How to Plant Containers Without Spending Lots of Money

My favorite challenge this season has been coming up with container ideas using plants grown from seed or plants I have on hand. In the past, I spent a lot of money on plants to fill containers and window boxes, and I notice that most of the garden accounts I follow, do the same. But what happens if you are on a budget?

This photo, posted on my old website “All About My Garden”, provided the inspiration for my containers this season.

The reality is that the average gardener in the United States doesn’t have limitless funds to spend on gardening. Especially during a pandemic when thousands of people have lost their jobs. If there’s ever been a time for budget-conscious gardening, it’s now. Growing plants from seeds and stem cuttings is a great cost-saving strategy.

I decided to use a purple and orange color scheme for my patio containers this season. I purchased coleus seeds, and the coleus plants grown from seeds now represent the bulk of my containers.

My purple and orange color scheme patio containers. These pots are still young and will continue to fill out nicely during the growing season.

My containers use coleus, red leaf hibiscus, elephant ears, and purple heart plant. The terracotta pots reinforce the color scheme and highlight the copper-colored ornaments in the garden behind the patio.

This purple heart plant made from stem cuttings has beautiful purple foliage.
The velvety deep purple of coleus Giant Exhibition Palisades.
A rusty “Smile” sign adds a little whimsy to a container.
Red Leaf Hibiscus will grow tall in containers and looks a lot like a Japanese maple at a fraction of the cost. You can take stem cuttings of this plant at the end of the season to use for the following growing season.

I’m glad I decided not to shop at the garden center this season. Of course, it’s easier to buy plants, but using the plants you have on hand and propagating plants from seeds and cuttings will help you save money and learn new gardening skills. I’d love to hear how you are saving money in the garden this season. Happy gardening!


Swallowtail Garden – Website where I purchased my coleus seeds. I was very happy with the quality of the seeds I purchase.

How to Take Stem Cuttings of Purple Heart Plant – Quick How-To video

Black glossy pale – I purchased a few glossy black pails that I used as inexpensive plant containers. I just drilled drainage holes and used these 5-gallon pails to grown tomatoes on the patio.


My Mother-in-Law purchased cherry tomato seedlings at an open-air market and gave us a few plants because we did not grow tomatoes from seed.

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