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20 Best Tall Plants for Container Gardens

Tall potted plants can turn ordinary container gardens into works of art. They add height, variety, and a little drama to mixed containers. But grouping plants in containers takes a little finesse. The general formula is “thrillers, spillers, and fillers.” In other words, combine a tall (thrilling) focal point plant with something that spills over the side of the container to soften the lines. Finish with shorter filler plants in between. Virtually any plant can succeed in a pot under the right conditions. Here are 20 of the best tall potted plants to grow in a container garden.

Choose a pot that is large enough for the plant’s root ball as it grows. Also, make sure the container is heavy enough to anchor the plant.

Agave (Agave)

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If you garden in a warmer hardiness zone, you can’t go wrong with a large succulent as your focal point. And even if you live in a cooler climate, you can always grow a succulent as an annual or bring it inside for the winter. There are many agave species to choose from, ranging in size and appearance. Several commonly grown varieties reach a few feet in height and width. Agave can thrive in a relatively shallow, unglazed clay pot with excellent drainage. It prefers gritty soil, such as a cactus mix.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Foliage of greens, blues, and grays
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Sandy, well-draining

Amaranth (Amaranthus)

A tall amaranth, such as love lies bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) or Joseph’s coat (Amaranthus tricolor), can add color and drama to a container garden, reaching heights of around 2 to 4 feet. Choose a container with adequate drainage holes, as amaranth likes to be moist but not sit in water. These are annual plants, so you will either need to start seed early or buy plants every year. But the nice thing about annuals is they allow you to experiment and be creative.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Foliage of greens, reds, purples, and yellows
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Average, moist, well-draining

Arborvitae (Thuja)

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An evergreen as the centerpiece of a container garden is elegant, classic, and low maintenance. Choose one that will hold its shape nicely without a lot of pruning. A good option is ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae, a semi-dwarf cultivar that grows in a narrow pyramid shape to around 7 to 15 feet tall. Plant it in a large pot with high-quality soil, and it should live in your container garden for many years.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 7
  • Color Varieties: Deep green
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Loamy, moist, well-draining

Bamboo (Bambusoideae)

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Bamboo can be a nightmare in the garden, spreading faster than you can control. But in a container, bamboo is a conversation piece. Some types prefer more temperate climates while others like heat and humidity. It’s the clumping varieties of bamboo, as well as the ones with smaller runners, that do best in containers. They might not grow to their fullest potential, but some still can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet. Just make sure you use a container with adequate drainage holes, as soggy soil can inhibit the plant’s growth.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Green, yellow-green
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Loose, slightly acidic, well-draining

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

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Big bluestem is a lovely ornamental grass that can adapt to a container. If you are mixing it with other plants use a large container, or big bluestem will crowd out its neighbors. This grass can grow about 4 to 6 feet tall with a spread of 2 to 3 feet. Make sure you don’t overwater or add too much fertilizer to big bluestem, as this can cause it to flop over. Likewise, too much shade can result in poor growth, so place the container where it will get at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Purplish flowers
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Average, medium moisture, well-draining

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea)

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Bougainvillea is only hardy in zone 9 and up, but you can opt to grow it as an annual or bring it indoors for the winter. It’s technically a vine, not an upright plant, so you will need to provide some support for it to grow vertically. Still, it’s a vigorous grower, and its blooms look stunning crawling up a wall or trellis.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Purple, red, orange, yellow, pink, or white blooms
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Humusy, acidic, well-draining

Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

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Boxwood shrubs can be formal or funky. The real fun of using this plant is you can trim it to be anything you want. If you would like to exercise your creative flair, try a boxwood topiary. When left to grow, it can reach heights of about 5 to 15 feet. Choose a pot with good drainage, as boxwoods can suffer from root rot. Also, a little shade during the hottest part of the afternoon is preferable.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 8
  • Color Varieties: Dark green to yellowish-green
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Loamy, evenly moist, well-draining

Canna Lily (Canna × generalis)

