Choose the Right Container for Your Plants | How to Pick Pots for Container Gardening

Container Gardening

If you are a container gardener, learn how to choose a pot for container gardening!



If you are a container gardener, it’s important to know what sized pot goes with what kind of edible plants. Tomatoes will not be happy living in a 10-inch pot for the entire summer. Nope. No way! But chives? They’re much more tolerant of tighter living quarters. Affordability is also important.

  • Tomatoes – Think 5-gallon bucket size. At least!
  • Sunflowers – For a dwarf variety such as Sunspot, you’ll want a pot that is at least 12 inches tall and wide (for one plant).
  • Cucumbers – Polite varieties like Spacemaster also need a pot that is at least 12 inches tall and wide. The bigger the pot, the better though.
  • Basil – You can get a pretty good-sized basil plant from a pot as shallow as a typical window box. I’d say you need a pot that is at a minimum, 8 inches deep.
  • Chives – You could probably get away with a pot that is only 6 inches deep, but I’d try to use a pot that is closer to 8 inches if possible.

Some Pot Types


This planter I got online will be able to fit several edible plants in one. Its manufacturer suggests that you can grow two tomato plants in one planter, or four cucumbers, or six herbs (how pretty would the purple basil and chives look if you planted them every other one, so you had a purple and green checkerboard?). But I bet you could grow one tomatoes, one cucumber, and three herbs (two basils and one chives or two chives and one basil–your pick). Then you’d just need a pot for the sunflowers.

Another great type of pot that I can personally vouch for are Smart Pots. They are made out of fabric, which allows air to penetrate the roots, keeping your plants super healthy and happy.

Yet another type of pot that would be perfect for basil or chives are over the rail type planters. They are such a great space-saver because you don’t use one square inch of your balcony’s floor space. The pots are too shallow for tomatoes, cukes, or sunflowers though.

What kinds of pots do you plan to use in your edible garden this year?