Gardening with containers is a simple way to bring greenery into bare areas where plants can't grow, whether its out on the patio or under a porch overhang. Shrubs can be grown in pots to give a patio additional ornamental value, in addition to acting as a lush wall or privacy screen.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a shrub or small tree that boasts bright red tubular flowers and edible fruits encased in a bulbous reddish pink skin. A native of Asia, the pomegranate is commonly grown for both its showy ornamental flowers and for its sweet, crunchy fruits. Pomegranates are well suited to container growing, and will look lovely in a pot out on the patio. For best results, cultivate a pomegranate shrub in full sunlight in USDA zones 8 to 11. The plant is tolerant of both acidic and alkaline soils, but it does need regular watering and full sunlight to thrive. The plant should be taken indoors during the winter to protect it from winter frosts.
Blue Mist Spirea
Blue mist spirea (Caryopteris x clandonensis) is a fragrant flowering shrub that is ideal for those who wish to attract butterflies to the patio. The plant works well as a container plant in USDA zones 6A to 9B, and the plant will thrive in either full sun or partial sun. Blue mist spirea is a late bloomer that produces its signature blue flowers in late summer and early fall. Tolerant of a range of soil types, blue mist spirea will grow in neutral, acidic or slightly alkaline soils so long as the soil is kept consistently moist.
Ixora (Ixora coccinea) is a flowering evergreen shrub native to Southeast Asia. The plant sports leathery green foliage accented by clusters of tiny, creamy yellow flowers. Ixora can easily be utilized as a container plant for a patio or poolside. The plant thrives in USDA zones 9 to 11 in full sunlight with a little light afternoon shade. Plant Ixora in acidic, well-drained soil, and feed with a high nitrogen fertilizer during the growing season. Water the shrub frequently during the summer months.
Boasting fern-like leaves and rich green coloring, Chinese mahonia (Mahonia fortunei) is an attractive evergreen shrub that looks lovely as a patio plant. The compact shrub boasts fuzzy yellow flowers, which appear in the autumn. Chinese mahonia can be cultivated in USDA zones 7 to 10, in full sun in zones 7 and 8 and in partial sun in zones 9 and 10. The plant should be grown in well-drained soil, but as it is moderately drought tolerant, supplement watering is only necessary during the hottest summer months.