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With their large, showy flowers, canna plants can add instant tropical flair to a container garden. In most zones, this plant is an annual, but you can attempt to carry it through the winter indoors in a sunny spot. On the plus side, it will flower multiple times throughout the summer, and its cultivars grow from about 2 to 6 feet tall. Cannas need lots of water and actually prefer “wet feet,” so be vigilant about keeping the container moist.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Yellow, orange, red, or pink flowers
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Rich, slightly acidic to neutral, moist

Dracaena (Dracaena)

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Dracaena plants can grow upward of 10 feet tall in containers, and there are many varieties to choose from. They are not hardy and need to be moved indoors for the winter. In fact, many people choose to grow them solely as houseplants. When grown outdoors, they are fairly low maintenance and can handle somewhat shady conditions that many other plants can’t tolerate.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 10 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Foliage of green, blue-green, burgundy, gold, or gray
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-draining

Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca)

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The dwarf Alberta spruce is a gorgeous conical evergreen with dense, bright green needles. It is a bit scratchy, so wear gloves when working around it. Choose a small tree when planting in a container. The term “dwarf” simply means it is slow growing, but the tree can reach 12 feet or taller. On the plus side, it can take around 25 years to mature. This plant requires a delicate balance of even moisture and good drainage when grown in a container. If you live in a dry climate, you might have to water frequently.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
  • Color Varieties: Green
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Sandy, loamy, or clay; moist; well-draining

Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta)

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Elephant ear manages to be both imposing and fun at the same time. The plant sports large, arrow- or heart-shaped leaves that some say resemble an elephant’s ears, hence its common name. It reaches about 3 to 6 feet tall but only grows as an annual in most hardiness zones. When grown in a container, be sure to water the plant regularly, as it likes a moist environment.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 10
  • Color Varieties: Foliage of green, yellow, chartreuse, or black
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, humusy, medium to wet

Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora)

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Feather reed grass is a cool season grass, which means it is an early riser in the spring and blooms early in the season. After flowering, it remains upright and tall, not floppy or weepy like many other grasses. It is perfect for the center of a container, growing from 3 to 5 feet. It prefers damp soil and can even tolerate poor drainage.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Green to yellow-green leaves; yellow, pink, red, or white flowers
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Average, medium to wet

Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’)

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Fountain grass looks good all season, with its burgundy leaves, spiky purple flowers, and purple-tinged seed pods. It has a wonderful way of swaying in a breeze and adds a rush of sound to your container garden. It also can make a good screen at 3 to 5 feet tall, giving you some privacy but still allowing sight. If you live outside of its hardiness zones, you can overwinter the plant indoors. Place the container in a relatively cool room with sun exposure, and water it sparingly. Bring it back outside once the danger of the last frost has passed.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 10
  • Color Varieties: Shades of burgundy
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Average, medium moisture, well-draining

Fuchsia (Fuchsia)

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For a container in a shady spot, you can’t do better than a fuchsia plant. These plants bloom throughout the entire growing season with no deadheading (removing spent blooms) necessary. Look for an upright variety, such as ‘Baby Blue Eyes’, ‘Cardinal Farges’, or ‘Beacon’, if you want it as a focal point. Fuchsia is susceptible to root rot, so be sure you select a container with adequate drainage holes, and use a fast-draining potting soil.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 10
  • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, red, or white blooms
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade
  • Soil Needs: Fertile, moist, well-draining

Hibiscus (Hibiscus)

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Hibiscus plants look tropical, but many varieties are hardy to some cold. These multi-branched shrubs can easily be trained into flowering trees and grown in containers. Use a well-draining potting mix, and avoid a very deep container to prevent the plant from expending too much energy on developing roots. Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) can reach around 10 feet tall while rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) can push 12 feet.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 11 (tropical hibiscus)
  • Color Varieties: White, red, pink, orange, yellow, peach, or purple blooms
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Loamy, moist, well-draining

Mountain Cabbage Tree (Cordyline indivisa)

