Container Gardening Pots – My Top 5; and Reasons Why

Awesome you’ve decided to start a growing in a container. You have probably already decided what you want to grow or at least have a few ideas. Now your looking to pick the perfect planter for your soon to be green babies. The search begins…. Two week later your still searching through various different pot shapes, sizes, configurations, brands, and options in general. Who would have though there were so many container gardening pots. If this sounds like something you have done before or just wish to avoid let me help you out.

When faced with the limitless options of different gardening pots you can hit information paralysis. By that I mean that faced with so many choices its hard to weed through all the lack luster products to find gold. Luckily for you I’ve scoured the vast troths of options out there, and I have found a few great planters that have truly stand apart. So here is my top 5 container gardening pots with descriptions and explanations about why I think they exceed expectations.

#1 – Southern Patio’s Self Watering Planter

These simply designed planters are a perfect fit for most apartment gardens. They provide a durable and dependable growing container with a number of extra positive features. I have gone through a number of self watering pots and overall they are extremely similar. They provide a small water reservoir at the base of the planter to allow roots to naturally absorb water at their own rate. This feature drastically reduces the amount of watering a plant requires once it has grown to an appropriate size.

The Southern Patio’s Self Watering Planter that I think is one of the best pots available is number one for its simplicity. At 7′ these pots are perfect sized for most herbs, flowers, and smaller vegetables. The reservoir is not overly complicated like some other model and can be easily checked by briefly inserting a finger. For novice and expert gardeners alike these pots are a must have.


#2 – Lechuza’s Balconera Color 50 All-In-One Planter

Continuing with the “self watering” theme that many of my personal top 5 planters incorporate is my #2 choice the Lechuza Balconera All-In-One Planter. This ascetically pleasing planter is perfect for window sills, fireplace mantles, bookshelves, and any other wider surface. The All In One Planter also uses a unique water level indicator that lets you easily monitor when your garden needs watering. The super simple indicator lets you visually assess your gardens water level from a distance. This feature is unlike most of the competition out there, which requires you to physically check the base for water.

In short, the Lechuza Balconera All-In-One Planter is my #2 planter because it takes all the features of my number 1 pick and improves on them. This planter has an amazing self watering system. The container itself can work as a free standing model or mounted/hung on a wall depending on your needs. This system is a better looking, sleeker, more technologically advanced self watering planter.

#3 – Hydrofarm’s GCTR Tomato Trellis Garden on Wheels

My number three choice really takes things up a notch as far as versatility goes. So far both my number 1 and 2 choices have been relatively small planters that are suited to growing select plants. This all changes with my larger and easily convertible third choice, the Hydrofarm Tomato Trellis Garden on Wheels. While the name would suggest this planter is for tomatoes only, the depth of the container and overall build is really capable of growing any plant you want including root vegetables, small fruit trees, hanging and vine vegetables and many more. The built in trellis also serves a dual purpose; firstly allowing support for vine growth or climbing plants and secondly providing a convenient location to hang indoor growing lights.

The Hydrofarm Garden on Wheels lands securely at #3 due to its versatility and ease of use. The multifunctional trellis system is a huge bonus especially if you plan on using grow lights. The depth of the grow area allows for almost all varieties of plants. These two features coupled with its large watering reservoir make it a perfect container to use in an apartment or to wheel outside.


#4 – EMSCO Group’s Easy Picker Raised Bed Grow Box

The next in line for my top 5 container gardening pots list has a mix of features and similar potting setups that can accommodate any of your gardening needs. Emsco Groups take on a raised bed gardening box is exceptional. One of the main features of these growing systems is the combined aeration screen and watering reservoir. This improved setup not only allows your garden to water itself through wicking but also increases the oxogen in the soil allowing for increased plant growth. The raised bed model also comes with a mulch cover that drastically reduces the likelihood of mold or weeds growing.

This container gardening system with its unique watering design has managed to make it into my #4 spot. The Easy Picker Raised Bed Grow Box not only is easy on the back and knees to tend but also creates a very handy extra storage area beneath the main unit. The added mulch cover really brings this planter to the next level.


#5 – Kinglake’s 5 Gallon Thick Fabric Pots

This last pick for my top 5 list is one of pure simplicity and economics. These fabric pots are the perfect size to grow almost anything, extremely simple and inexpensive. While there are a plethora of other fabric pots out there these ones are sturdily built and hold up to repeated use. The thick fabric has two purposes not only holding the plant, roots, and grow medium together but also allowing oxygen to penetrate into the root structure for increased growth. The pots will need some sort of base or drainage area as they are fabric and will leak otherwise.

