Illustration for article titled How to Pick Outdoor Plant Containers for Low-Maintenance Gardening

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People who live somewhere with ample outdoor space may have the room to spread out and make an in-ground garden—instead of being limited to planters like city-dwellers—but gardening in containers comes with some benefits of its own. In fact, if you pick the right ones (and the right plants) it can make your garden and outdoor space pretty low-maintenance.

In an article for Livingetc, Sarah Wilson shares some tips for choosing the best (and by that, we mean easiest) planters Here’s what to know.

Go big

Leave the smaller pots inside, Wilson says:

Choose the largest pots you can find and group them together. As well as making an eye-catching statement, watering them and tidying up is easier too as they’re all in one place. Another benefit to this simple low maintenance garden idea is that there’s only so much growing plants can do in a pot, which means less pruning.

And that’s not all. Bigger plant containers can mean spending less time watering. Per Wilson:

Water thoroughly once a week rather than watering little and often, which encourages roots to stay near the surface where they will dry out more quickly. Instead they drill deeper to find moisture. Applying a thick mulch of organic matter around the base of plants in spring helps lock in moisture too.

Choose planters that are low-maintenance

Taking care of your plants is one thing, but certain types of planters requirement maintenance themselves. Wilson advises staying away from those:

Always choose containers you can plant up then forget about. Avoid wood, which needs regular maintenance, and ceramic and terra cotta, which can be a nightmare when it comes to winter frosts as they can crack.

Other low-maintenance container options include:

  • Weatherproof resin (that looks like stoneware)
  • Regenerated polypropylene
  • Fibre cotta (a blend of fiberglass and clay)
  • Aged metals like zinc
  • Weathering steel