The Best Plants for Outdoor Pots

Certain plants are more suitable for outdoor container growing than others. The best container plants should grow well with minimal effort from gardeners. Such plants include those naturally drought tolerant, plants that lack invasive tendencies and those that flower nicely with little in the way of additional water and fertilizer. The best plants will vary from region to region and under the care of different gardeners.


When given well-drained soil, adequate water and protection from freezing weather petunias will come back for several seasons from their roots as well as dropped seeds. Shearing the plants back when the blossoms begin to fade will promote a new blooming flush. Petunias prefer deep watering when the soil begins to dry. Heavy feeders while in bloom, a balanced water-soluble fertilizer applied at least monthly will promote many blooms.


Containing both perennial and annual types, the family Portulaca has a varied range of plants. Blossoms come in several shades, color combinations, and are available single, semi-double and double. Preferring well-drained sites and having the ability to withstand abject neglect, like lack of water and fertilizer, portulaca is a popular container plant. Experts recommend deadheading old blossoms for prolonged bloom time.


In the family of sages (Salvia officinalis) is the most popular for cooking. Often found growing in patio containers for their beautiful foliage, ability to attract butterflies and hummingbirds and ease of care, sages are drought tolerant perennials suitable for the special needs of container growing. In order to promote bushing, pinch the growing tips of each stem. Offering well-drained soils and full sun will promote foliage and butterfly attracting blooms. Foliage color ranges from tri colored pink, light green, dark green, green-gray to white-green variegations.

Keywords: best container plants, miniature plants, container garden plants

About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on and Demand Studios.