Container gardening has become very popular these days. This type of gardening requires less space compared to other types of gardens. There are two main categories of container gardens: indoor and outdoor. Indoor container gardens are those that are planted inside the house. Outdoor container gardens are those that grow outdoors.

Most people prefer indoor plants because they don’t want them to get too hot during summer. Some people also prefer planting their plants outside because they enjoy walking around the yard even though it gets hotter at night.

In this article, we will discuss the best plants for garden containers. Dig into it if you want to thrive in your container garden.

Here are plants for garden containers

Golden Sword

The golden sword yucca (Yucca filamentosa), native to North America, is one of my favorite houseplants. Its flowers are bright orange, and it grows into a bushy plant with long, arching branches. This easy-to-grow yucca makes a great accent plant for containers, hanging baskets, window boxes, and patio pots. It looks good all year round, but especially in summer and fall. When you grow it indoors, keep it well-watered during dry spells.

In late winter, cut off the dead flower stalks and prune out any damaged leaves. Then, let the yucca go dormant over the winter. Bring the yucca inside and place it near a sunny windowsill if you live in a cold climate. You can also use a heat mat under the pot to help warm up the soil.

When the weather warms up again, start watering the yucca regularly. Keep it well-fed with a fertilizer high in nitrogen, such as 10-10-10. After flowering, trim away the old flower buds and stems. New growth will begin soon.

Green Mountain

Green Mountain Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Green Mountain’) is a great choice for those looking for a low-maintenance evergreen hedge. This variety is hardy to Zone 9, making it suitable for most areas of North America. Its dense growth habit makes it ideal for screening unsightly views while providing privacy.

This particular cultivar features glossy leaves that are dark green in summer and turn a rich burgundy red in fall. In addition, the foliage turns bright yellow in late spring. A single specimen reaches about five feet tall and three feet wide.

The Green Mountain fern (Pteris vittata) is an excellent choice for small spaces. However, if you have room for more than one specimen, consider planting several so they can spread throughout the area.

This pteridophyte prefers moist, shady conditions. Water sparingly from spring until early autumn. During drought periods, mist or water by hand once every week. Fertilize lightly with a balanced liquid fertilizer every four weeks. Maintain healthy soil pH levels between 6.0 and 7.5. Remove spent fronds each season.

Tall grasses

Wide varieties of grasses make ideal plants for containers because they tolerate low light levels and average temperatures. They are also easy to care for. Tall grasses include some of our most common perennial species, including bluegrasses, meadow ryes, and switchgrass. These grasses offer striking vertical accents; many are attractive when grown together.


Bluegrasses are available in numerous varieties and are one of the easiest grasses to maintain. Their foliage ranges from soft and feathery to hard and stiff. Bluegrasses grow quickly, often reaching 5 to 8 feet within six months. Use them in large containers or mixed borders where their height creates a dramatic effect. Some bluegrass varieties include ‘Red Top,’ ‘Shenandoah’, and ‘Cobra.’

Meadow Ryes

Meadow ryes feature upright, dense clumps of foliage. They reach 3 to 4 feet, making them suitable for smaller containers. Most varieties develop fragrant white flowers in the spring.


Although not technically a grass, this South American shrub has become very popular among container gardeners. Switchgrass is drought-tolerant and easy to grow. One variety, ‘Alamo Gold’, offers compact mounding habits and develops clusters of gold-colored blooms.

Other varieties include ‘Sunburst’, which produces yellow flowers; ‘Pink Pansy’, which grows into a bushy mound; and ‘Royal Velvet’, which forms a dense carpet of silvery-green foliage.


If you have one with a braided trunk, it makes an even more striking accent in a group of containers. When kept warm, it will also last a long time. This will surely enhance the beauty of your container garden.


The ‘Emerald’ variety of arborvitae is one of the most popular choices among gardeners looking for something tall and distinctive. This tree grows up to 15 feet tall and 4 feet wide, ideal for small gardens or large pots. Its graceful form makes it a great choice for creating a focal point in a landscape.

This cultivar is a hybrid of ‘Smaragda’ and ‘Zwartkop’. Both parents are native to North America and are very hardy trees. They grow best in USDA zones 2–7. Plant in full sun to part shade. Keep well watered during dry spells, but avoid overwatering. Prune back damaged branches as needed. Cut back new growth after bloom to promote flowering. Mulch around the base of the tree annually in winter.


Though lavenders are annuals, they are extremely hardy and can survive freezing winters. Lavender thrives in partial shade and moist, rich soil. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and its spicy fragrance adds interest to any garden. The following cultivars are good choices: ‘Festival’, ‘Grosso’, ‘Heritage’, ‘Penny Loaf’, ‘Shine On, and ‘Sparkling.’


The spiller works well in containers and hanging baskets, even for beginners. This low-maintenance perennial blooms from late spring through frost and is drought- and heat-tolerant.

