Monty Don shares container gardening secret that will help you to grow more flowers

Make sure you're feeding them correctly with the gardening expert's tips

containers in a garden with cosmos and bright blooms, next to brick garden steps
(Image credit: Alamy)

Growing plants in pots means you can enjoy a colorful garden all year round. You can switch out plants as the seasons change, decorating your doorstep, balcony, patio or paths with cheerful, vibrant blooms whatever the weather. 

Monty Don has pointed out that it's particularly important to feed your plants when container gardening, and to resist the temptation of giving them too many additional nutrients.

Just like over-watering your best indoor plants, you can also risk giving the plants in your garden too much love, preventing them from developing lovely flowers.

Monty Don's container gardening tip

containers of colorful flowers in a large garden

(Image credit: Alamy)

Writing on his blog, the Gardener's World host explains that plants grown in pots exhaust the nutrients from the compost in which they were originally planted in as they grow. The gardening expert says that for the rest of the summer, they will therefore need a 'regular supplementary feed.'

Consistency is the key thing here, so try to make feeding your plants a weekly routine to really get the benefit. You can set a reminder on your device, or add it to your list of weekend gardening jobs. 

The amount of feed is also crucial, as Monty Don explains. 'The secret is to give just enough - and not too much,' he says. 

monty don in garden with his arms crossed, wearing a denim jacket

(Image credit: Alamy)

'Too many nutrients is as damaging as too few, as it causes rapid, lush growth - often at the expense of flowers or fruit - and which attracts extra fungal and predatory problems.' While you avoid weed problems when container gardening, pests like slugs and snails can still make their way to your plants.

Follow the instructions on the feed packet and don't add more than necessary. Your plants will thank you for it, and you'll be rewarded with a stunning display. 

For inspiration on a new layout for your plot this summer, take a look at our garden design ideas. Moving all of your pots into one place and arranging them in a different way can make the space feel new, without needing to buy anything.

terracotta pots leading up some stone stairs, full of green plants and pink flowers

(Image credit: Getty)

As for the kind of feed to go for, Monty Don recommends anything high in potash, to encourage root and flower formation. Alternatively, try liquid seaweed or a proprietary liquid tomato feed.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.