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The mountain cabbage tree looks like a small palm tree and makes an intriguing focal point in a container. It is not hardy below zone 9, but you can bring it indoors for the winter. Just be sure to keep the plant warm, and give it lots of light. In a container, it will grow to about 3 to 6 feet tall with a high-quality, well-draining potting mix. Trim back leggy stems when necessary.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Greenish-white to purplish-brown blooms
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade
  • Soil Needs: Fertile, moist, well-draining

New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax)

New Zealand flax is a spiky plant that can add color and interest to a container garden. With its rigid, sword-shaped leaves, the plant can reach around 4 feet tall when grown in a container. Choose a rich, organic mix over a regular potting soil for your container, and water the plant regularly. It should be brought inside to a sunny spot before the first frost if you live outside of its hardiness zones.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Green, bronze, purple, pink, red, or orange foliage
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Average, evenly moist, well-draining

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

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If you love a tropical look, princess flower—also known as purple glory flower—is a beautiful evergreen shrub with stunning purple flowers. The plant grows well in containers on sunny patios, though it should be brought inside before the first frost. Also, place the container in a location that has some shelter from strong winds. Under ideal conditions, it can grow to about 6 to 8 feet.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Rich, acidic, well-draining

Sweet Bay (Laurus nobilis)

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Bay trees are beautiful and functional: You can pluck fresh bay leaves right from your container. Bay grows slowly in a pot and can be pruned to maintain a manageable size of less than 10 feet. In its natural environment, however, the plant can grow as tall as 60 feet. You can trim it into a topiary or leave its natural shrubby shape. The plant typically grows slowly in a container and doesn’t mind being a little cramped. However, make sure you use a pot that’s sturdy enough not to tip over. Sweet bay is not hardy but overwinters well indoors.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 10
  • Color Varieties: Yellowish-green blooms, deep green foliage
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-draining

Yucca (Yucca)

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Yucca plants are about as hardy as you can get, and the newer cultivars are pretty enough to be the focal point of a container garden. Even the smaller varieties still grow to roughly 2 to 4 feet in height and width, so select a good-sized container. They do not always bloom in containers, but many people choose to cut off the flower stalks anyway and focus on the spiky foliage. Make sure you use a container with good drainage, and avoid overwatering to keep the soil on the drier side.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 11 (depending on the variety)
  • Color Varieties: White, pink, purple, or green blooms
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Dry to medium moisture, well-draining

Tall potted plants help to give a focal point to a container garden. These 20 plants can add height variety and drama to the landscape.

12 Best Potted Patio Plants And Outdoor Potted Plants For Container Gardening

With potted patio plants, container gardening allows you to enjoy the benefits of a broad range of garden plants even in a small outdoor space.

Container gardens are versatile, attractive and easy to care for, making them excellent additions as patio plants.

Patio plants dressing the outdoors all summer long

In this article, we will discuss a dozen of the top outdoor potted plant picks for creating a container garden that delivers a powerful visual impact.

We will also share tips to help you choose the right containers and set up your garden. Read on to learn more.

Plant Containers Put YOU In Control

With container gardening, you can enjoy flower gardening, vegetable gardening and even growing dwarf versions of trees and shrubs. Imagine the possibilities for topiary plantings!

If you live in a small home with only a balcony, patio or deck you can use this outdoor space for your garden, and your entire garden can grow in containers.

On a large estate, using large outdoor potted plants in container gardening provides a way of softening corners, defining the outdoor space and bringing life into featureless areas.

Theme parks make excellent use of outdoor potted plants in large containers to create impact.

Patio Planter Ideas – Tips For Selecting The Right Pots For Your Container Garden

For the best appearance, choose patio containers all of one type or coordinate using just a couple of different materials. Before you select any patio container, take a good look at your home and garden.

Choose materials and colors that enhance what you already have. For example, if you have a red brick home, terra-cotta containers will be just right!

For greater impact, choose bigger pots. Not only are large plant containers visually appealing, but they make care somewhat easier.

A large outdoor plant container will not dry out quickly and can be treated more like a small garden plot.

