Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just Add Water: Ten Potted Plants Even I Can Grow

I love plants.  That is, I like to look at them.
I am not especially good at caring for them.
So, while I am by no means a plant expert,
 I am experienced at finding plants that are easy to keep alive.
I don't like to waste money buying plants that won't last.

I find potted plants work well for the wide temperature range we experience in Texas.
Basically, if a plant is in a pot, it can be moved inside during a freeze.  Also, I can put potted plants out in the sun during spring and fall, but hide them in the shade during July and August. 

Sometimes I even remember to sprinkle a little time release fertilizer in the pots.

Here are ten plants that even I haven't killed yet.
You may notice that these are not the scientific names.
I'm a very casual gardener.

If one color of geranium is good, two in the same pot are great.

Lantana is an EASY plant to grow and attracts butterflies.
 Full sun is not a problem for this tough one.  It tends to take over a flower bed, so a pot keeps it "contained."  It is a good choice if watering every day is out for you.
I look for lantanas with multiple colored flowers for interest.

Asparagus fern is a low maintenance plant. It seems to look about the same whether I water frequently or almost forget about it.  I bring mine in for freezes, but I am told that if they do freeze they will come back.

This sago palm loves the full sun all summer.  I bring it inside during winter freezes. It doesn't want much water, so the rain usually takes care of it.

This ivy has been in the shady area outside our front door for years.  I take it inside when it freezes.
Sometimes I trim it.  I think it might be time.

This Boston fern loves this shady corner of our patio. Occasionally, I mist it with the hose.  When it gets really hot, I may enjoy it inside the house for a while.

These Leland cypress trees take the afternoon sun pretty well.  I keep them watered and move them to a shadier spot during the hottest part of the summer.  They would probably prefer to be planted in the ground and grow really tall, but they work for me in pots.

This is my idea of vegetable gardening.  So far none of these cherry tomatoes has made it to a salad, but they sure are yummy.  The poor plant has taken some abuse in the wind lately, but it keeps producing.  Here's the tag that came with it:

The last two beauties live under our porte cochere.  Potted plants do especially well there because they never get direct sun exposure.

This blue hydrangea is very thirsty.  It must be watered daily. 

Impatiens are very easy.  They do prefer shade.




  1. Eilis
    I am bookmarking this post because I am horticulturally challenged too! LOL I am so impressed that you have hydrangeas. That plant is my holy grail. I am determined to have some hydrangea! You are giving me hope.;-)

  2. Great tips....God knows I need all the help I can get!!!! I have found a few things that can handle the heat around here thankfully. This year I bought an old stand by....Marigolds! It is kind of nice to have a flower that isn't fussy for a change.

  3. Love your ideas! You have hidey places around your house with a little shade. I'm jealous of that. No shade at all here. Sharing on Facebook.

  4. You brought up some good points about why potted plants are easy to take care of. I forgot about how mobile they are. I usually have good luck with ferns and geraniums too.

  5. Oh this is so delightful and helpful! You nailed it with the types of plants that any of us can grow in Texas. I mean, just look at our weather today and by the weekend it will be dry and hot!
    Love this-pinning some to my container board on Pinterest too:)

  6. thanks for the info, I am somewhat of a challenged gardner {lazy might be a better word} so I need things that don't need a lot of attention! I love the pink and red geraniums together!

  7. So I'm not the ONLY one who doesn't have a green thumb? GREAT:D My idea of landscaping is, plant it, and then forget about it! LOL! My husband's sister and brother live in Texas, and the last time we were there to visit I brought home 2 of the sago palms. Of course they didn't make it, but I tried:) Have a great day, Eilis!

  8. Love the hydrangeas we have a massive plant growing in our front garden and by the end of the summer it's taken over the entire flower bed. I'm going to look for the Lantana plant - it's very pretty and I like the idea of attracting butterflies

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

  9. Lantana is one of my favorites, it's so easy to grow too. No fuss gardening! I am loving that shot of your front door, what a great spot for curb appeal. The doors and those lantern lights? Just stunning!

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