When I think of gardens, I can picture the lush English gardens from those period movies such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. I didn’t even know small space gardening was a thing until I got into it. I am still learning the ins and outs of urban gardening but thought I would give you some ideas on plants for container gardening.
Ever since I got serious about gardening, I pretty much have been buying small plants I think are pretty, get a small container and hope to not kill the plant. Right now my garden consists of succulents, some tropical plants, then a small variety of small flowering plants that look like they would grow well in containers.
For the most part, this has worked well. I have not had success keeping lilies, tulips, and most recently, lavender in containers. All the other plants I have seem to like where they are, for the time being.
What are container gardens, exactly? Container gardens are exactly what the name entails, a garden where the plants are kept exclusively in containers, instead of in the ground.
There are a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles of containers that appeal to anyone. Since I’m on a budget and limited to space, most of my containers are plain but sturdy. This works well for me since I want the focal point of my garden to be the plants themselves.
Why Container Gardening?
Container gardens are perfect for people who want to garden but don’t have any ground to work with, such as myself. I have a small balcony and utilize it for my container garden as best as possible.
Containers are also great to use to accent a large garden, specific area of a garden or a porch. There are limitless ways to use a container garden.
Containers versus Planting in the Ground
Both container gardening and traditional ground gardening work great. It really counts on what you have to work with, personal preference, the plants you have and what you want to grow.
Plants for Container Gardening
I have discovered over the past year that there are many types of plants that grow well in containers. Below I will discuss just a few of these plants.
Nemesias don’t grow very large, which makes them the perfect container plant. They come in a variety of colors. Nemesias require full sun, so they need at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Double impatiens are small, colorful flowers that are easy to grow in containers. They can grow from 6 to 30 inches tall. Make sure the soil you use is good drainage soil for the flowers.
Snapdragons can be easily grown in containers as well. These unusual looking plants can grow from 8 inches to 3 feet tall. Deadhead flowers when they are past the blooming stage to encourage the plant to continue to grow flowers.
Brightly colored calendulas need full sun to grow well. These daisy looking flowers grow from 18 to 24 inches tall. Calendulas help keep insects away, which is an added bonus to including these in your container garden.
There are a variety of herbs to choose from, so much that you can create an entire container garden out of herbs. Rosemary, mint, sage, thyme, and oregano are just a few of the herbs that you can grow in containers. Some of these can be grown together.
These versatile and colorful flowers are another great choice for container gardening. Petunias grow well in containers and hanging pots, with different colored petunias and other flowers. Only a few should be grown together at a time to avoid overcrowding.
Morning Glories are trailing plants with beautiful blue flowers. Since they trail, when put in a container they need a trellis to encourage growth upward. Morning glories can grow up to 8 feet tall.
Osteospermum plants are also known as African daisies. These flowers come in pinks, purples and other colors. African daisies need plenty of sun to grow and flourish in containers.
Marigolds grow very well in pots. Some types grow very tall and may seem to look to overpower the container. My French marigolds are a little smaller than traditional marigolds and fit perfectly in the hanging side containers I have them in.
Don’t grow too many marigolds together in a pot. I have 4 French marigolds in each pot, which looked too much at first, but so far they are growing nicely.
Gerbera daisies also make great container plants. I should know, right now I have yellow and pink gerbera daisies in two different containers on my balcony.
Gerbera daisies need partial to full sun. To keep them growing flowers, make sure to deadhead the daisies.
Advantages of Container Gardening
There are many advantages of container gardening. Below I will mention just a few of those advantages.
- Container gardening is a great way for beginner gardeners to get more experience in gardening.
- Gardening with containers only is great for people like me who have no ground soil and small spaces to work with.
- Container gardening is a great way to encourage kids to learn about plants and gardening.
- Wildlife is less likely to get into plants in containers versus plants grown in the ground.
- Since containers are portable, they can be moved around in a design or arrangement of your choice.
Disadvantages of Container Gardening
There are generally fewer disadvantages to gardening in containers.
- Plants are limited to the size of the container they are growing in. I try to buy plants small enough so they can grow well into the container they are planted in.
- Plants grown in containers tend to dry quickly and need more watering.
- The soil in containers needs to be replaced every year since the soil loses nutrients that plants need to grow well in.
Plants for Container Gardening
I hope you learned something new about plants for container gardening or was inspired to start your own container garden. I only have a few of the plants mentioned above but would love to add more of these flowers to my container garden.
Do you have other plants that grow well in containers that I did not mention above? Let me know in the comments section below!
Kristi Wheeler says
I have some petunias that are a little different. They are more like succulents. They are so pretty. I had some in my herb garden, but the chickens gobbled them up! I ended up having to remove them from those planters, but I still have some in smaller containers on the porch railing where out of the view of the chickens!
I really enjoyed your pictures of the flowers, especially the Osteospermums. I’ve never heard or seen them before!
I didn’t know there were succulents similar to petunias. Are they called petunias or do they go by another name? I didn’t know chickens liked eating flowers! Glad you were able to save some of them. I love those osteospermums too and hope to add some to my garden! Thank you for stopping by!
Twenty Years From Now says
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I usually have sightly better luck with a container garden (have a thumb that’s a lovely shade of brown), my dog broke all of my large pottery this year, so I’m trying to find some new pots.
You are welcome! There are many containers available that are sturdy but hard to break. I hope to someday have a garden where I can grow plants in the ground, but I’ve found that there are many plants that work well in a container garden.