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Last updated on January 21st, 2020
If you have a small garden or perhaps your garden is on a slope that is otherwise dangerous for growing, or you might just have finicky soil whose composition you don’t want to work hard to amend every year, you can always opt for growing perennials pots. Growing plants in pots is a much easier way to control things like pests, it’s especially easier to access optimum sunlight if you have a garden that gets filtered sun throughout the day in various spots such that you can move the pots when necessary. That said there are so many stunning plants from which to choose for pot growing and below you will find our 10 favourite perennial plants to grow in pots. These hardy perennials for pots are strong enough that giving them the right amount of space is really all you need to do along with some general maintenance. Of course, the best perennials for pots are going to be those who structure, blooming cycle, flowers, and maintenance levels are what you like best. So pay attention to these different perennials for containers and figure out which one you might want to try. We start out list with lavender which grows very well in pots and has multiple uses including cooking.
Lavender is popular one of the most popular herbs but it makes an excellent choice for growing in pots. It prefers full sun and will tolerate a range of conditions so long as you water accordingly. It is a rugged and compact evergreen plant that is more like a shrub than a perennial that grows in a mound shape with green-grey foliage and the rich lavender flower spikes. This particular variety is what you will commonly find in oils or dried sprigs placed in rooms. It is a compact plant that grows slower than other shrubs so you can rest assured that as you watch it develop you won’t have to do a great deal of pruning to maintain its size or shape although some pruning is recommended. On average it reaches about 30cm in height and spread. Growing it in pots, you won’t have to invest in particularly large containers for it to arrive. Best of all, you can move the pots around your garden to enjoy not just the floral display but the aromatic aspect lavender has to offer. One of our favourite plants for growing in pots.
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
Brings with it a rich display of blooms from the middle of Springtime all the way through autumn. It offers four-petaled flowers all held together in a dense raceme. It is an award-winning plant not just for the floral display but for the attractive grey-green foliage it provides throughout the winter, it will even continue to flower through the winter in many areas too. The Royal Horticultural Society has awarded this plant the Award of Garden Merit. It is incredibly versatile and can be mixed in containers with other perennials or flowering bulbs. You can even grow it in an isolated fashion if you so choose. Wherever you place the pots be sure to find the sunniest of locations. This plant prefers moderate soil that is well-drained and will bring to your garden butterflies and bees. At its full maturity of a span between 60 cm and 75cm in height and between 45 cm + 60 cm in spread. The branches form freely in a very erect, bushy fashion.
These strong perennials are perfect for any garden but especially for patios that have to contend with a great deal of shade. Hostas are very reliable plants, simple to grow, and they live a long time. The best part is there are so many textures, sizes out there which work in containers of any kind. When you grow hostas you will find that the attractive foliage is what makes them stand out. They certainly do produce lovely flowers in the summertime taking on shades of pink, lavender, even pure white. The flowers are so beautiful that bees simply can’t stay away. But without a doubt what makes them most famous is the design of the leaves which offers a bright green centre and a somewhat yellow-tinged perimeter.
Heuchera (Coral Bells)
Coral bells are a wonderful traditional form of foliage that offers a variety of textures for any garden. Originally grown for the stunning flowers that bring to your garden butterflies and are used heavily in floral arrangements, they have recently made a resurgence thanks to the beautiful leaves they produce. You can add colors in just about every shade ranging from copper to purple, green, yellow, even Peach. So if you want to add different colours to your garden, you can mix and match various Coral Bells in your pots and containers around other stunning perennials. Coral Bells thrive best with full sun or partial shade and will do well in potting soil so you won’t have to worry about making amendments to things like pH levels in your garden.
Colourful, tubular flowers grown on tall spikes are commonly found in prairies that are exposed to sunny conditions. Such a beautiful Wildflower, also referred to as beardtongue plants, can be easily grown in your garden especially if you grow them in containers but they need plenty of water but not to wet. They don’t like to be crowded so it’s important to grow them individually rather than try to group them with other flowers as they will start to wilt when grown in pots. They are very easy to care for, in full bloom they make for wonderful additions to cut flowers in your home, they are quite tolerant of dry soil once established, they do better in moist soil. These plants form dense spikes of flowers starting at the beginning of Summer. The plant will grow no larger than one metre in height depending on the variety. There are plenty of smaller varieties that grow upwards of 30cm and are perfect for smaller containers. You can pick from many flowers including white, red, pink, purple, and blue.