Let your choices in containers reflect your personality. In addition to striving to take into account the style of your home, you can also express yourself through your choice of containers and plants.

From perfectly matched, duplicate planters to eclectic mixes of shabby chic your imagination is your only limit in creating an eye-catching and impactful container garden display.

Need Some Ideas For Large Planters? Check these out:

12 High Impact Container Patio Plants

The right combination of potted plants for patio decor can make all the difference in getting the ultimate in visual effect from an outdoor space. Here are some of the top choices for container gardens that pop on the patio!

#1 – Elephant Ear (Colocasia)

Elephant ears plants are tropical plants boasting large, attractive heart-shaped leaves.

This beautiful plant ranges in shades from green and white variegated to plain green or even a dark and impressive purple/black.

In the wild, Colocasia grows in swamps. This makes B lack Magic elephant ears in containers a perfect choice as a landscape feature around ponds in warm climates (USDA Zone 8-11).

In cooler climates, Elephant Ear makes an excellent container plant to be kept outdoors in mild weather and indoors during cold weather.

Alternately, it can do well as a houseplant all year round. If you plan to keep Colocasia as a houseplant, you should be aware that it can grow to be tall outdoor potted plants 3′ – 5′ feet high. You will need to have plenty of space.

It’s best to keep these tropical potted plants in an area receiving bright, indirect light and stays predictably warm (65°-75° degrees Fahrenheit) during the growing season.

Placing a humidifier in the room will help keep the plant happy.

Although Elephant Ear naturally grows in swamps, you must be sure to provide good drainage.

Sitting water stagnates and can cause root rot. Plant Elephant Ear in well-drained, rich soil like this with a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the pot.

It is also a good idea to place the pot on a layer of pebbles in a plant saucer to help improve humidity while preventing root rot.

During the growing season, fertilize your Elephant Ear bi-weekly with a 20-10-10 plant food diluted by half. When the growing season concludes, stop fertilizing to allow the plant a chance to rest.

During the late autumn and winter, reduce watering, lower lighting and provide less stimulation.

You may want to move your Colocasia to your garage or your basement for winter. It will be fine kept at a steady 45°-55° degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter.

In the early spring, divide the tubers and repot them.

You are unlikely to ever see flowering with Elephant Ear, but it does occur in plants thriving outdoors. Colocasia flowers are small, yellow/green cones sheathed in green.

Varieties of Easy To Grow Elephant Ear Outdoor Patio Plants:

  • Black Magic is dark burgundy and grows to be 3-5 feet high.
  • Black Stem has green leaves, black stems, and deep burgundy veins.
  • Blue Hawaii a stunner has bluish purple veins
  • Lime Zinger grows quite large at 5-6 feet high. It has chartreuse foliage.
  • Jack’s Giant typically grows to be 5 feet high with deep green leaves.
  • Cranberry Taro grows to be 2-5 feet high and has green foliage and dark stems.
  • Nancy’s Revenge grows to be 2-5 feet high and has dark foliage with cream-colored centers.
  • Chicago Harlequin grows to be 2-5 feet high and has green foliage ranging from light to dark.
  • Illustris is a smaller variety at only 1-3 feet high. It has green leaves with lime green and black markings.

#2 – Coreopsis

This hardy easy to grow wildflower makes a surprisingly good container deck plantings. You may also see this perky little plant referred to as Calliopsis, Tickseed or Pot of Gold.

It also goes by the more scientific names Coreopsis bicolor and Calliopsis tinctoria.

Pot of Gold is an excellent choice for a natural, wild yard or a wildflower garden. This hardy little plant produces attractive flowers in shades of red, pink, orange and yellow. The foliage is light and airy and very nice-looking.

This wildflower does well in soil that has low fertility, and it presents a striking presence in a large container mixed in with other colorful perennials and annuals. Some good choices include Purple Basil and Nasturtiums.

#3 – Flowering New Guinea Impatiens

If the patio area where your container garden will live is a shaded area, one of the best potted plants is the New Guinea impatiens plant!

