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The Best Plants for Containers

By Lisa Russell ; Updated September 21, 2017

Container gardening is popular in areas with harsh winters and for people with small spaces or no soil to garden in. Luckily there are plenty of flowers and vegetables that can be grown in containers. Knowing which plants thrive and which fail in a container will help you decide what to plant.

Container Gardening with Vegetables

Growing vegetables is one way to save money on your monthly grocery bill. In addition to dwarf fruit trees that are designed to grow in containers, most garden vegetables can also be grown in confined places, as long as their needs for water and sunshine are also met. Try eggplant, lettuces, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, bush beans and radishes.

Growing Herbs in Containers

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme grow well in containers. Other than the top four, also try basil, dill, cilantro, chamomile, chives, garlic, mint, lemon balm (Melissa) catnip, anise, savory, marjoram, sesame and ginger. Most of these will do well in a sunny window. Snip off new growth to use regularly. If you're growing in a terrarium or other small space, keep the plants trimmed regularly to discourage overgrowth. Dry spices you don't plan to use right away and store in bottles for use later.

Best Annual Flowers for Containers

If you plan to plant annuals in your containers, start with snapdragons, marigolds, or zinnias in the centers of the containers; they grow taller than many of the other annuals. Alyssum, pansies and lobelia have small flowers that are nice for the edges, since they will eventually hang over the side. Begonia, geraniums, impatiens, coleus, lantana, salvia and periwinkle also thrive in containers.


About the Author

Lisa Russell has been a writer since 1998. She's been published in Rethinking Everything Magazine, Playdate, AERO and Home Educator's Family Times. She has a Bachelor of Science in business marketing management and a professional background in marketing, education, cosmetology and hospitality.