Elderly Home Care Blog

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Container Gardening for Senior Citizens: Growing Plants on the Porch

Gardening is an excellent opportunity for older adults to stay active and spend time outdoors. But sometimes large, in-ground gardens are impractical. Don’t let small yards or mobility issues stop you. Try container gardening for Senior Citizens. Use pots and planters to grow plants on the patio or porch. 

What type of gardening is easiest for elderly people?

Container gardens are excellent for older adults with mobility issues. Arranging potted plants close to the house on higher surfaces means less walking, bending, and reaching. Plus, the patio provides a level walking area so there are fewer trip hazards compared to an in-ground garden. 

Types of Containers for Gardening 

Potted plants are very common in container gardens. Pots come in a variety of materials and sizes to fit different needs. For example, plastic pots are lightweight and affordable, so they’re great if you’re just starting out. However, the plastic may fade and crack over time. On the other hand, clay pots are much more durable, but they are also heavier and more expensive.

There are many types of containers out there. Get creative with things you have around the house. For example, you could drill drainage holes in the bottom of a galvanized metal bucket or line a laundry basket with landscaping fabric. When planning your garden, consider how big the plant is going to get and give enough soil for the roots to develop.  Here are some ideas on different types of containers:

  • Fabric grow bags
  • Grow towers
  • Buckets
  • Barrels 
  • Planters
  • Flower boxes
  • Self-watering containers
  • Hanging baskets

Best Plants for Container Gardens

Certain plants are better suited for containers than others. For example, most herbs are ideal for containers and you can grow them right outside your kitchen


Most herbs come back year after year, so growing them in pots means you can bring them indoors in the winter.

  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Cilantro 


Most salad crops, root vegetables, and summer vegetables grow well in containers.

  • Lettuce 
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes 


There are so many varieties of annual and perennial flowers that thrive in pots.

  • Geranium
  • Snapdragon
  • Flowering kale
  • Zinnia
  • Salvia 
  • Marigold
  • Petunia
  • Lavender 
  • Coral bell
  • Coneflower
  • Primrose
  • Forget-me-not
  • Daylily
  • Impatiens
  • Calla Lily

Porch and Patio Arrangements

One of the benefits of gardening in containers is that you can arrange them on a flat surface like a porch or patio. There are some key considerations when setting up a garden for Senior Citizens. Make sure to leave plenty of walking space between containers, and place all pots and planters in arms’ reach. You may want to include stand-up gardens to avoid bending and kneeling. In addition, you can place planters on table tops for added height.

Container Gardening for Senior Citizens

The best part about container gardening for Senior Citizens is how easy it is to begin. You can start small with a few potted herbs or flowers and add more as the hobby grows. Plus, smaller pots can be brought indoors for a longer growing season. 

In-home senior care helps Senior Citizens stay active and healthy longer. We are Families Helping Families. Learn how our family can help yours—call 908-788-9390.

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