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What is the Best Size Container for Container Gardening?

We get asked this a lot, and honestly, it depends on your style and what you want to achieve. However, the ideal planter for a designed flower container is 20 inches or larger in diameter. Or if you prefer a square/rectangular planter it's the length plus the width. A great rule of thumb we like to use that we got from Carmen Johnson is “A small pot is just like a crock-pot.” Seriously, your plants will bake in the blazing hot summer months in smaller containers. What is a smaller container? Usually anything 16 inches in diameter or less. The water seems to drain out faster and there isn’t enough room for soil to protect your roots from that intense heat. The pot itself seems to bake and trap in heat that will ultimately cook the plant roots. It’s hard to cool the planter down when it is in full sun, even if you’re on top of your watering.

from left to right pot sizes: 21"D, 34"D, 24"D & 38"D

Here are some other questions you need to ask yourself before investing in container gardening:

  • Where do I want containers to live? Since you will be staring out the window or walking up to your front porch, pay attention to the angles and if you can see your planter from the viewpoints you want. Once a container is filled and designed, it is really hard to move the container. So consider the spot you choose as its final resting place.

  • How is this going to be watered? We always recommend your planters to be on a drip irrigation system over hand watering. Reason is, life can get into the way and no matter how committed you are to hand watering, it'll never receive consistent and proper amounts of water each time. Your planter will receive consistent water, especially in the brutal summer months when it is on a drip irrigation system. Drip systems allow you to have multiple pots on your property that offers seasonal color that is always looking its best with minimal effort on your end.

  • Is there a weight limit you need to be concerned with? Some of these larger-style pots can weigh up to 600 lbs or more. We recommend to place a base down similar to a paver stone to prevent the pot from sinking. If you are taking this planter to the top floor of your amazing condominium, you might want to invest in a fiberglass or a lightweight container option. Adding in the soil and plants with consistent water adds to the weight of the overall container.

Amazon surprisingly has some nice finds for planters if you are looking for some large containers to source:

  • This 20" pot would look great on a pedestal stoop!

  • This 24" H x 12" W x 30" L" pot would be an excellent addition for a modern front door look!

  • This 20" cube pot would be a fantastic addition to a pool area!

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