They do equally well in a part shade outdoor space or indoors as houseplants. With regular deadheading, you can expect abundant blooms far into the autumn months.

When keeping Impatiens indoors, it’s a good idea to use a hanging basket and keep the plant in a bright, window where it will receive indirect sunlight.

Light Requirements – Keep your Impatiens warm and protected from direct sunlight and drafts.

Water your potted or container garden Impatiens sparingly. You want the surface of the soil to be moist, but you don’t want it soggy.

Unlike some types of house and container plants, you do not want the surface of the soil to become dry during the spring and summer months.

Indoors, check your Impatiens every day to see if it needs water. Don’t overdo it, though. Soggy soil tends to lead to root rot.

Give your Impatiens a water-soluble fertilizer like this once a week to encourage your plants to begin blooming early in the spring and continue throughout the summer and the autumn months.

Remember to deadhead very frequently to help prevent your Impatiens from becoming leggy and ungainly.

Related Reading:

#4 – Cosmos

Pretty, Daisy-like, colorful Cosmos flower adds a lighthearted touch to container gardening.

These tall, lovely flowers in shades of pink, yellow, orange, red and white do nicely mixed in with a wide variety of plants.

They look especially good combined with plants sporting silver foliage.

It’s very easy to grow cosmos in containers, and you can harvest lots of beautiful flowers for your dry or fresh flower arrangements.

Be careful when selecting cosmos as a potted outdoor plant. Some varieties can grow as high as six feet. You’ll want to look for dwarf varieties or compact varieties such as:

  • Cosmos sulphureus which is available in red, orange and yellow.
  • Cosmos bipinnatus which produces rose toned and pink blooms.

#5 – English ivy (Hedera helix ivalace)

For use as outdoor pot plants there are many applications for Ivy in container gardening. With its shiny, dark green, attractive curled leaves it makes an excellent backdrop for a wide variety of other container plants. It also makes a tremendous impact on its own. The variety known as “ivalace” was Ivy of the Year in 2011

It’s easy to add English ivy to your existing container plantings by taking cuttings and propagating them. This plant does well in a wide variety of settings ranging from full sun exposure to light shade, so it makes an excellent companion plant for many other types of plants.

Personally, I would ONLY GROW English Ivy in containers and NEVER plant English Ivy in the landscape!

Regarding water, it can tolerate some drought. Ideally, it should be kept lightly moist, and like most plants, it should never be waterlogged.

English ivy is fairly pest resistant, but it is subject to fungal diseases if over watered. Fertilize lightly using a diluted (half dose) of your favorite fertilizer.

When working with English ivy, you should understand it is far more tolerant of extremes in weather when planted in the ground than when planted in containers. Containers should be placed in relatively protected areas to avoid harsh heat conditions, high winds, and complete freezing.

#6 – Emerald & Gold (Euonymus fortunei)

There are several different varieties of this compact, attractive shrub. All present some variation of green and gold variegated foliage. In cold weather, this foliage takes on a pink tinge.

Emerald & Gold shrubs can grow to be two or three feet high and attain a width as great as 4 to 6 feet. It’s easy to see that if used in container gardening, the containers must be quite spacious.

Nonetheless, the shrubs make a very striking and impactful display in large containers as patio borders, centerpieces for large indoor settings and more. Planting colorful flowers such as primroses, Narcissus, and tulips at the base make a gorgeous presentation, indeed.

Do your research! Some varieties of Euonymus fortunei are considered invasive.

#7 – Skimmia japonica

Skimmia japonica is low maintenance evergreen shrub producing an attractive array of tiny red buds throughout the winter. These open up to become pinkish white flowers in spring time.

It is important to note that Skimmia comes in both male and female varieties. To get good bud and flower production, you need both.

Naturally, only the female variety produces buds and flowers; however, you can have several females and only one male to stimulate bud and flower production in the females.

Skimmia is a slow-growing shrub. They are also “acid-loving,” so plant them in a well-drained acidic soil and use a fertilizer designed for azaleas and/or rhododendrons. As container plants, they prefer light shade or indirect sunlight.

