Missouri Container Gardening: How to Start With Vegetables, Flowers, Herbs, and Fruits at Home

Container gardening refers to growing plants using containers such as pots, planters, bins, half drums, or any other container that can house potting soil and a plant. It entails growing vegetables in environments other than the conventional plots of land in the ground. Because of this, even inexperienced gardeners will have no trouble getting started since they only just a single seedling to get their feet wet.

Even if you have little outside space, you can still grow many plants using this method. Many people choose to make their home in the city, meaning possessing an outside space suitable for gardening is considered a privilege. The question is, what should a person who has a green thumb do? Let us walk you through the fundamentals of building your container garden.

Many cities in Missouri like St Louis, Kansas City, spring field, and Jefferson have emerged as focal centers for container gardens in the state. By this, we can say container gardening is gaining momentum throughout the US. Below we will learn more about Missouri container gardening, how to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers in containers in Missouri, Missouri USDA hardiness/planting zones, and a planting guide for planting plants in containers.

What are the USDA hardiness zones/planting zones of Missouri?

Planting zones in Missouri are diverse due to the state’s two distinct climates, each with a specific section of the state. The northernmost section of the state has what is known as a hot, humid continental climate, and the seasonal changes between summer and winter are rather dramatic. On the other hand, the climate is humid subtropical in the southern two-thirds of the country, with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters.

The whole state experiences temperature swings at the end of their respective ranges. Although there are no great mountains or seas here, the Gulf of Mexico’s humidity, heat, and cold Arctic air significantly impact local temperatures and the climate. Summertime temperatures can reach into the 90s in certain parts of the state, but on average, most of the state experiences temperatures in the middle 70s at this time of year.

The average temperature throughout the winter is in the low 30s. Growing zones in the state of Missouri vary from 5b to 7a. Gardeners can determine which kind of flowers, vegetables, and plants will flourish in a particular place by using growing zones—wondering how to find out your growing zones? Using an Interactive Planting Zone Map is a quick and easy way to determine the planting zone that you are in.

In addition to providing direction on which plants should be grown and when those plants should be planted, climatic zones also assist point gardeners in the direction of the optimal season for planting certain plants. The earliest and final frost dates in a zone are used to determine planting zones in Missouri. It is vital to remember that while establishing a garden, you should only choose plants that are classified for planting zones in Missouri that are lower than the one you are in.

This will assist guarantee that plants can withstand the harsh circumstances of winter. Various flowers and plants are native to Mississippi and thrive in the state’s climate. If you follow the hardiness zone advice, you will increase the likelihood that the most excellent opportunity plants will grow and have a broad range of choices available.

Native plants that are easy to grow include cardinal flower, Missouri primrose, spicebush, columbine, and coneflower, as well as palm sedge and spicebush. In addition, tomatoes, rhubarb, potatoes, peppers, peas, and asparagus will all perform exceedingly well over the area.

Missouri Container Gardening: Step-by-step guide to growing plants in containers in Missouri 

Choose the right container 

Choosing a container is a huge task. There are several questions on choosing the right containers, such as how to select the right container size, how to select the right container material, and how to decide whether the container has appropriate drainage. We have provided all the information below. Read on.

Container size 

Determine the appropriate size of the pot for your needs. Think about the kinds of plants you want to plant and how much room you have available. Keep in mind that you are free to combine different styles. Additionally, you can reuse and recycle old containers by growing in them. Large Container for Plants: 18 to 22 inches in Diameter A single plant that needs a lot of root area, cages, or a trellis would do well to be grown in a somewhat big container.

Many plants, including tomatoes, pole beans, string peas, vine cucumbers, and tomatillos, can be grown successfully in large pots. They are also excellent for planting many types of tiny veggies that do not require the full pot to thrive and do not take up as much space. In a big container, you can typically grow two to three plants of medium size and anywhere from four to sixty-seven plants of a smaller size.

Container for Plants of a Medium Size: 10 to 18 Inches One of the many benefits of planting in medium containers is that it is an ideal activity for novice gardeners. They are easier to move about than large pots, and their size makes them ideal for densely packed plants or plants of the bush form. Peppers, bush cucumbers, spinach, bush beans, broccoli, carrots, beets, lettuces, cabbage, celery, eggplant, peas, and chard are some of the plants that do well in a container that is medium to in size. Other good choices are cabbage, celery, peas, and beets.

