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. 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 has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening 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 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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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