We and our advertising partners use cookies on this site. Please see our Terms of Use for further details.

Sun Gardening Logo

About Us | Terms of Use | Part of garden.help

Diagnose plant problems and treat garden pests

Gardening News

General Help

Specialists

Have a go...

Win and Save

Interactive Tools

Plant Doctor


More...

Home / Projects /

How to Maintain a container plant


Difficulty: 1 / 5

You will need: Compost, Hand fork, Gravel

Unlike plants growing in the borders, which can send out new roots in search of food or water, those in containers are completely dependent on you for all their needs. Along with checking regularly through the season for watering and attack by pests or disease, annual maintenance is important if they are to grow well and remain healthy.

Best time to do it:

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Step One:

Weeds in the pot compete with the plant for water and nutrients. It may be necessary to remove the top 2cm of compost to make sure you get rid of both weeds and seeds.

Step 1 of How to Maintain a container plant

Step Two:

Replacing the lost layer with fresh, sterile compost helps reduce the weed problem and, if the compost contains fertiliser, feeds the plant too.

Step 2 of How to Maintain a container plant

Step Three:

If there is no food in the compost, you can add controlled-release fertiliser to last through the season. This only works properly if it is dark and moist, so fork it gently into the upper level of compost.

Step 3 of How to Maintain a container plant

Step Four:

For a long-term planting, mulching the surface with gravel, slate chips or bark will suppress weeds and conserve moisture. This will need washing or replacing when you repot the plant.

Step 4 of How to Maintain a container plant

Related FAQs


Ask a gardening question:


Looking for more garden ideas for this month? Try another project or watch a gardening video for some more inspiration.

Latest Gardening News



Gardening Projects for May


Learn about How to plant through weed-suppressing membrane
Learn about  How to turf a lawn
How to turf a lawn

Difficulty: 3 / 5

Learn about How to: New orchids from old
Learn about How to Care for Early-Flowering Clematis

Gardening Ideas


Plant Specialists

Diagnose orchid plant problems and improve orchid care
Orchid Doctor
Diagnose fruit plant pests and fruit plant problems
Soft Fruit Doctor
Do a soil test to find out your soil type
Soil Doctor
Diagnose pest and disease problems with fruit trees and bushes.
Top Fruit Doctor


Gardening Tools

Learn which plant pests attack which types of fruit.
Fruit Pests
Learn when and how to prune different types of plants
Pruning Guide
Learn which plants will grow in your soil
Soil pH Guide
Learn when and how to plant different vegetable seeds
Vegetable Planting Guide