5 Water-Saving Tips for Container Gardens

Keep your potted plants green without wasting water.


Plastic, ceramic, or terracotta Plastic, ceramic, or terracotta
Nonporous pots

Pots made from materials such as plastic, ceramic, or glazed terracotta minimize evaporation from the sides.
Go big on pots this summer


Plants can shade one anotherPlants can shade one another
Group containers
Arranged in clusters, plants can shade (and help cool) one another. Or move them all to a cooler location.
Cool container gardens


Insulate and cool the rootsInsulate and cool the roots
Double-pot
Sink small pots into larger ones and put a layer of sand or gravel between. The extra inches will help insulate and cool the roots.
Our favorite water-wise plants


Fill the gap, then water Fill the gap, then water
Fix dry soil

A dry rootball can shrink away from the pot sides, causing water to run down around the rootball--without soaking it--and out the pot's bottom. Fill the gap with fresh soil, then water slowly with a hose until the soil is soaked.
More on soil


A drip-irrigation systemA drip-irrigation system
Switch to drip
Eliminate runoff and allow water to penetrate soil slowly and efficiently by connecting containers to a drip-irrigation system (here's how). Buy a kit designed specifically for pots (available at most garden centers) and put it on a timer.
More water-saving gardening tips