Container for smaller plants, measuring between 6 and 10 inches. Because small pots do not provide a lot of area for developing, putting the wrong kinds of plants in them might cause your plant’s development to be stunted. Nonetheless, it is still possible to grow plants in pots of this size for some vegetables and herbs, particularly those that do not need much room.


Containers come in an infinite number of configurations. That 5-gallon milk bottle gathering dust in your recycling bin can be recycled if you want to be green. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each material will help you choose the proper containers for your plants. Terracotta pots are among the most popular containers for planting vegetables. Fortunately, they come in a wide range of sizes and are rather sturdy. However, you may have to pay some extra cash for high-quality terracotta if you go for huge proportions.

In addition to being bulky and cumbersome, they are also heavy, making setup a challenge. Worse, they’re easily broken. Glazed ceramic is the primary component of ceramic pots. However, they are generally less expensive than terracotta, which is still a rather expensive material. The advantages are that they are long-lasting and available in a wide range of eye-catching hues. However, they may also be cumbersome because of their size and weight.

Plastic containers are ideal for novices on a budget who want to produce veggies in containers. They’re not only inexpensive but also solid and light, making it easy to transport them from one location to another. The elegance of wooden containers is undeniable. They don’t need much time or effort to get a specific style. However, relocating might be tough if they’ve been sitting in the same place for a time.

They can also be vulnerable to water and the weather if their protective coating degrades over time. Concrete planters are a good option if you need a long-lasting planter. They’re built to last and won’t break the bank. However, since they’re so heavy, you won’t be able to transport them very far. Having purchased and put them up, they’ll be stuck there for the time being.


Ensure your container includes drainage holes after having the correct pot for the crops you wish to produce in your container garden. To prevent water from accumulating around your plants, you should do this. If your containers don’t already have these holes, you can drill a couple into the bottom using a drill. Using wire mesh or a coffee filter over the drainage holes will allow water to escape while dirt remains in the containers. Your containers will not be able to drain properly if you place any pebbles or bottles on the bottom of them. 

Choose the best potting medium 

When growing plants in pots, choosing a growth medium that is both lightweight and permeable is best. It must be able to retain moisture while yet draining efficiently and have the capacity to store nutrients necessary for plant development. You should use a professional potting mix containing peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. This mix can be used for a variety of purposes. It is not a good idea to utilize soil from your garden in containers since, in most cases, it is too thick to provide sufficient aeration and drainage.

Start planting your container garden 

Before you plant anything, give the soil mixture in your container a good drink of water. If you are planting seeds, be sure to put them at the depth that is recommended on the seed package. It is best to practice to do an overseeding followed by thinning seedlings to achieve the desired spacing. Some people find it quite hard to do the task of thinning, but it is nevertheless of the utmost significance to avoid overpopulation.

After the seeds have been sown, move the pots to a warm location and continue to water the soil. If you are going to transplant, it is preferable, to begin with short, stocky plants that have not yet begun to blossom. After planting, ensure that the rootball is not damaged, and water well.

Few container plants need much attention and care, but flowers may be coaxed into blooming for a longer period, producing more blooms if the spent blossoms are removed. Removing spent flower heads, also known as deadheading, stops blooms from producing seeds. It is possible to coax plants into producing abundant harvests by continually harvesting their fruits at the appropriate stages of maturity.

Ensure you water your container garden 

How to water plants in your container? To know, follow the above guidelines. It is really necessary to water the container garden correctly to achieve success. When cultivated in containers, plants lose their moisture much quicker. When the soil around the plants seems dry to the touch, you should water the plants well (enough so that water flows out of the bottom). In very hot and dry circumstances, this may occur daily.

Make an effort to protect plants from the harsh, drying winds. It is important to prevent the soil from becoming very dry in the time between waterings. If you notice this problem, add a wetting agent at the rate of one-fourth to one-half teaspoon per gallon every four to six months, or as the instructions advise.

Always give the soil a feel before watering, particularly if your growth mix is impermeable; this will help you determine how much water it needs. Overwatering can also be lethal. The morning is the most effective time to water plants.

Fertilize your container garden 

Wondering how to fertilize your container garden? The majority of all-purpose potting mixes have poor nutritional content. Therefore, at some point in time, fertilizer will need to be applied. At the beginning of the process, the potting mix may be modified to include compost or another type of soil rich in organic matter. You should do this at a ratio of no more than three potting mixes to one compost.

