Growing plants in containers has so many advantages particularly for people with small gardens or just a balcony. We are all used to seeing flowers and vegetables in planters and pots, but this list of ten may surprise you. Provided you match the size of the container to the plant there is no limit to what can be grown in this way. This list of the best unexpected plants comes from an article by Kathy Woodard which I found on the Garden Glove website.

A lot of us love our container gardens? They allow you to grow things in a small space, or in a ?no garden? space like a balcony, they cut down on maintenance chores, and they bring plants right up to the places you spend time so you can enjoy them! Oh, and they are pretty, too! But did you know you can go beyond the traditional annuals in a container? Almost anything can be grown in a container when the right requirements are met, don?t be afraid to think out of the box. (Or pot!) First, a quick refresh on the basics for container gardening.

  • Always match the size of the container to the size of the plants, especially large plants. Nothing makes a container garden fail faster than outgrowing it?s space too quickly!
  • That having been said, plants in container should be placed closer together than they would be in the ground. Everything is concentrated into a smaller space, including water and fertilizer, so they can tolerate, and look better, planted snugly. This especially applies to annuals that have shallow root systems and only last one season.
  • Always choose a good potting mix for your container, never use garden soil. Garden soil placed into containers is not light enough and will compact, not allowing the roots to breathe.
  • Containers need lots of water. In the heat of summer, especially smaller containers may need watering every day. You can set up a drip system if you group your containers together. Also, watch for pots that dry out extremely fast? Dark colored pots, metal pots or porous pots like terra cotta can be zapped of water in a few hours in the hot summer sun.
  • Fertilizer also leaches out of the container faster. Use a diluted liquid fertilizer every two weeks for most container grown plants. Consider using a potting mix with fertilizer pre-mixed in, like Miracle Gro.
  • One of the benefits of using containers is that they are mobile. Remember to outfit larger containers with wheeled platforms to make moving them easier, or use a hand truck.

Here are our picks for best unexpected plants you can grow in containers.
Our first picks are from ?HGTV Gardens?, both above and below. The top photo is a great example of using containers with unexpected plants. The focal plant (the taller spiky one) ?in these mobile containers are artichokes! Filled in with perennials and annuals, these containers offer a great aesthetic, and veggies too. Below is an example of using containers to create a typical hedge. Instead of plantings these boxwood straight in the ground, they are higher up to block views, and can be moved if necessary. Yep, they look cool too.
Don?t think you can plant trees in containers? Think again. These birch trees are placed ?in large containers, and because the root ball is kept from growing outward, the whole tree remains smaller and more manageable. Oh, yes, did we mention you can move them? Photo by ?My Landscapes?.

See more at The Garden Glove
Image source: Sheila Thomson