What Outdoor Plants Are Good All Year Round

Gardeners frequently toss, multiply, or locate a home in the ground for their outdoor potted plants as the weather turns chilly in the fall. It’s unfortunate since a lot of this is a waste of time and resources. Many shrubs and perennials can survive for a number of years in containers. Utilizing this quality will allow you to spend less time and money maintaining your pots. Depending on the plants you select, your containers might give you interest throughout the entire year, and you could give your designs coherence.

Life in a container vs one in the ground is very different for plants. Although containers might offer good drainage, you are the only source of water and nutrients for the plants. Although this varies depending on the plant, temperature, and container, shrubs and larger perennials frequently stay smaller in a pot. Additionally, containers don’t protect a plant’s roots from the cold.

The plant should be hardy to two zones colder than your USDA Hardiness Zone in order for it to survive the winter in a container. However, I have successfully overwintered plants that shouldn’t have survived and I have failed with ones that should have in my Maryland garden, which barely meets the requirements for Zone 7. I’ve discovered a wide variety of plants that can survive year after year in a container through trial and error. I’ve chosen the top 10 because they are not only resilient enough to live, but also stylish while doing so.

‘Golden Sword’ yucca combines with almost anything

Seasons in one pot. The main plants in this container are bergenia and yucca, which shine in the summer and fall. Stems from yellow and redtwig dogwoods add to the yucca’s brilliant display in winter after the bergenia has died back. Pansies and lamium take center stage in the spring, before the yucca and bergenia have recovered their former forms.

‘Golden Sword’ yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’, Zones 411) is a fantastic plant since it pairs well with so many others. Its 2-inch-wide, sword-like leaves feature curling fibers along the edges, thin, dark green margins, and golden yellow centers. It spreads equally and develops 2 to 3 feet high with a spiky, architectural shape.

Although it may tolerate little shade, this yucca prefers dry, sunny environments. On 3- to 6-foot-tall stems, creamy white, fragrant flowers appear in the summertime in the heart of the shrub. The leaves may appear a little flat in the late winter, but it will reappear in the spring. To keep the area looking neat, remove the outdated foliage.

‘Green Mountain’ boxwood keeps its color all year

Even though it’s challenging, living in a container will keep it smaller than its typical dimensions of 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Place “Green Mountain” in a partially shaded area, away from strong winds. If at all feasible, rotate the pot from time to time to balance the plant’s exposure to light and prevent the growth of bare sides. Boxwood known as “Green Mountain” (Buxus “Green Mountain,” Zones 49) is a slow-growing shrub that, in contrast to many other boxwoods, keeps its dark green color all winter long. This variety in particular is one of my favorites since it develops into a lovely pyramid as opposed to a meatball-shaped shrub.

Golden creeping Jenny is perfect for the edge of the pot

In a container, the golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zones 48) consistently delivers. This plant, which stands 4 inches tall, gracefully hangs over a pot’s rim. The golden, coin-shaped leaves of this plant complement anything. It prefers some shade but adores water, and will even flourish in a water garden. It can also tolerate direct sunlight, but you must maintain wet soil.

Japanese pieris has colorful new growth

This shrub (Pieris japonica and cvs., Zones 68) is deer-resistant and a great choice for pots. Although Japanese pieris’ evergreen foliage is interesting year-round, the spring growth is particularly beautiful, with hues ranging from rich crimson to creamy white, depending on the cultivar.

The flower buds are often dark red in winter, with some opening to pink hues. Early in the spring, delicate racemes of white, urn-shaped blooms, measuring 3 to 6 inches long, begin to develop. This shrub’s beautiful branches fall gracefully over the sides of containers.

Because compact varieties like “Dorothy Wyckoff” grow compactly, smaller plants are not usually required for a visually appealing container display. Japanese pieris may grow in either full sun or whole shade. Keep it out of the harsh winds and sun of winter.

‘Emerald’ arborvitae works where you need some height

It is simple to blend with other plants due to the form and texture of its foliage. It will be kept significantly below its native size, which is 15 feet high and 4 feet broad, by a container. Put it in either full sun or moderate shade. Because it keeps its vibrant green color throughout the winter, emerald arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’, syn. ‘Smaragd’, Zones 27) offers outstanding year-round interest. This cultivar of our native arborvitae has an upright, slender habit that works well as the vertical accent that many pots require.