Another alternative is to use fertiliser pellets with a gradual release rate when planting. Nevertheless, using a fertilizer that is water-soluble as the plants develop is the form of fertilizer administration that is suggested the most. Use the instructions provided in the box. Because excessive fertilizer might cause your plants to die from “fertilizer burn,” it is essential to adhere to the proper dosage. More isn’t better for plant health.

Pest and disease management in your container garden 

How to pests and diseases in plants in containers? There is no increase in the risk of pests or diseases for plants grown in containers compared to those grown in open soil. On the other hand, Soilless potting mixes may nearly totally remove specific insect and weed issues. It is possible to stave off potential problems with plants by doing routine checks on them. You can get rid of insects by handpicking them or using a suitable pesticide spraying or dusting the area.

To avoid diseases, use disease-resistant plants. When a disease is discovered, the sick plant should be cut down and thrown away, or the affected area should be sprayed or dusted with a fungicide that has been prescribed. An excellent technique for maintaining cleanliness, removing dead leaves and blossoms may help deter insects and disease-causing organisms from infesting an area.

Best vegetables to grow in your containers in Missouri 

Many vegetables can be grown in containers in Missouri, such as lettuce, potatoes, eggplants, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, beets, etc. Some examples are given below. 

Beans: Containers as tiny as 8 inches deep and 8 inches wide may also accommodate bush green bean plants. You can’t go wrong with ‘Bush Blue Lake’ or ‘Contender’ if you want flavorful and reliable yield. Growing pole beans requires a container with more space and a strong trellising system. A fresh green bean and a dried bean version of the Cherokee Trail of Tear’s variety may be harvested from the same plant.

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Missouri Container Gardening
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Chard: Chard is quickly gaining popularity among gardeners who grow plants in containers as more people recognize the edible value of its colorful leaves in addition to its aesthetic value. The harvesting of plants might take place throughout the whole summer and into the autumn. Chard leaves are suitable for use in salads if they are gathered when they are still fresh and delicate. It’s a fantastic summer spinach alternative when the leaves are older.

Greens: Some Asian greens, such as “Tatsoi,” and mustards, such as “Red Giant,” do well when grown in containers. Other salad greens, such as arugula, are also excellent options. These greens may be started inside under lights towards the end of winter. When planting seeds outside, wait until the soil can be worked before doing so. Your crop can continue far into the summer and autumn if you grow kale and collard greens, ensuring that you will never be without greens to prepare.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes grown in pots are an excellent option for people who do not have access to numerous sunny settings. If you have had difficulties with diseases and don’t have enough space to rotate your plants, you may want to attempt growing a tomato plant in a container filled with new potting soil. If you want a plant that matures into a smaller size, try planting a determinate variety such as ‘Rutgers’ or ‘Celebrity.’ You will still have to stake it or cage it, but the amount of pruning that is required will be reduced.

Peppers: Tomato plants need more water than peppers. However, peppers may be grown in pots and don’t require the same attention. The range of possible hues, tastes, degrees of spiciness, and dimensions is almost infinite.

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Best fruits to grow in your containers in Missouri 

Strawberry, raspberry, currant, blueberry, blackberry, gooseberry, grape, nectarine, apricot, cherry, plum, apple, peach, and pear are just some of the temperate zone fruit trees that can be grown in Missouri.

Apples: Apples that have been grafted onto small rootstocks are an excellent choice for growing in containers. If you’re only going to plant one tree, make sure it’s a self-fertile variety, which means it’s been grafted with multiple different kinds of rootstock.

Cherries: Cherries are grown in the spring for their blooms and the fruit they produce in the summer. The sweet cherry cultivars need a lot of sunlight, whereas the sour cherry species might do well in partial shade. Cherries have shallow roots, so ensure you give them enough water in their first year and during any dry periods.

Raspberries: Cane fruits like raspberries can be grown well in containers, and there are kinds available that yield fruit in the summer or fall. Even though they are not trees, raspberries produce extremely long canes that, when grown in containers, give the appearance of a bushy shrub. Summer-fruiting types are less bushy, which can be advantageous in confined places, given that the canes are thorny. Glen Ample and Glen Moy are two excellent cultivars of this plant.

Peaches and nectarines: Dwarf types of nectarines and peaches are great for containers because it is simple to shield the delicate blooms from the onset of frost. This makes dwarf peach and nectarines varieties ideal for growing in containers. They need to have their pots changed every year and a half. You could check out several other types like St. Julien A, Pixy, and Bonanza.

