Perennial Shrubs for Containers

Perennial shrubs return each year as bigger and brighter plants for the landscape. Some clever gardener decided to place a perennial shrub into a container. The result led to the frequent use of shrubs in commercial and home landscape design. Container-grown shrubs require the same care as garden-grown shrubs. The one caveat lies in protecting the plant's roots during colder months of the year. Air circulation around the pot makes container-grown perennial shrubs susceptible to freezing.

Rudy Haag Burning Bush

Rudy Haag burning bush provides a beautiful option for application in a garden container. This perennial shrub produces medium green foliage during the growing season and shows its true color in the fall. Burning bush leaves change to a brilliant red in the fall, adding color and texture to the landscape. This shrub grows up to 5 feet tall in full sun to partial shade. The rounded growth habit of the burning bush makes this an ideal specimen for the container garden. Plant in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8 and protect roots during the winter months with mulch and insulation around the container.

Mexican Orange

Few evergreens produce the beautiful flowers that appear on the Mexican orange shrub. Another benefit is that the plant experiences one blooming period in spring and another in late summer. Rounded 1-inch flowers also produce a light fragrance. Mature plants reach heights of 10 feet and provide stunning evergreen foliage for use in container gardens. Plants grow in a rounded form and produce yellow-green foliage that tolerates locations ranging from sun to partial shade. Leaves respond better to morning sun and afternoon shade. Mexican orange is hardy in zones 7 to 10. Use Mexican orange foliage for cuttings for floral arrangements. Use new potting mix and water sparingly until you determine the preferences of the plant. Mexican orange grows slowly, which makes this plant an excellent choice for the perennial shrub container garden.


The usefulness of a shrub paired with growth in a container provide a wealth of options for the home landscape. Rosemary serves as a container shrub that is both drought tolerant and useful. This evergreen shrub grows up to 6 feet tall in zones 8 to 10. Plant the rosemary in a container located in full sun, although this plant will tolerate light shade locations. Growers recommend the addition of perlite mixed with standard potting soil to improve drainage in container gardens. Rosemary produces needle-like flat leaves and light purple flowers in the spring. A light touch of your fingers as you pass this plant releases a fresh fragrance.

Keywords: perennial cotnainer shrubs, container shrubs, shrubs for containers

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.