What Outdoor Plants Grow Well In Pots

  • Impatiens of New Guinea (Impatiens hybrids) Nothing is simpler than New Guinea impatiens…
  • Coleus (Plectranthus hybrids) Coleus is quite adaptable. …
  • The angelonia plant, Angelonia angustifolia
  • Ipomoea batatas, sometimes known as sweet potato vine
  • Pentas lanceolata, also called starflower
  • Petunia (Petunia hybrids)


All of our plant specialists selected this one as a sun-lover. Wells stated, “Great in the sun, simple, drought tolerant.”

The Lantana hues are wonderful, too, with yellow, confetti, a little purple, and white, according to Bates, who declared that it is excellent for a hot spot.

A dwarf Alberta Spruce in the center of a huge pot surrounded by “sun loving flowers such as Lantana, which tries to spread out,” according to Troglen, is a combination he likes to use.

He also proposes placing red Salvia in the center of a pot and surrounding it with yellow Lantana in sunny locations. You will still have color throughout October and November, he remarked, adding that everything looks fantastic.

Wave Petunias:

According to the plant experts, Wave Petunias are preferable to regular petunias because they persist into early October as opposed to regular petunias, which have a tendency to become “leggy” in the middle of the summer.

According to Bates, the Wave Petunias are “growing machines” in the sun and do not require deadheading.


Wells responded, “All you have to do is deadhead them.” Marigolds also have the added benefit of being able to deter some insects from landing on other plants, according to Bates.


Because they thrive in the sun, offer a ton of color, and require little to no care beyond watering throughout the season, Troglen like tropical plants like Mandevilla and Hybiscus.

Although tropical plants don’t perform well in the winter, Bates said they are a fantastic option for one season in direct sunlight near a deck, patio, or pool.

Autumn Joy Sedum

According to Bates, the perennial Autumn Joy Sedum is your best pick if you’re searching for a plant that can withstand the sun the longest.

“They won’t get icy. They won’t catch fire. They resist being shot at “said he. It is my favorite thing about the sun.

What kinds of plants grow best in pots?

Year-round best plants for containers

  • Japanese skimmia
  • Hosta.
  • Fountain weed (Pennisetum setaceum)
  • Cucumis ‘Buzz’
  • Hebe.
  • Agapanthus.
  • Cornus.
  • Heuchera.

What plants can I cultivate year-round in pots?

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 outdoor potted plants thrive in direct sunlight?

8 Container Plants for Full Sun (That Can Take a Scorching Summer)

  • 1Petunias (Petunia sp.)
  • 2Lavender (Lavandula sp.)
  • 3,000,000 Bells (Calibrachoa sp.)
  • 4Sedum (Sedum sp.)
  • Candelabra Lilies (Canna generalis)
  • Cloak Flower (Gaillardia grandiflora)
  • 7Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora)
  • 8Verbena (Verbena sp.)

Which outdoor potted plants require the least amount of maintenance?

Do you tend to forget to water and/or fertilize container plants on occasion (or frequently)? This list is for you if so.

These plants can be grown both indoors and outside, but keep in mind that the enhanced air circulation, sunlight, and heat dispersion from pavers or concrete lead containers outside to dry up more quickly.

Jade Plants

Because jade plants can withstand neglect and less-than-ideal growing circumstances, most varieties are low care. Because the paddle-like leaves of the silver jade plant (shown above) are a little bit bigger, less typical, and more attractive with their red edge and silver-green colour, many people like them in containers. Being a succulent, the plant can hold more water if the leaves are bigger and more numerous. Be aware that jade plants can tip over if they are excessively top heavy because they need light and have shallow roots.

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

Despite its horrible name, I can personally attest to this plant’s simplicity. I keep it in a container on my front porch, where it gets a couple hours per day of brilliant light—not direct sunlight—in a generally shady location. I don’t water it very much.