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Peaches and nectarines:
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Plums: Plums are another tree fruit that needs a covering to shield the vulnerable early flowers from the elements. Because they need adequate drainage, you should amend the potting soil with sand or perlite before planting plums. If you have space for a single plant, choosing a variety that can reproduce independently is essential. “Pixy” is a wonderful dwarf variety to choose from.

Best flowers to grow in your containers in Missouri 

Many flowers can be grown in containers in Missouri, like Rose turtlehead, coneflowers, asters, butterfly weed, rosinweed, Bears breeches, astilbe, Virginia bluebells, etc., are given below.

Coneflowers: The purple coneflower has a high degree of adaptability and may thrive in harsh environments, including dry soil and a lack of water. It is best to grow it in a location with enough sunlight; however, it may survive in partial shade. Early in the summer, this plant, which may reach a height of around two feet, produces blooms that resemble daisies and are purple.

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Bear’s breeches: Bear’s breeches are a plant that prefers full sun but can survive in partial shade throughout the day. This plant has the potential to expand rapidly. Therefore it is important to choose an appropriate area for it. If even a little portion of the root is left behind, it will eventually grow a new plant. This plant typically reaches a height of approximately 4 feet and has flower spikes with leaves resembling a snapdragon. It has leaves that are shaped like thistle spindles and tend to pile up at the base of the plant.

Astilbe: The astilbe prefers partial shade and somewhat depleted soils to thrive in. In addition to this, it forms clumps of leaves that resemble ferns. The bloom and foliage colors can vary dramatically from one hybrid to the next. If you want to make this plant seem better after the blooms have died off, you may enhance its appearance by cutting off the thin flower stalks. Maintain a steady level of moisture in this plant.

Butterfly weed: Clump-forming, 3-foot-tall Butterfly Weed may be found across the United States. It thrives in bright light and may even survive in poor soil. In the early part of the summer, it will produce clusters of orange blooms on top of its hairy stalks. After the blossoms have died off, this plant produces seed pods, which the birds enjoy eating after reaching full maturity. When planting this one, do it in a good drainage location.

Virginia bluebells: In partial shade, Virginia bluebells typically reach a height of around 2 inches. At the beginning of spring, it has blue blooms that are fashioned like trumpets. As the temperature outside rises, this plant will wither and die, only to revive itself the following year in the spring.

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Virginia bluebells:
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Best herbs to grow in your containers in Missouri 

Many herbs can be grown in containers in Missouri, like basil, oregano, thyme, chives, lavender, tarragon, rue, sage, mint, bee balm, etc. Some of the details are given below. 

Chives: Chives can be grown well in USDA plant hardiness zones 3-9. When it comes to onions, it’s no secret that they’re a fan of the sun. They produce the most beautiful, small purple blooms that attract bees in the spring. Garlic chives, which have white blossoms and are tasty, are another great perennial plant. Be careful to deadhead the blossoms as they open to keep them from self-sowing.

Thyme: To top it all off, there is a tonne of variations to select from, and it’s ideal for zones 4+. For cooking, English thyme is among the most popular. The French and the creeping varieties are hardy and may be used in the kitchen. Keep this drought-resistant plant from overwatering; it will flourish in your yard for years.

Lavender: Zones 4-8 are suitable for growing this popular perennial plant, a boon to bees and other pollinators. The English variety can withstand colder weather better than the Spanish or French. It may thrive in moderate shade but produce the most buds if placed in full sun.

Oregano: Oregano is a perennial in zones 4 to 9. Make sure you place it in an area where you don’t mind it taking over or in a pot so it doesn’t spread. Starting from seed or cuttings from an existing plant are two ways to get started. You may use fresh leaves, freeze them, or dry them to keep for later use.

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Tarragon: The French and Russian varieties of tarragon, which are grown for their culinary and medicinal uses, thrive in conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade and can withstand various hardiness zones (3-8). Maintaining it is challenging, but the secret to success has soil that drains effectively. The leaves may be harvested often, stored in the freezer, or dried for subsequent use.


We can report that container gardening has recently gained a lot of popularity and is continuing to make headway in many nations. Container gardening allows for the growth of a wide range of plants. As seen above, a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs can be grown in containers in Missouri. We hope that you found this information helpful and that it addressed any concerns you had about growing in containers in the state of Missouri. Now is the time to get there, begin planting, and enjoy the harvest.


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