Though nearly anything can be successfully grown in a pot, some plants clearly outshine others with their ability to bloom in groups or those that can stand alone because of their stately shape or unique texture. It can be daunting finding the perfect grouping of foliage and blossoms to grow in flower pots, but keeping in mind a few important ideas will help your potted flowers bloom successfully.
Wave petunias (Petunia x hybrida) have been specifically bred to bloom with masses of flowers. Each plant is covered with white, blue, pink or red blossoms. When healthy, wave petunias will spill over the edges of their pots creating a "wave" of color and texture for porches, sunrooms and decks. Keeping faded blooms pinched off will encourage further flushes of flowers. Wave petunias prefer well-drained soils and are drought-tolerant. Using a good-quality, slow-release fertilizer mixed in with the soil will keep your petunias well-fed and happy. Being heavy feeders, it is helpful to use a water-soluble fertilizer every two to three weeks in addition to the slow-release type.
There are many types of miniature sedum perfectly suited for growing in containers. Due to their drought tolerance and compact growth habit, they are often seen being grown in pots, old shoes, troughs, terrariums and rock gardens. There is no need to pinch fading blossoms as most sedum blooms last for quite some time on the plant. Sedum blossom colors are often bright and clear, making them a good focal point for hanging baskets. They prefer soils on the dry side and full sun so occasionally forgetting to water their pots usually does them no harm.
Some miniature sedum for pots include Spiral Staircase (Sedum sedum,) Rosenteppich (Sedum ewersii var. homophyllum,) Tiny Buttons Sedum (Sedum hispanicum var. minus,) Carnea (Sedum spathulifolium) and White Stonecrop (Sedum album).
Pansies and Violas
These plants are trouble-free and when deadheaded often will maintain bloom for longer periods. Pansies are best suited for cooler growing regions. They will grow in warmer areas of the country if mulched and kept watered. When the weather begins to get hot, the plants may fade and begin to die out. Violas are treated the same way as pansies and often they are planted together in pots. Though sold as annuals, most pansies and violas will act as perennials if they are not allowed to sit in wet soil through the winter. Providing excellent drainage, trimming the plants back and applying mulch will help ensure their reemergence next spring.