13 Reasons to Garden in Desert Pots

Red Canna in a Jumbo Desert Summer Garden Pot

Container gardening continues to grow in popularity around the world. Even steadfast landscape gardeners will have a few pots. If you haven’t crossed over to “getting potted,” here’s a baker’s dozen of reasons why you might choose to start this year.

Just Starting?

#1. Pots are a great place to try your hand at gardening.

#2. You can make a small investment to get started – both in money and labor.

These are the top two reasons that gardeners or gardener wanna-be’s turn to pots. Without spending much money, you can get your feet wet in gardening. You are not breaking your back or the bank! And once you have planted up even one pot, you have Reason #3,

#3. Immediate gratification – plant it and enjoy!

Trio of copper pots by The Potted Desert

Pots are Flexible

#4. Pots are movable. Change your mind about its location – No Problem!

All you need is a dolly or put your pots up on wheels. Move it around to catch the sun, dress up a new area, or just because you want to see it from another angle.



#5. You can create a potted garden to coordinate with any style or color, and then change it next season!

Are you decorating with earth tones this year? Add yellows and rose-colored flowers. Change your color scheme to pastels? Pots welcome the new plantings with the soft shades of pinks, blues, and lavender. Mirror the colors of the interior room that looks out to your pots with similar and complementary shades.

#6. When you want to add the softening effect of plants to your hardscapes, i.e., patios, entries, etc., container gardens are the only way to go.

Keep it Simple

#7. If you have very limited space outside, pots will fit in anywhere.

However, as I continually say, use the largest pot that fits in the space. This will reduce how often you need to water it and your plants will be healthier because they have plenty of soil to spread their roots in. If you don’t want “really big pots – i.e. above 24”, group three pots together to fill the space.

Desert Patio Hardscape softened by pots

These cactus-filled pots require little water so they will keep your hardscape clean


A desert summer Bougainvillea planted in a pot

#8. Succulents, cacti, shrubs, and native grasses provide easy-care options.

If you don’t want to be married to your plants, use low water succulents or even native grasses. All these plants require less care in deadheading and grooming and have lower water requirements.

Want to find native grasses for your area? Search Google with “Native Grasses of [Your State]”

Less Demanding Gardens

#9. You can elongate the growing season for flowers, vegetables, and herbs when planting in pots.

Because pots are moveable, you can start plants early under a carport or against a house or even slide them into a greenhouse or pseudo cold frame.

#10. Targeted watering means you can have an oasis garden (on a small scale) and use little water.

Some people in the low water communities of the desert would get upset with me for advocating gardening with higher water need plants in pots. I proved to them that potted gardens took less water than even their irrigated xeriscape

#11. Almost no weeding!

You will only get a few airborne seeds to fall into your container soil. Or you may get some hitchhikers via the plants you put in or if you use compost. Even with those possibilities, the few weeds you have will be easy to pull out. Especially because…

#12. Pots are easier to reach than ground plantings; great for bad backs, aging bodies, and anyone who does not like to dig in the ground.

I like to pull a chair up or have a portable stool with me when I care for my pots — the less bending or squatting, the better.

Additionally, it is much easier to cover our pots with frost  or shade cloth in our challenging climate.

Correct Placement of Frost Cloth in the Potted Desert

Almost Correct Placement of Frost Cloth – Tuck the ends into the pot.

#13 – Kids of all ages love to garden in pots. Anyone like to grow “Fairy Gardens?”