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Best plants for container gardens

June 29, 2017

Container gardens provide a great way to add natural color wherever you want it. Perk up your curb appeal by placing colorful container gardens by your front door, along the walkway, or around the yard. Dress up your outdoor living spaces. Add a dash of seasonal color. The container can be anything that will hold soil and plants, and provide sufficient drainage. From a ceramic pot to a watering can, birdbath, wheelbarrow, and even an old chair, you can get creative with your container garden ideas. Now, what do you plant in it? For a pleasing blend of colorful blooms and foliage fillers, here are ideas for the best plants for container gardens. Begonias are hardy plants that produce colorful blooms, and require only partial sun without much watering. Coleus is a favorite among gardeners because of the wide variety of colorful foliage. Depending on your choice, it can range from drought-tolerant to needing shade. Osteospermum is also known as a “Cape Daisy”, and it does indeed look like a daisy. You can choose from a spectrum of bloom colors, from white and pale yellow to vibrant orange, pink, and purple. Pansies and violas produce perky splashes of color and they will continue to bloom into the fall. Pentas—aka “Egyptian star flowers”—are a great addition to a container garden. Pentas don’t require much care, other than the occasional feeding and good drainage, and the tiny flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Petunias thrive in containers, from hanging baskets to pots. They beautifully cascade down the side of the container. Their big blooms do well with sunshine as long as they can escape to a little afternoon shade. Verbena produces dense clusters of flowers throughout the summer and into the early fall. This annual doesn’t require a lot of water. Yucca has long, sword-like leaves that add height and interest to your garden. The plant welcomes sunlight, and this perennial has a long life. Flowering vines, like the moon flower, morning glory, and passion flower are a natural choice for a container garden because they add color, volume, and shape. If you want to attract butterflies, plant cosmos, bachelor’s buttons, and dahlias. No matter what you plant in your container garden, start with good soil and drainage. If necessary, add more drainage holes to ensure the soil doesn’t stay so wet that it leads to root rot. Blend in fertilizer and feed your garden regularly. Also, be sure your plant choices can thrive with the amount of sun and shade you’ll be offering them.

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