#8 – Geraniums & Pelargoniums

Geraniums and Pelargoniums come in a wide variety of colors, foliage types, and blossom types. You could make a fascinating and varied container garden consisting entirely of these types of plants.

The best container for Geraniums or Pelargoniums is a terra cotta pot as good drainage, and soil aeration is of the utmost importance. These plants do not like soggy roots or stems and are very prone to fungal infestation if they are kept too wet.

When purchasing Geraniums or Pelargoniums, be sure to check their maximum size and their growth habits. Some types of Geraniums can grow quite large and tall. Trailing pelargoniums do very well in hanging baskets or as the edge planting spilling over the sides of a larger planter.

Always suit the size of your pot to the size of your plant, and remember to repot mature plants annually. Geraniums and Pelargoniums can be propagated by dividing or by planting cuttings.

Annual repotting time is the ideal time to propagate more plants for your home and to share with others. It is also possible to propagate these plants from seed, but it is easier just to take a cutting.

Always use a good quality of potting soil for Geraniums. It should be light and airy and nourishing.

You don’t need to fertilize often (or at all). When you repot, just be sure to use fresh potting soil and/or finished compost to provide nourishment.

You may also wish to provide a monthly dose of liquid fertilizer like this, but if you find you are getting lots of leaves and few blooms, you will want to cut back on that.

Place your containers in areas that are somewhat protected and receive at least 6 hours a day of sun. Geraniums and pelargoniums are not cold weather hardy. If you live in an area with hard winter freezes, you must bring them inside.

Be sure to deadhead individual Geranium blossoms and remove spent clusters. Also, remove wilted leaves. Don’t drop these onto the soil as they will promote fungal growth. Dispose of them properly by adding them to your compost heap or tossing them in the trash.

#9 – Clematis

Some types of clematis are ideally suited for growing in containers. Although often sold as a climbing plant, it does equally well as a trailing plant; therefore, it can make an attractive addition to a container garden.

Be sure to give your Clematis vine a large container as this will help protect the roots – especially in areas that tend to freeze in wintertime.

At the time of planting, mix in a good quality slow release fertilizer. Provide a trellis or support right from the start if you want your Clematis to climb. If you wait until later, you may damage your plant’s roots.

It’s important you understand that Clematis is a thirsty plant. Check on it daily and provide water as needed. If you notice the top couple of inches of soil feel dry, give the pot a good soaking.

Provide a good, slow-release, general purpose fertilizer early in the springtime. You may need to fertilize another time or two during the growing season.

Be sure to protect your Clematis against the cold by providing a good thick layer of mulch. In very cold areas, place your container in a sheltered outdoor space to prevent damage to your plant.

#10 – Hosta

These cheery shade lovers make a very attractive container plant on their own or combined with eye-catchers such as Bleeding Heart or Heuchera. As with most plants, Hostas prefer well-drained soil.

It’s wisest to give them a good foundation of an inch of pebbles and a mulch of pebbles on the soil surface. This will ensure both good moisture retention and good drainage.

Be sure to water your Hostas regularly and carefully around the base of the plant. Avoid getting the crowns and the leaf canopy wet.

By providing light, airy soil and taking care when you water, you can help prevent root rot and fungal disease. These are the main problems you might encounter with hostas.

Slugs and snails can also be an issue with Hosta Plants, learn more on how to naturally control slugs and snails here.

#11 – Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum)

If you want real impact, you can’t go wrong with Fountain Grass. With its bushy red flowers and long graceful stems, it makes a grand and dramatic statement on its own and is also lovely in combination with plants such as ornamental Alliums.

Fountain Grass can be grown in beds or pots. It can be kept indoors all year round, and it’s a good idea to have at least one plant that you keep indoors on a regular basis so you can propagate new plants by division. This is the most effective and efficient way to grow more Fountain Grass.

When kept outdoors, you’ll want to cut back your Fountain Grass to a height of about three inches in the autumn after the first frost.

