Container gardens Houseplants

Some Thoughts on Container Gardening in a Hot Climate

Containers thriving in the heat.

1 — Use plastic or glazed pottery pots. Group them together.

2 — Fill some jugs or pitchers when you water, so that you can spot water those plants that need an afternoon pick-me-up.

3 — Learn which plants are most likely to droop in the hot sun (for me, it’s morning glories and moon flowers, snapdragons, gerbera, pineapple sage, Italian parsley and tomatoes). When the zinnias and vinca droop, it’s time for a serious watering.

Margaret’s inviting shady front steps.

4 — This is my favorite: container garden in the shade. I pot up impatiens, ornamental sweet potatoes, caladiums, Boston ferns and begonias. I also set out my house plants. These are arranged on my front steps. When I pull into my driveway, it feels 10 degrees cooler. When the leaves on my spathphyllum start to droop, then I water.

Text and photos contributed by reader Margaret from Raleigh, North Carolina

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

2 comments on “Some Thoughts on Container Gardening in a Hot Climate

  1. plastic pots should not be exposed directly to sunlight. They get too warm. It is not a problem if foliage extends over the edges enough to shade the pots below.

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