Bergenia has bold leaves that shine in containers

Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia and cvs., Zones 38) is one of my favorite plants since it is a vigorous grower and adds a striking element to a container design with its green, glossy, oval leaves. The leaves are between 10 and 20 inches long and 6 to 8 inches wide. In the fall, they turn a stunning shade of crimson. On 12- to 15-inch-long stalks, bergenia blooms in the early spring; the pink blossoms resemble hyacinths.

Because of the great drainage, the plant actually grows better in my containers than in my beds. Grow it either in full sun or very light shade.

Tips for overwintering plants in containers

Pick a container that won’t freeze. Pick a pot made of stone, heavy plastic, fiberglass, lead, or iron that has a drainage hole in the bottom. In cold weather, most terra-cotta would shatter, but I’ve had success with glazed pottery.

Utilize quality potting soil. There are mixtures available that are developed expressly for use in containers and offer the vital drainage that potted plants require.

In the fall, stop feeding. If you fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer, you should stop feeding your plants six to eight weeks before the first date of your first frost. This will stop any delicate new growth that wouldn’t make it through the winter. When the plants start growing again in the spring, start fertilizing once more.

Winter with water. Until the soil in the container is frozen, add water as needed. Because the plants in frozen pots are unable to absorb the water, avoid watering them.

Put some antidesiccant on. Use Wilt-Pruf on broadleaf evergreens and conifers to shield them from winter wind damage.

Every few years, repotte. Repot your plants every three years to be safe, even though some plants will live longer in a container.

Variegated redtwig dogwood is big and beautiful

A mass of variegated Solomon’s seal around the base of the container hides it for the most of the year. The shrub’s variegated leaves make a lovely contrast to the hydrangeas planted in the ground on each side of it. Old branches should be cut off in the early spring as the dogwood’s brightest color shows on young stems. Place this shrub in full sun to partial shade, and keep an eye out for Japanese beetle attacks in the summer. Variegated redtwig dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’, Zones 28) is another plant that thrives in containers. Its vivid red stems show in winter, especially if there is an evergreen background, and its leaves have white borders and grayish green cores. For three years, a single “Elegantissima” plant in a blue porcelain container 24 inches wide has served as the main point of one of our borders.

Heucheras provide small spots of interest

Heucheras are appealing, low-growing perennials that excel at adding interest below the taller plants in a container (Heuchera spp. and cvs., Zones 38). Their magnificent lobed foliage, which frequently has silver veins running through its green or purple leaves. Due to its preference for well-drained soil and ease of winter recovery, heucheras are particularly well-suited for containers. Most heucheras produce flower panicles with white, pink, or crimson blooms and grow into a 12- to 18-inch-diameter mounds. Depending on the cultivar, they will grow in either full sun or full shade.

‘Blue Star’ juniper has a useful color

The juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’, which grows slowly and is hardy to Zone 49, has closely organized, 1/4-inch-long steel blue needles. The plant stands out in the winter because of this color. It is slow to grow and only grows to a height of 3 feet with a spread of 3 to 4 feet. Because it goes well with most colors and the branches gracefully arch over a pot’s lip, it performs well in containers. Although it will tolerate little shade, it likes full sun. It dislikes humid environments.

‘Fuldaglut’ sedum is a small plant that makes a big splash

Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut,’ found in Zones 49, is distinguished by its bronze-red leaves that turn scarlet in the winter. Larger leaves than those of other species make up the finely scalloped foliage, which in the late summer is covered in cerise blossoms that can last up to three weeks. This sedum, which is only 6 inches tall and 12 inches broad, can be used to adorn the edge of a pot and even makes decent cut flowers for little bouquets. Though it will still thrive in some shade, it prefers full light.

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Which plants are available year-round?

Perennial plants are the greatest kinds of plants for year-round containers. There are many various types of these plants, and they easily fill space.

Others offer the region with aromatic and colorful flowers that entice pollinators to the yard, while some are appreciated for their variegated foliage and vividly dappled leaves.

Why Should I Plant Perennials Instead of Annuals?

