Container gardening isn't right for every plant; some cannot take being "pot bound" and not being allowed their roots to expand. Having container plants allows for garden portability--a freedom to move them around and have different looks depending on the atmosphere you'd like to create. They are used for patios and decks with great results. Plants that live year round in pots without much water, drought-tolerant container plants, can be good for beginning container gardeners who may forget to water on occasion.
The Madagascar periwinkle is from the dogbane family and great for container gardening. It is an evergreen perennial that grows quickly and is drought tolerant. Leaves are 2 to 3 inches long, glossy, and opposite on stems. Flowers are tubular, blooming most of the summer, and are pink, red, white, and purple. Grow this plant in well drained poor or average soil with full sun or partial shade. Propagate via cuttings or seed. It should be grown in USDA hardiness zones of 9 to 11.
The iron plant is from the lily family. It is an evergreen perennial that is easy to grow, drought-tolerant, and well-suited for a container. Leaves are dark green, 12 to 20 inches long, and leathery. Flowers are near the base and hard to find. Grow this plant in well worked and fertile soil with deep or moderately deep shade. Propagate via clump division in USDA hardiness zones of 7 to 10.
The rue plant is from the citrus family and is also known as herb of Grace. It is an evergreen perennial that is drought-tolerant and perfect for planters and containers. The plant gets 2 to 3 feet high and nearly as wide. Leaves are oblong, 3 to 5 inches long, and fragrant. Flowers are yellow and ½-inch wide, blooming in summer. Grow this one in full sun in poor sandy soil. Propagate via seed or tip cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 4 to 9.
The scaevola is from the scaevola family and is also known as the fairy fanflower. It is an evergreen perennial that is drought tolerant, fast growing, and suited for containers. Leaves are coarse and 2 inches long on a plant that gets 20 inches tall. Flowers bloom in spring and summer and will get blue, lilac, or white. Grow this in full sun or light shade. Propagate via tip cuttings and seeds while growing in USDA hardiness zones of 9 to 11.
The moss rose is from the purslane family and is also known as the rose moss or sun plant. It is a drought tolerant annual good for container gardening. It gets 6 inches tall and twice as wide with leaves 1 inch long. Flowers are red, pink, yellow, orange, and white and 1 inch wide. Grow this in full sun in poor, sandy, well-drained soil. Propagate via seed and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 5 to 11.