The Best Flowers for Container Gardening

Whether it is because of lack of adequate gardening space or limited time, many gardeners enjoy container gardening as an alternative to planting in the ground. Container gardens are extremely popular among apartment and condo dwellers since they can be set up on balconies and porches. Several flowers are popular and do well in container gardens. They include the petunia and sedum 'Autumn Joy.' You can easily plant a colorful flower garden in containers and enjoy their blooms throughout the seasons.


This popular annual is well known for its summertime blooms in various regions. The dainty flowers come in a wide variety of shades and colors, inlcuding white, red, pink, yellow and purple. Petunias prefer full sun but tolerate in partial shade. Although commonly used as a border flower, petunias thrive in containers as well. Plant petunias in a pot with good drainage and water lightly. Petunias are hardy and quite reliable and will tolerate a bit of neglect while still providing colorful blooms. The easy maintenance of petunias makes them a popular choice for beginner gardeners.


The zinnia is another popular annual that does well as a container flower. Although prized today for its colorful blooms, appearing in shades of pink, yellow, blue, purple, orange and white, the zinnia did not become common in flower gardens until the early 1900s, after the cultivars 'California Giant' and 'Giant Dahlia' began to appear. Zinnia blooms are either double or single with petals 1-to-2 inches long. They grow to heights between 8 inches and 4 feet depending on the particular variety. Zinnias prefer well-drained soils and full sun. Fertilizer applied every so often helps to encourage better blooming. Cut back spent blooms throughout the season for fuller and longer-lasting blooms. Plant in a pot with good drainage. Zinnias attract butterflies, so expect to see these delightful critters once blooms have taken hold.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' is a perennial that takes well to containers. It blooms from mid-summer until late fall. Bloom shades include yellow, pink, red and orange. Like the zinnia, sedum is known to attract butterflies to its blooms. It is relatively easy to care for and makes an excellent flower for beginner gardeners. Sedum is slightly drought resistant and does well during the drier months of the year with just a light watering. Sedum thrives in just about any soil type, so standard potting soil works fine for container gardeners. Place sedum in full sun for best bloom. For a natural look of dried flowers, leave spent blooms on their stems once the last frost has passed.

Keywords: flowers for containers, best container flowers, container flower gardens

About this Author

Rachel Campbell has been writing professionally for several years. Her work has appeared in print magazines such as "Ft. Thomas Living" and "Bend of the River." Campbell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biblical studies and psychology from Cincinnati Christian University.