Plant Ideas for Containers

Whether for a deck or patio, steps or a staircase, container gardening can be both fun and practical, as the plants are portable. Plants good for containers must be able to deal with their roots being constricted, however. Certain plants are able to withstand this condition, and therefore are ideal for container gardening.

Moss Verbena

Moss Verbena, or Glandularia puchella, is from the Verbenaceae, or verbena, family. It is a tender perennial that will attract butterflies. The plant will reach 3 feet wide and 1 foot tall with flowers 3 inches wide in pink, purple, white, or lilac. Moss verbena needs to be planted into a full sun or partial shade area in a well drained soil. Propagate this via seed or by tip cuttings in spring or summer.

Mealycup Sage

Mealycup Sage, or Salvia farinacea, is from the Lamiaceae/Labiatae, or mint, family. It is an easy growing plant for the beginner gardener. This will get from 1-4 feet in height with spikes of blue flowers and long light green leaves. Plant this in average well drained soil in full sun or afternoon shade. Propagate via seed or by spring clump division.

Wishbone Flower

Wishbone Flower, or Torenia fournieri, is from the Scrophulariaceae, or figwort, family. It is an annual that will attract hummingbirds. They will get a foot tall and the same in width with 2-inch leaves and 1 1/2-inch wide flowers. Plant the wishbone flower in moist rich soil in partial shade or full shade in warm climates or full sun in the north. Propagate via seed in spring or by cuttings.

Wax Begonia

Wax Begonia, or Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum, is from the Begoniaceae, or begonia, family. It is a very easy to grow. The plants range from 6-18 inches high with glossy oval leaves. Flowers are red, pink, rose, or white and leaf color is in a range of colors. Plant the wax begonia in organic soil in bright sun or a little shade. Propagate via cuttings in spring.


Crocus, or Crocus spp., is from the Liliaceae, or lily, family. It is a perennial that is fragrant and easy to grow. It has grass like leaves and a wine glass shaped flower in many different colors. Plant a crocus in full sun or partial shade. Propagate via cormlet division or by seed.

Keywords: container gardening, container plants, plants good for containers

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.