Display of container plants

Container plants

A wide variety of plants are suitable for growing in containers. The best subjects tolerate constricted roots, changing moisture levels and do not require frequent repotting.

Container plants add texture and colour to patios and other outdoor areas, especially where space is limited. They can create a striking focal point at times of the year when there is not much colour in the garden.

What to grow 

Visit our 'Plants for Auckland' database for the best plants to grow in pots in Auckland. For further suggestionsdownload our Container plants for Auckland and our Patio plants for Auckland brochure. 

How to plant

  • Commercial potting mixes generally provide consistent, healthy growth. Topsoil is not suitable on its own.
  • Always plant at the same depth as in the plant's previous container.
  • Ensure there are adequate drainage holes in the container.
  • When repotting a plant into a larger container, ensure that the new vessel is not too much larger than the previous. Some plants, such as vireya rhododendrons, prefer to have their roots filling most of the container. They can sulk if put in too big a pot.

How to grow

  • Consistent watering is the key to success. It is best to water the entire root ball thoroughly. However, watering too frequently can cause root problems.
  • Watering must be more frequent when temperatures are higher and when plant roots have filled their container.
  • To maintain healthy growth, apply slow-release fertiliser granules or frequent applications of liquid fertiliser.
  • Even slow-growing plants benefit from repotting every few years as potting mix breaks down and the container may no longer be large enough.
  • Sometimes when a container plant has gone into decline, the best option is to start again with a new one.