Move container plants into a sheltered and unheated area to over-winter. A non-freezing garage or basement is ideal.

When over-wintering your Fountain Grass, be sure to water occasionally just enough to keep the soil moist. As always, you do not want to over-water or create soggy soil.

To prepare your Fountain Grass to be moved back outside in the springtime, provide bright light approximately six weeks before the last predicted frost of the winter.

Begin watering and fertilizing actively at this time. Soon you will see new growth, and this means that you can remove the plant from the pot and divide it to create new plants for your spring garden.

Each divided plant should have one or two shoots growing actively.

Repot each of these to create all new plants. At this point, you will want to increase light and heat to encourage rapid growth so that you will have nice strong plants for the spring and summer.

Fountain Grass is a tropical plant, so you should protect it from all danger of frost. Gradually habituate your new plants to outdoor conditions, but don’t put them outdoors permanently until all danger of frost passes.

#12 – Pittosporum tenuifolium

This lovely evergreen shrub produces pale, creamy colored leaves that gradually darken as they mature.

When fully colored, they attain a deep and rich mahogany shade. This is an excellent shrub for impact at your entryway as it does need some shelter in the wintertime.

This easy-to-grow shrub also makes a lovely focal point on your terrace or balcony.

Although Pittosporum does best kept outside, it can be grown indoors in a container in a setting with partial sun. The main thing to remember is to shelter the plant from temperature extremes and high winds.

Pittosporum likes soil that is always slightly moist, so you should water well throughout the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce watering from fall through winter. As with most plants, you should avoid over-watering and allow the soil to become slightly dry before re-watering.

Follow label instructions and avoid excessive fertilization. In the springtime, use aged manure or composted leaves to mulch around the base of the plant and provide it with natural, ongoing nourishment.

To keep Pittosporum looking its best, prune it regularly with very sharp pruners or scissors like these. Be sure to cut away any dying, damaged or diseased branches promptly.

Don’t prune heavily until the blooming season ends. Then do a comprehensive pruning in preparation for the winter months.

Generally speaking, Pittosporum is free of disease; however, they may be subject to pests such as:

Related Reading: Dwarf Mock Orange – Tips On Growing Pittosporum Tobira

Patio Trees And Flowering Shrubs For The Backyard Patio

Not every container garden requires multiple varieties of plants. Sometimes one simple plant in a nice container is the only requirement.

There is something fascinating about a small tree growing in a container. They can be moved around to provide different looks or screen areas as needed.

In general, you want these patio plants to add some color to the outdoor space.

Flowering shrubs growing as standard trees with a long bloom time make perfect patio additions. A good example is the purple blooming Tibouchina plant.

We like the look of a small tree in a big pot. The decorative large container helps keep the plant stable when blown around.

Several of our favorite sun loving plants grown as patio trees are the:

Hibiscus Tree or Flowering Shrub

The potted hibiscus tree is a perfect flowering shrub for use for as a patio plant for color.

  • Hibiscus has a long bloom time from spring all the way through summer.
  • Come in a variety of colors, red, orange, pink, yellow and some fancy multi-color hybrids
  • For best flowering give the plants full sun
  • Easy to maintain and care for.

Lantana Plant – Bush, Shrub or Tree

We especially like Lantana plants grown as trees as tall container plants. However, what makes them one of the best patio plants is:

  • A bright, easy to grow, sun-loving plant, perfect of any patio with lots of bright light or full sun.
  • Produces flowers in abundance with lots of colors.
  • Lantana care is not difficult. Need only occasional trimming.
  • Plant Lantana as soon as all danger of frost passes.
  • In areas where frost seldom occurs, Lantana can grow and constantly flower all year. Now THAT’S a long bloom time!
  • Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies

Croton Bush or Tree

If color as a patio plant with no need for flowers the Croton plant is tough to beat.