Mother-in-tongue law’s is a great plant for architectural interest and is frequently used in modern home design alone in a number of container shapes. Its pointed, upright leaves can grow to be three to four tall. My succulents are surrounded by colorful blooming kalanchoe succulents in a spherical planter.

Although kalanchoe are frequently considered to be low-maintenance plants, it is relatively simple to overwater them and cause root rot. They have a greater chance if you can err on the side of amnesia.

Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)

Another succulent that is frequently seen pouring over the sides of hanging container plants and other succulent arrangements is burro’s tail (also known as donkey’s tail). Although they can grow up to three lengths, stems are delicate, so try to avoid handling them. The end result is that you can grow another one if one breaks.

Although planting it in some shade is advised, I have mine in full sunlight. Just a little bit more faded than it would normally be is the color.

Aloe Plants

Although it has the additional benefit of being used as a home cure by breaking off a leaf and utilizing the sap for healing, aloe vera grows very slowly. It does loves bright light but dislikes when its leaves come into contact with the ground. They will eventually become brown as a result. Although some species of aloe vera have spots and others do not, they are all erect and spiky.

Although aloe vera is usually offered as young plants, huge plants that are grown outdoors by themselves in large pots work quite well in contemporary gardens.


Another plant that you may grow and let alone, this one shines in hanging pots. When it’s time to water, pothos leaves wilt and some even turn brown and fall off, offering plant owners a warning before things go too far. Although it can reach a size of 40 in the wild, it can easily support 1-2 people indoors. Plan to water it deeply twice a month and keep it trimmed for a healthy, bushier appearance.

Ghost Plant

You get the best of two succulent worlds with ghost plant because it is a sedum even though its rosettes resemble echeverias. The rosettes on the ends will eventually produce stems, making them a great choice for cascading over pot sides. One of the simplest succulents to grow, ghost plants also change color. Ghost plants have a blue-gray color in the shade but an orange-pink color in the day. The tendency of leaves to root makes them easy to remove. They can, however, endure damaged stems, strange water, and overall neglect with ease.

Palm Trees

Many palm palms thrive in indoor and outdoor pots. In reality, the Terminal 2 baggage claim area at San Diego International Airport features 30 enormous palm trees in containers. The palm trees will receive lots of natural light thanks to the green design, which also includes multi-story glass windows.

Ponytail palms, sago palms, kentia palms, and pygmy date palms are other smaller palms to take into consideration. Remember that some palms might not be suitable for your way of living. For instance, pygmy date palms have thorns at the base of their fronds, whereas eating pieces of a sago palm can be lethal to dogs.


In San Diego, nurseries sell inexpensive, simple-to-grow geraniums. They feature a winning combination of fascinating leaves that resemble clovers and bright showy foliage (red, pink, rose, salmon, orange, lavender, violet, or white). They thrive in containers but perform much better as in-ground border plants. Each spring, plant them in organic matter and fertilize them with slow-release fertilizers. The fact that they want the soil to be fully dry between waterings is one of the reasons they can withstand neglect. Geraniums might very easily be grown with the other plants on this list in a sizable container.

Zamioculcas Zamifolia

This incredibly cool-looking alternative is also known as the ZZ plant because of its glossy, oval-shaped leaves. The ZZ plant is a slow-growing, possibly wide-spreading plant that thrives in low light conditions inside. Keep it out of direct sunlight if you’re growing it outside. The plant’s low water requirements make it a wonderful choice for forgetful gardeners; over watering will cause the leaves to turn yellow. Try to keep in mind to fertilize it with houseplant food every few months.

Cast Iron Plant

By including a few bushy cast iron plants in planters, you can give your home a tropical appearance. The plant derives its name from being nearly indestructible, in addition to the fact that it favors low light or filtered light (it can even handle dark restrooms). Cast iron plans won’t suffer if you don’t routinely water them, though it’s preferable. Another kind has lengthy leaves with cream-colored stripes running up them. These days, both kinds are often used by florists to cover the stems of flowers in glass vases.