Container Gardening 101

Creating your own container garden is a great way to add color to your landscape, or even your porch or patio. The great thing about container gardening is that you do not need a yard. No matter where you live, you can create a beautiful garden. Container gardens can be updated as frequently as you wish. You can even create fabulous seasonal designs well into the winter for the holidays. Before you get started, we would like to share a few key factors to keep in mind for your container garden’s success.

Container Gardening 101

STEP 1: Supplies

Gather your supplies. This will vary depending on your creation, but here are the basic items you will need:

  1. Calloway’s Premium Potting Soil
  2. Fresh plants and seasonal color
  3. Calloway’s pottery
  4. Calloway’s Premium Plant Foods

STEP 2: Soil and Pottery

The soil you use is very important to the health and success of your container garden. First, never use soil from the ground, it does not contain the nutrients and moisture-retaining properties of a proper potting soil.

Calloway’s Premium Potting Soil is formulated specifically for your containers. With moisture retaining capsules and minerals, Calloway’s Potting Soil provides the ideal balance of air and water to foster healthy root growth for thriving plants. It is ideal for all potted plants and container gardens.

Your selection of Calloway’s or Cornelius Pottery, or whatever container you are using, must have a drain hole. If there is too much moisture, it will create rot in the roots and that can be easily avoided with the proper draining system.

To get started, place a piece of bark or stones at the bottom of your container to help the soil from leaking out, making sure water can still flow through. Then, fill your container with potting soil.


STEP 3: Adding Your Plants

Before you select your plants, it is a good idea to figure out where the container will be in your yard, on your patio, etc. This will help you figure out how much sunlight during the day that area receives.

When you are deciding on plants, be sure they all have similar sun and water requirements.

Then, choose your options based on the “Thriller, Filler, and Spiller” design method. Choose your “Thriller, Filler, and Spiller” plants to create an exciting creation with dimension and color.

First, add your Thriller plant. Create a hole that is the size of the plant’s root ball.


The Thriller plant will be a large, dramatic, and taller option, like geraniums. It is the bold and upright focal plant in your container. They can either be flowering or foliage plants, or even ornamental grasses. Depending on where your container will be displayed, you can either plant your Thriller in the center, if your container will be viewed from all sides, or in the back of the container.

planting in pottery

Then, add your Filler plant, following the same process. We used Pentas.


The Filler plants are medium-sized plants that tend to be a more rounded plant to make the container look full. Place your Filler around the Thriller or in front of the Thriller plant.


Finally, add your Spiller plant by making a hole in the soil the size of root ball.

container gardening

The Spiller plants are trailing plants that hang over the edge of the container. They should be planted close to the edge of the container, in front of, or surrounding the Filler plant. Plants like, Ivies, Bacopa, and Sweet Potato Vines, make beautiful Spiller plants.

color gardens

STEP 3: Feed and Finish

Once the plants are settled, add in your Calloway’s Premium Plant Food as directed. This will help with the health of your plant for brighter, bolder blooms.


Next, water in your plants thoroughly, letting the water drain. Add more soil if needed, leaving about 1-2 inches from the lip of the container.

color gardening

Finally, sit back and admire your creation. Be sure to place it where it needs to be to receive the correct sunlight and follow the watering instructions based on the plants and their plant tags.

spring gardening

Stop by our store nearest you to pick up everything you need for your container gardens. Also, be sure to check out our FREE Garden Series events every Saturday from 10:15-11:00 am.