Container Gardening – Jamaica Observer

Award-winning gardener Sharon Cain loves sun vanda flowers. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Hello fellow gardeners!

One of the themes last month was: “Gardening in small spaces”. Today we will continue with this theme with a particular focus on container gardening.

Container gardening (or container gardening) is the practice of growing plants, including edible plants/vegetables and trees/shrubs exclusively in containers. This practice has steadily grown in popularity both nationally and commercially, locally and internationally over the years. It is less complicated and makes efficient use of space (under trees, on terraces, balconies, walkways, verandas and roofs, etc.) due to the containers’ portability and flexibility.

Container gardening can be labor intensive because containers are very dependent on who provides the water and nutrients in the absence of an irrigation system, especially in the hot summer months. Know before you grow – some best practices for container gardening:


• Containers can be anything as long as they have drainage holes for excess water. For cost-conscious gardeners, traditional plastic pots offer the best value and come in a myriad of sizes.

• With the increase in technology, there are two non-traditional container systems on the market, namely smart pots and air pots (also available in different sizes) to grow plants of all sizes, including trees. Their unique ability to generate rooting ability and decrease soil temperature, which reduces plant stress during the hot summer months, sets them apart from standard containers. Of course, these planters are more expensive.

• Use larger pots for multiple plants as they contain more soil, moisture and nutrients, as well as greater root mass. The objective is to obtain a complete and attractive container with plants.

• Limit single plants to small pots.

• Standard traditional plastic pots with plants can be placed in ceramic or porcelain planters to add elegance and color to the space or garden. The pots can be turned when the flowers fade or the plants no longer look good.

Culture centre

• Well-drained soil that can retain enough water to reduce the frequency of watering. Adding peat moss will help with water retention.

• Heavy enough to prevent tipping but not too heavy to limit handling. Placing rocks/pebbles (depending on the size of the pot) will also help stabilize the pot.

Watering and fertilizing

• Water twice a day, preferably early in the morning and at the beginning of the afternoon.

• Water more frequently if you choose containers made of porous materials — clay pots, wood and fabric.

• Fertilize “low” weekly — once a week with half the recommended portion.

Bromeliads (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Ferns, heather and coleus (Joseph’s Mantle) (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Sun vanda bloomNaphtali Junior

Aglaonema (Pink Dalmation)Naphtali Junior

Smart pots.

A 15 liter air pot.

Hanging Boston Fern (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Terri S. Tomasini