These are my #5 pick for the no frills grower. The Kinglake 5 Gallon Fabric Pots are deep enough to grow a huge variety of plants including root vegetables and tubers. The 5 gallon size is perfect, being not so big you can’t pick them up but also providing ample room for growth. These pots bring a simplistic approach to your apartment gardening and with the price there is no better deal.

Pointers to help you find your match

There is a lot of thought that goes into deciding which containers will be suitable for each situation. The variety of plant you plan on growing is one of the first things you should consider and how much root room that plant will need. Next you should consider what your light source will be. Whether you can use natural light on a patio or through a window or if you will have to go the route of grow lights. Another key thing to consider is the maintenance and service time you will be able to devote to each planter. and finally you should consider the aesthetic appeal of all your options. choosing a planter that works well with your existing decor is often prioritized first but through my experience I have learned to put the plants needs first.

I hope my guided top 5 list has helped you make some selections or at least given you an overview of some of the options you have out there.

Please leave me a comment below if:

  • you have any experience with any of these products
  • you agree or disagree with any of my recommendations
  • you know of any superior products that I should try out next
  • you have any extra information you would like to share with the Apartment Growers Community





Atlas Tupper


  1. Hello there! I like plants and I want to grow some in my apartment. When I live on my parents house I help them on the garden growing some flowers, plants and etc.. I wanted to buy a gardening pots but I can’t decide which one should I get but luckily, I found and read your list which is very informative and helpful. Southern Patio’s Self Watering Planter is a great item for it’s price. This is great for me because sometimes I might forget to water the plant and this self watering is a great way to help me water it. Thank you for sharing this information.

    • I agree the self watering planters are super helpful as I also sometimes forget to water my plants and other times just get too busy to stop home to care for them. One thing I wanted to make sure you are aware of is that the self watering aspect of these planters only works if your plant has had time to grow roots to the bottom reservoir.

  2. I love the way you speak. Your words had me entranced and I wanted to read more to just hear you speak.
    I didn’t realize how many containers there are out there. I really like the Hydrofarm Tomato Trellis Garden on Wheels because it is versatile and very simple and easy to use. I also like that you can put grow lights on the trellis and I like that it’s not a permanent fixture because our lives often change and require things to be movable.
    Thank you for all this information. I am excited to get started on my indoor garden.

  3. Good Day, Atlas.
    Thanks for posting this informative blog on container gardening. This is an option that I am considering this year.
    Last season I planted a fine selection of plants and herbs and guess what? Life happened. Work turned into a nightmarish event. We became inundated with orders and when I arrived home in the evenings I was much too tired to spend very much time in my greenhouse.
    This year I am considering container gardening. A much smaller approach but also a more “yearly” approach as well.
    What are the best pots for herbs such as basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary?
    What are the best containers for “companion plants”?
    What are the easiest herbs to grow on a year-round basis?
    Thanks, Paul

    • Hey Paul,

      I know the struggle of over planting against your own free time. With that in mind container gardening solves a lot of maintence issues outright. Worlds less weeding and (if using the right container) less watering too. Personally, I choose to plant my regularly harvested herbs in individual medium sized pots. I prefer the medium size as it allows the root space to really reach the plants full potential for routine harvests. If the herbs are not harvested as regularly(thyme,sage,and mint for me) I companion plant them into one large pot for 2-3 varieties or an extra large pot for 4-5 herbs. 

      When container gardening in general I tend to stick to the “self watering” or “wicking” containers. These containers let plants develop more full in in less pot space. This is extreamely beneficial when companion planting as you want more root “bang” for your space “buck.” My top 5 container list can be found in my suggested containers subsection above and includes 4 self watering planters. 

      As for which herbs you can grow year round; this question depends greatly on the region in which you live in or if you plan on gardening indoors with supplemental lights. Some of the easiest herbs to grow include: basil, coriander, mint, chives, dill, and thyme. These herbs are relatively resistant to swings in temperature and light quality. However, I want to stress that the herbs Andy vegetables that you will be a lemon to grow will be decided more by you available light and temperature thsn anything else. 

      I hope this helps,


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