Five Best Container Garden Plants

Planting in pots allows us to put flowers all around our property, in places that in ground gardens aren’t feasible. You can put containers on a small balcony of an apartment, on your back deck or around your fir pit to add some color. These five container plants will help you brighten up your garden space quickly.

The nice thing about growing in containers is how creative you can be! Add color, height and texture using many different annual flowers and grow something new and exciting in your garden this year.

It is important to keep in mind that because container gardens will have less soil, we need to water frequently. Especially during hot and dry weather! Fertilizing your containers weekly with an all purpose fertilizer will keep their flowers blooming all summer long.

Check out my list of the five best container garden plants below!


Petunias make great container plants

Petunias are an obvious choice for a great container garden plant! I guarantee that any planter you see at a garden center will have some petunias spilling out of them, and for good reason. These annuals (hardy only for zones 9 to 11) will produce blooms in all colors of the rainbow and continue to flower all summer long.

Many new varieties of petunias do not require deadheading to continue to flower; look for the “supertunia” line up to make petunias simple to grow. These new varieties produce huge mounds of flowers, meaning you don’t need to make petunias simply an accent flower anymore as they can stand on their own. If you have the more traditional variety of petunias, be sure to deadhead regularly to encourage growth. Deadheading will keep all varieties of petunias tidy for the summer. These plants prefer a nice sunny location to grow but remember to keep them watered thoroughly so they don’t get droopy.


Dahlia flowers

A dahlia is a beautiful addition to any container garden. They come in every imaginable color, pattern and size, meaning they can be a standalone item in a pot or a beautiful tall centerpiece flower in your design. Dahlias are hardy for zones 6 through 11 and prefer a full sun location. You can keep your dahlias in cooler climates by pulling out the tubers in the fall and storing them in a dry location to use next year. Look at this guide for how to save dahlia tubers from American Meadows.

These plants will produce their striking blooms in mid summer and continue into the fall. As an added bonus, dahlias make lovely cut flowers. Bring in a bouquet of these flowers to enjoy on your kitchen table or counter.


Coleus plant

Coleus is a gorgeous foliage plant for your container garden! You can now find this plant available in a variety of different variegated colors. Don’t be afraid to start with small plants as these will grow rapidly and fill your baskets and containers with the unique color of their leaves.

Another great thing about coleus is that you can grow it from full sun to full shade! If you have a shady spot on your deck, plant coleus and impatiens and bring a little joy to that part of your property. Coleus is an annual, hardy only in zones 10 and 11, its tender leaves do not manage cold temperatures well so be sure to protect it in the spring if the weather is going to be cold.


Annual geranium flowers

Geraniums are an old garden favorite. They have been filling baskets and container gardens for many seasons, with bright new colors popping up every year. This plant is an annual, except in zones 10 and 11 and will do well in a sun or part sun location. Geraniums can handle some heat, just be sure to keep them watered well.

To encourage flowering, be sure to snap off the old flower stems as they drop their petals. Try to find a variety with variegated leaves to add even more unique color to your container even without the flowers. Geranium blooms are available in many different colors, the most traditional being pink, red and white.

New Guinea Impatiens

new guinea impatiens plants

If you have a shady spot to fill with a container, look no further than impatiens. These tender annuals will happily bloom in a dark spot on your balcony or deck. The easiest thing about this plant is that no deadheading is required; they will simply drop their blooms and make new ones until late fall when the weather turns cold.

The most important thing about impatiens is water! Do not forget to keep their soil moist or they will start to drop their leaves quite quickly and will look very bare. Impatiens come in a variety of colors, but you are most likely to find red, orange and white colors in your garden center. Keep an eye out for unique color choices for your shady container garden.

For a list of my favorite annuals to plant in the garden, visit my page here.

Let me know below what your favorite plant is to put in your container garden!

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