Although they give beauty to the yard, petunias, geraniums, and other container plants are also annuals. These particular blooms require replanting the following spring because they die off at the end of the summer.

Perennials are the best choice if you want potted plants all year round. These kinds of plants do not wither away in the winter. They require very little upkeep and keep growing every year.

Do Perennial Plants Grow Well in Containers?

When most people think about planting perennial flowers, they typically picture a sizable flowerbed; nevertheless, many of these plants do just fine in containers.

They thrive in window boxes, hanging baskets, and patio pots in addition to being easy to maintain, filling empty spaces, and growing well in pots.

Did you know that fruit trees may be grown in pots as well? As with other fruit varieties, growing cherry trees in pots in partial shade is simple and “fruitful.” The yard is made more interesting and appealing to the senses by having a variety of potted plants placed throughout it.

How Do I Care for Container Plants?

Despite being simple to maintain, container plants do need slightly different care and upkeep than plants grown in a flower bed. When choosing your containers, it is important to keep in mind that the mature size of the plant is dependent on the size of the pot.

The plant grows larger the larger the pot. Plants in pots require daily watering because they tend to dry up more quickly than plants in the ground.

In addition, they need plant food once every two weeks starting in the spring. To avoid damp soil, check that the pots and plants have excellent drainage.

Take care when watering. Root rot or a gnat infestation can result from overwatering your container plants. If you spot any insects, spray your plants with soapy water to get rid of gnats and resist the need to overwater them.

Avoid having squirrels or chipmunks dig in your containers if you have a lot of them. Cayenne pepper may be easily used to deter squirrels from entering planters by sprinkling it on the ground on a regular basis. The spice is disliked by the creatures.

Which Types of Perennials Should I Plant in Pots?

No matter how big or tiny the container, many different perennial plant species thrive there. It mostly depends on where you are and what you like.

Before selecting your preferred plants, it is critical to ascertain which growing zone you are in. Make careful to match the USDA hardiness zone of the plant to your region.

To stop the plant from quickly outgrowing the container, choose compact or mounding plants rather than spreaders. On a patio, spillers tumble over the sides of a planter and provide a whimsical touch. A small tree or topiary creates a terrific focal point.

Keep in mind that annuals can also be grown in containers. Long-lasting beauty in your yard and garden comes from using a combination of perennials and annuals. The small flyers also enjoy annual flowers for hummingbirds, especially in the sweltering summer months.

Even additional variation can be added to the landscape by planting colorful ferns, flowers, and decorative grasses in the ground or in containers. Your finances and imagination are your only constraints when designing a garden area.

Emerald Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

This evergreen shrub has dense, dark green leaves that is evergreen. When grown in a container, this bush may be easily trained to a particular height and width, and it is simple to shape and style them with pruning.

The height of the emerald arborvitae, a low-maintenance shrub, depends on the size of the pot. It enjoys partial or full light and grows well in hardiness zones 2 through 7. If planted side by side to form a border, this plant is simple to utilize as a privacy barrier.

No matter how big or tiny the landscape is, these tall privacy hedges for pots and containers make it simple to move your live fence around as needed for some separation and to occasionally offer variation.

Bergenia (Bergenia crassifolia)Amazing Plants for Pots all Year Round with Bold Leaves

Bergenia is a clump-forming perennial with glossy, toothed, dark green leaves. The plant is known as pig squeak because it makes a squeaking sound when the leaves are rubbed together. Early in the spring, it blooms with deep pink, red, and white flowers.

This perennial thrives in part sun, but is one of the best plants for containers in shadow. It grows best in zones 3 through 8. It requires little maintenance, is resistant to deer, and produces great cut flowers for indoor use. Bergenia can reach heights of one to three feet and widths of twelve to eighteen inches.

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

The foliage plant known as coral bells is available in a wide range of hues, including variegated and rose, purple, lime green, and gold variations. In the spring and summer, it produces tall stems covered in tiny bell-shaped flowers in hues of coral, pink, red, and white.

Hardiness zones 4 through 8 are ideal for growing this evergreen perennial flower, which prefers full sun to partial shade. It grows slowly and roundly, maturing to a size of 12 to 18 inches.

Heuchera thrives in both gardens and as mobile evergreen container plants that you can place wherever on your property.