  • The foliage on Croton plants produce intense colors when grown in full sun or bright light
  • Easy care
  • Variety of leaf shapes

New Zealand Flax (Phormium Tenax)

  • Colorful yellow or variegated foliage creating a dramatic look
  • Evergreen with straplike leaves some in shades of orange and striking red

Banana Trees

The dwarf cavendish banana tree is a real conversation piece . It has large, broad d ark green leaves or flecked with dark spots on top.

Underneath, some varieties have leaves of green or purple, making this an attractive plant from several points of view.

Learn more on growing banana plants.

Farfugium Japonicum

Known as the “Leopard plant” it gets the common name from its unique green leaves with a randomly spotted blotches of cream, yellow and sometimes pink.

It likes cool temperatures, humidity and bright light. Related re lated to the daisy, with yellow, daisylike flowers.

Looks great planted in a bowl to display its large green leaves!

Learn more on growing and care of Farfugium japonicum plants.

Citrus Trees

The fresh fragrance of citrus is always a treat when walking outside. Several citrus patio trees to consider are:

13 Tips For High Impact Decorating With Container Gardens

It’s only natural that large container gardens have the greatest impact.

When you create a large, impressive display, you are sure to generate visual attention in any setting.

Here are some smart tips to help you create and maintain container gardens with real flair.

13 Tips For High Impact Patio and Deck Plants

1. When creating a large, combined container display be sure to choose combinations of flowers and plants that thrive in similar conditions. In this way, you can be sure that your choices will always look their best.

2. When selecting a setting, look for spaces that seem to be crying out for color, texture and other visual and tactile points of interest.

3. You can begin with a store-bought container or (if you are handy) build or assemble your own.

4. When selecting plants for your container garden, be sure to read the tags carefully to amass a collection of plants with similar care requirements.

5. For most container gardens, you should water when the surface of the soil feels dry. Water enough that some water escapes from the drain holes in the bottom of the pot.

6. When selecting plants, in addition to seeking similar care instructions, you will want to choose plants that offer contrast and interest in terms of size, color, texture, and shape. It’s a good idea to look for plants that will:

  • Fill the center of your planter. These should be the taller plants.
  • Spill over the edges of your planter. These should be smaller, cascading sorts.
  • Thrill passersby with color, scent, and texture.

7. Once you have chosen your container and your plants, it’s smart to assemble your new garden where you intend to keep it. In this way, you can avoid having to lug a heavy, full planter to its permanent location.

8. Organize all of your supplies together at the spot where you plan to place the container garden. You’ll need:

  • Drainage material for the bottom of the pot
  • Gravel or mulch for top-dressing
  • Your collection of plants
  • Potting soil

9. With a very large pot, you should fill the bottom third with drainage material. This could be pebbles, shipping “popcorn”, aluminum cans or other non-biodegradable, non-toxic materials that will take up a bit of excess space, improve drainage and (preferably) help keep debris out of the landfill. Get some ideas here.

10. Keep your soil loose as you work. Fill the container with a loose, loamy potting soil that provides good drainage. Don’t tamp it down at this point as you want to be able to add plants to it.

11. Plan your arrangement. Set the plants and flowers on the surface of the dirt in their pots to get an idea of the look you prefer. Once you determine how to arrange the plants, remove them from their pots (gently without pulling on the stem). Settle them into place and gently tamp down the soil. Add more as needed to bring the level of the soil surface to within 1.5 inches of the top.

12. Start off with good nourishment. If the soil you use does not contain a fertilizer, you are well-advised to add a balanced fertilizer for container mix. Follow package instructions for containers. You may want to play it safe at first by diluting the product by more than 1/2.

13. Finally, add a top dressing of pebbles, moss or mulch to help your plants make the most of the water you provide.

Good Planning & Careful Work Create Container Gardens That Pop

A large container garden on a patio is sure to make an impression.

You can be certain of making a desirable impression by choosing your containers carefully, coordinating your plants well and planting them skillfully.

Follow the tips presented here to make the most positive impact on your container gardens.

Potted patio plants, deliver the benefits container gardening in a small space. Versatile, attractive and easy care make them excellent patio additions.