Outdoor Potted Plant Ideas

Container gardening works well for people with little space or limited mobility. Almost any plant can be grown in a container if the container is the right size for the plant. Containers full of flowering plants make a bold statement in the garden or patio and a container located near a kitchen door can provide fresh vegetables or herbs for cooking.


Coleus is a shade tolerant annual with colorful leaves of bronze, yellow, red, purple or a mix of colors. Coleus can be trimmed back in mid-season if it gets leggy or overgrown. Some newer varieties called "sun coleus" are appropriate for sunnier locations.


Mint is appropriate for containers because it provides thick green foliage and is an herb that is often used in cooking or as a garnish. Mint can become an invasive ground cover in the garden, so planting in a container keeps mint from spreading.

Dwarf Zinnias

Dwarf zinnias, such as the mounding "gold profusion" variety, bloom throughout the growing season and get the right height (6-8 inches tall) for container planting without getting too tall.


Marigolds provide big and bright gold and yellow blooms and thrive in full or partial sun. Marigolds attract beneficial insects to the garden and repel some pests.

Day lily

Day lilies multiply over the years and provide grassy foliage interest in spring before the colorful blooms are displayed. They tolerate partial shade but thrive in full sun.

Knockout Rose

The knockout rose is a variety of rose that resembles an antique rose in its bloom and growth habit but blooms several times per season. The knockout rose can be dramatically pruned to shape after each bloom period and tolerates full sun or partial shade.

Keywords: container gardening, outdoor potted plants, what to plant in outside containers

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.