It is important to know that lantana is toxic to animals if ingested, so pets, horses, and livestock should be kept away. If you live in a warm climate, choose sterile varieties.

Baby Cakes Blackberry

Blackberries are one of my favorite fruits because of their sweet flavor and beautiful appearance. I love how easy it is to grow them from seed indoors or outdoors. However, wide varieties are much easier to grow than others.

One such variety is called “Baby Cakes.” This blackberry is a dwarf form of another popular blackberry known as “Tulip,” but it has no thorns. These are my favorite container plants.

The plant grows about three feet high and four feet wide, making it ideal for patio containers. The size makes it great for hanging baskets, too.

When you buy plants like this, ensure you know what type of soil you’ll plant them in. Some blackberries prefer acidic soils, while others thrive in alkaline conditions. You can find out online if you don’t know your soil pH level.

You can start seeds indoors six weeks before the last frost date. Planting outside depends on where you live. You can sow seeds directly into the ground once temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, you can transplant them into larger pots and move them inside once the weather gets warmer.

Jolt Pink Dianthus

This dianthus features large, brightly colored fringed flowerheads on strong stems. Typically preferring cool spring temperatures, Jolt Pink is heat tolerant and should perform well throughout the summer. It’s an easy-growing plant for those who prefer neat containers. Growing Jolt Pink is simple; add some compost and water regularly. It’s hardy from Zone 7 to 10 or grows as a perennial.

Orange Crush

This simple planter is perfect for adding color to a shady spot in your garden. It features bright orange foliage from coleus (Solanum sarrachoides) paired with compact hot coral (Impatiens sp.) and yellow wishbone flowers (Torenia sp.).

You could use a similar combination of plants in a different shade of orange, such as ‘Crimson Sunset’ coleus (Coleus blumei), ‘Ruby Red’ coleus (Colocasia esculenta), ‘Sunset Orange’ coleus, or ‘Golden Glow’ coleus (Euphorbia characias).

To grow this planter, plant seeds indoors about six weeks before planting. Sow seedlings into individual pots filled with soil and keep them warm until ready to transplant outdoors. When seedlings emerge, thin them to 12 inches apart. Water regularly and fertilize weekly during spring until plants reach 8 to 10 inches tall.

Place the planter in full or partial sun, depending on where you want it planted. If growing it in a shaded area, consider placing a light layer of mulch around the pot’s base to help retain moisture.

Jolt Pink Dianthus

The bright pink flowers of Jolt Pink are sure to attract attention. These double blooms come in shades of red, orange, and yellow. They’re perfect for containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes. It’s an easy-growing plant that grows quickly and produces abundant blossoms. It’s a good choice for growing in full sun or partial shade. This is one of the most beautiful container plants.

Blue Star

The Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis ‘Blue Star’) is one of the best-known of the wide varieties of junipers. Its name comes from the leaves being covered with small blue dots. These dots give the plant its common name, “blue star.”

This variety grows slowly, reaching about three feet high and spreading up to four feet wide. It likes the full sun and tolerates light shade. In colder climates, it needs protection during the coldest months.

The Blue Star Junipers grow best in moist soil rich in humus and composted manure. They prefer slightly acidic soil, but they do tolerate alkaline soils.

They don’t require much water once established. You’ll want to provide supplemental water in summer if you live in a hot climate.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. What Is Good For A Container Garden?

Lettuce, spinach, arugula, and other greens are perfect for small containers (2 gallons or larger). Most greens have a small root system and grow quickly. Give lettuce regular access to water (an olla is great for this), and they often grow better in containers. Lettuce does not like dry conditions.

2. Can I Start Tomatoes Inside?

Yes. Tomatoes can be started indoors in late winter or early spring. Keep the temperature at 70 degrees F, and increase the humidity to 75 percent. Do not expose tomato seeds to direct sunlight or place them near lights. Place the pots in a sunny location until they germinate. After 2 weeks, remove the plastic wrap and move the pots to another part of the house. When the first true leaf appears, transplant the seedlings to their final home. The last step is to harden off the plants by moving them outside each day for half an hour.

3. What Are The Easiest Vegetables To Grow In A Container?

The summer months are ideal for growing herbs, peppers, tomatoes, onions, summer squash, beans, and eggplant, while spring and fall are ideal for growing broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and greens.

4. Is There Anything Special I Need To Know About Growing Tomatoes In Containers?

Tomato plants grown in containers must receive extra care because they may experience more environmental stress than those grown in the ground.

5. Will My Tomatoes Taste Different From Those Planted Directly Into The Ground?

No. Although tomatoes are usually grown commercially in greenhouses and shipped to stores nationwide, they’re still considered a backyard crop.


Using containers as a solution for growing vegetables or flowers is a very viable option. Using containers allows you to achieve a lot more space-efficient gardening methods and choose specific varietals that suit your preferences and tastes. Those above plants are very suitable for container gardens. Those will enhance the beauty of your garden for sure.

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

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