loosen up the dirt and roots before planting. The plant becomes root bound in the greenhouse containers. By doing this, you will help the plant to grow.

How To Create Beautiful Small Container Gardens

Place your succulents in the potting mixture and space to give the plant room to grow.

Do succulents like full sun or shade? They love exposure to the sun. Most varieties of Succulents need at least 4-6 hours of daily indirect sunlight each day.

How to create a container garden with a variety of succulents.

After planting, it is time to give the plants a good soak of water. The potting soil is very dry and will require an ample amount of water in the beginning. Water the soil when it becomes dry.

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How To Create Beautiful Small Container Gardens

All the colors variations look beautiful in your yard, flower bed or patio.

Beautiful Small Container Gardens

The herb garden is right off the back porch and patio from my kitchen. For visual interest, I love plants of various heights, a statute and small container garden. Your eyes travel around the heights and textures. It is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

flower garden container Gardens

I love flowers as much as herbs. Annual and perennials are perfect for small container gardens. Select plants for your flower containers that will give your container three levels of visual appeal. You may have heard the term filler, spillers, and thrillers. These three key elements will balance your planter for that WOW factor.

Small flower garden in faux galvanized planter.

Fillers: Plants that anchor the container. Fillers would be Geranium, Drift Snow, Begonias, Marigolds, Zinnias, Sweet William, Coleus, Petunias, etc. They are plants that are meant to surround the thriller.

Spillers:  Spillers are plants that will cascade from the container. They are often low-growing and have various shades of green. Types of spillers are Vinca, Alyssum (fragrant), Creepy Jenny, Sweet Potato Vine, Ivy, trailing begonias, Baby Sun Rose, etc.

Thrillers: A thriller is something that is eye-catching. Plants that grow taller and draw the eye vertically. It is usually a plant that may have some height, color and/or texture. Types of thrillers are spikey grasses, Jester, Salvia, Canna, Corkscrew Rush, Dahlias, etc. I recommend that you plant a thrill in the center of your container or towards the back if facing a wall.

small container gardens make great gifts!

Need great gift ideas? All three of these small container gardens make wonderful gifts for a bridal shower, a new home, friend’s birthday, or Mother’s Day.

Pro Tips:

  • As the sun shifts during the season, be sure to move your containers around to ensure they get the optimal sun for their needs.
  • Try elevating your planter with planter feet or a saucer with an inner rim. This helps to promote drainage and prevent water settling and plants having root rot.
  • Provide your plants with regular feeding with plant food formulated for the specific type of plants in your container garden.

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  1. I love herb container gardens! I have a window box outside my kitchen window that I plant herbs in, and it always smells so amazing!

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