Bellflowers are great for containers especially if you live in an area that has a cool summer temperature on average. The nice part about bellflowers is that you can find herbaceous, annual, or perennial version. At the end of spring and summer, they start to steal the show with their bell-shaped flowers which is what lends itself to the special name they have. The flowers can come in different shades of pink, white, purple, or blue. With the bellflower plants, there are hundreds of species that range in size so you can opt for low-growing varieties that are much smaller and perfect for containers. Popular versions include the pink octopus which produces Lantern buds that open into soft pink, octopus-like flowers that have thin, long spidery petals. Sarastro Bellflower forms clumps as a perennial and offers spires of big, bell-shaped flowers that droop downward in a rich, violet and purple shade. Samantha is a variety that offers compact, mat-forming structures with flowers that open into a traditional five-petal design the inside of which is white and the perimeter of which is light purple.
These pinks prefer fluffy soil that is full of compost, lighten clay, or sand which is well-drained. They will grow just about anywhere that perennials grow as long as you reward them with as much sun as possible. While they need at least 6 hours, the more sun you provide, the more flowers you will enjoy. There are hundreds of varieties from which to choose each of which take on slightly different characteristics but of course, all of which bring to your garden pink displays of some degree or another but you do get other colours such as white. You can select varieties that produce flowers who is petals contain a block of rich pink surrounded by rich red made all the more impressive because the perimeter doesn’t bleed into the center as so often happens with multi-toned flowers but instead is very distinct and geometric. Other options include light pink, light pink with a tinge of red or other colours. They are perfectly suited to pots too.
These daylilies are very tolerant of drought and once established they are also tolerant of rabbits so if you have some small furry friends who like to munch on your flowers, rest assured they should leave your Daylily alone. They will typically bloom for a short amount of time between one week and five weeks is mostly determined by the weather. As they bloom you can enjoy a variety of shades all of which take on the same five-leaf design. The interiors close to the same and typically have a brighter yellow while varieties range in terms of the exterior petal colour. Of course, you can find versions like the orange version which have the same monochromatic design all the way around. In all manner of soil types and pH including acidic soil, alkaline soil, neutral soil, chalk soil, clay soil, or loam so they grow very well in containers because you don’t have to move to combine these daylilies with other plants that have longer blooming lengths or with evergreens so that you can enjoy colour in your container all year round. At full maturity, they will span between 60cm and 90cm in spread so plan accordingly. You also may need to stake the flower stems to when in flower when grown in pots.
Brunnera (False forget-me-not)
Also known as the false forget-me-not, Brunnera is a low mound-forming plant that at full maturity stays no taller than 25cm. Most of its height actually comes from the large flower stalks the slow-growing and slow spreading perennial has to offer. While it thrives best in partial shade or full shade, you can theoretically grow it in full sun but it requires an excess of water in full sunlight and in most cases will go into dormancy because of extreme heat so it is best to move your container somewhere the plant will receive partial shade at least. Starting at the middle of spring through the end of spring you will get about one month of flowers, delicate, sprays of blue flowers that stand above the foliage. The shade ranges from a rich electric blue all the way to pastel blue.
Geum Mrs Bradshaw
This plant grows in well-drained soil with full sun all the way to partial shade. It brings stunning red flowers that are very showy which you can deadhead in order to get a second round of flowers if you see fit or you can leave them as the spent blooms will produce fluffy seed heads which you might enjoy. The orange Scarlet flowers grow in loose panicles and they rise above the foliage which actually adds to the overall height of the plant which is otherwise quite short. It forms foliage Mounds that take on a heart shape for each of the leaves.
Now you have a long list of potential perennials for containers that you can add to your garden. Whether you simply want to add containers to the perimeter of an existing garden, use them as accent pieces, or place them up on your porch, you now have ample options.