How to Properly Plant a Flower Bag in Your Garden

What You'll Need To Make a Flower Bag

container gardening picture of what you'll need to make a flowering plant bag container garden
What You'll Need For Your Flower Bag. Photo © Kerry Michaels
  • Flower bag
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer, if your potting soil doesn't have it already
  • 12 small plants
  • 2 clothespins or bulldog clips
  • Scoop or large yogurt container

You can get your flower bags online or at a nursery, though not all carry them. They are fairly inexpensive and some of the heavier duty flower bags can be used for more than one season.

Lots of plants look great in flower bags, petunias, impatiens, begonias, verbena, pansies and trailing lobelia are often used, but you can also use more unusual plants to great effect too. I've made flower bags with herbs and lettuce and they look great as well. However, most flower bags are too small to successfully grow tomatoes and many other vegetables, even though I have seen them for sale.

Add Soil to Your Flower Pouch

container gardening picture of adding potting soil to flower pouch
Adding Soil to Flower Pouch. Photo © Kerry Michaels

First, check to see if your potting soil has fertilizer already mixed in. If it doesn't, mix in a slow release fertilizer, following the directions on the package for quantity. I use an all-purpose organic fertilizer.

To add soil to flower bag, hold the empty flower bag upright and add a few scoops of potting soil. Make sure that the bottom corners are full of soil and then continue filling flower bag until the soil almost reaches the top.

Settle Soil the Soil in Your Flower Bag

container gardening picture of settling soil in plant bag container garden
Tap Gently to Settle the Soil in Flower Bag. Photo © Kerry Michaels

Hold the flower bag by the top and tap the bottom of it gently on the ground several times to help settle the soil. After you do this, check the soil level because it may have compacted. Add more potting soil if needed, leaving an inch or so between the top of the soil and the top of the flower bag.

Secure the Top of Your Flower Bag

container gardening picture of plant bag container garden with bulldog clips
Secure the Top of your Flower Bag. Photo © Kerry Michaels

To prevent potting soil from falling out as you add plants to your flower bag, fold over the top of the flower bag and secure with it with bulldog clips, tape or clothespins. This step makes the planting process much easier.

Get Your Plants Ready for Your Flower Bag

container gardening picture of making room for plants in flowering plant bag
Making Room For Plants. Photo © Kerry Michaels

Remove a seedling from its pack. To make it fit the hole, you might have to tear some roots off. This is actually good for the plant if it's root-bound. It sounds radical, but don’t worry, most plants will recover very quickly. You can also try dipping the plants' roots in water and then squeezing them in your hand, so they will fit into the holes more easily.

Put two fingers into a planting hole and push soil aside.

Plant Seedlings in Your Flower Bag

container gardening picture of planting seedlings in flowering plant bag container garden
Adding Plants to Your Flower Bag. Photo © Kerry Michaels

Before adding plants, either lay the flower bag flat or prop it up at an angle.

Stuff seedlings into the holes of the flower bag. Be as gentle as possible, but you may have to be a little forceful to get the roots to fit.

Try to make sure the plant is inserted into the hole just far enough so that it doesn't stick out of the bag. You don't want to cover the plant's crown with soil.

When you have finished planting all the holes, prop flower bag upright and remove the clips. Hold on to the top of the flower bag and tap the bottom gently on the ground a few times, to help settle the soil around the plants.

Check your soil level again and add more if necessary. Finish planting by adding two seedlings to the opening on the top of the flower bag. This is a good place to use your biggest plants because you won't have to squish them to fit.

Water Your Flower Bag

container gardening picture of watering flower bag
Water Flower Bag Generously. Photo © Kerry Michaels

Water your finished flower bag generously. Make sure that the water reaches all the way to the bottom of the bag. To check, squeeze the bottom of the bag gently and see if water drains out of the lowest holes.

Rest Flower Bag Before Hanging

container gardening picture of resting flower bag container garden
Resting Flower Bag. Photo © Kerry Michaels

Leave your finished flower bag lying down or propped up slightly in a sunny, sheltered spot for a week to ten days while the plants acclimate and get over any stuffing trauma they may have experienced. During this time, make sure not to over-water your flower bag, but when you water it, water generously making sure the water reaches the bottom plants.

When your flower bag is ready, you can hang it from a hook, nail or from a railing. To know if it needs water, put your finger deep into the soil, at least an inch, and if it feels dry, add water. Also, every time you water, check the bottom holes to make sure the water is getting all the way to the lowest plants. Fertilize your flower bag regularly with diluted, water-soluble fertilizer, such as fish emulsion. Deadhead flowers when needed. Enjoy!