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30 Plants and Flowers that Grow in Planters, Pots & Containers

Flowers in pots on gravel surface

Incredible database listing and describing 200 container plants and flowers. Narrow your search for sun amount, water amount, pH, hardiness zone and more. The ultimate container plant directory.

Welcome to our incredible database listing and describing 200 container plants and flowers… namely flowers and plants that can be planted in containers and pots.

Flowers are a wonderful and simple way to add some color to a home, plus they have many benefits that include producing cleaner air. Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of space to enjoy the many benefits of flowers. Windows, balconies, and porches are all perfect areas for potted plants or container gardens.

Not all plants are well-suited to these types of environments, but there are numerous flower varieties that thrive in planters and other containers.

Below you can browse through this list.  Each listing includes the key information and in many cases we include a video.

Hydrangeas (Hydrangeas macrophylla)

A cluster of beautiful hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas are fascinating because they bloom white or ever-so-slightly pink, and then transform into pink, purple, bright green, or even a combination, based on the pH of the soil. For container growing, look for dwarf varieties that won’t get any larger than two to three feet tall.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots; almost all varietals thrive in partial shade, though some do very well with full sun in cool climates
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: For blue flowers, soil should be acidic, 5.5 or lower. Pink flowers require more neutral soil, 6.5 or higher.
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 5-9, depending on varietal

Mandevillas (Mandevilla sanderi)

Gorgeous mandevillas on hanging pots.

Commonly called Brazilian jasmine and frequently mistaken for hibiscus, Mandevillas are gorgeous tropical flowers. They are very easy plants to care for that offer prolific blooms throughout the summer, and they do best in hanging pots or their own containers with a trestle for vine support.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Plenty of water, but be sure the soil is well-drained
  • Soil pH: 6.6 to 7.8
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 9 and 10

Marigolds (Tagetes erecta)

Gorgeous clusters of marigold in a pot.

Cheerful and extremely low-maintenance marigolds grow almost anywhere and are easily grown from seeds. They’re wonderful as companion plants near gardens to keep harmful pests away, and there are even some edible varieties.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little to moderate
  • Soil pH: 6.0 and above
  • Hardiness zone: 2-11, but marigolds are true annuals that need to be replanted every year

Petunias (Petunia × atkinsiana)

A cluster of gorgeous petunias growing in a pot.

Petunias are one of the most commonly-used flowers garden and landscape borders, and they do exceptionally well in any type of container, as well. They’re easy to grow, but do best in cool weather with plenty of sun and aren’t at all tolerant of either extreme heat or frost.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate; too much water creates legginess
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Hardiness zone: Almost all petunias are true annuals, making hardiness zones unimportant

Roses (Rosa)

A garden of lovely pink roses.

Surprise! These hardy plants most commonly used in landscaping also do exceptionally well as smaller shrub varieties grown in containers. Look for miniature, patio, and Polyantha varieties, which are especially well-suited to pots and other planters.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Plenty, but it’s important to keep water off the plant’s leaves
  • Soil pH: 6.0-6.9, depending on the varietal
  • Hardiness zone: Nearly all roses will grow in Zones 7-10, but only certain varietals will grow well in cooler zones

Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia)

Clusters of beautiful angelonias in bloom.

Often called “summer snapdragons” because of their similar appearance, angelonia has a distinctly strong, fruity scent. It’s a hardy, easy-care flower that’s much more heat-tolerant than the lookalike snapdragon, making it ideal for container planting almost anywhere.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little to moderate
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.2
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 9-11

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Gorgeous cluster of white, yellow and pink chrysanthemums.

Also called pom poms, button poms, or simply “mums,” these flowers are most frequently associated with fall and work very well in mixed containers. In order for chrysanthemums to bloom perennially, their dead blooms need to be pinched back periodically.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate; keep soil moist but not soggy
  • Soil pH: 6.5-6.7
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 3-9

Million Bells (Calibrachoa)

A close look at pink and yellow million bells flowers.

Because of their tendency to grow in a trailing fashion, Million Bells can actually grow better in pots or other containers than in the ground. These colorful flowers attract plenty of hummingbirds and butterflies, so they’re an excellent option near a garden.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots; they like partial shade
  • Water: Moderate; should be kept evenly moist
  • Soil pH: 5.0-6.5
  • Hardiness zone: 9-11

Geraniums (Pelargonium)

A cluster of beautiful geraniums planted in a pot.

Geraniums can thrive when planted directly in a garden, but they often do even better in a container, where their roots can be tightly-packed. They’re colorful, prolific bloomers, making them excellent as potted flowers.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots; most varieties prefer partial shade but some thrive in full shade
  • Water: Little; geraniums are prone to mildew if overwatered
  • Soil pH: 5.8-6.3
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 3-9

Begonias (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)

A close look at deep orange begonias in full bloom.

There are over 1,800 varieties of begonias and all are native to subtropical areas, but can thrive virtually anywhere as annuals. It’s important to note that begonias have roots that are poisonous to pets, so put containers up high out of their reach.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate; almost all varieties prefer partial shade
  • Water: Little; overwatering will cause blooms to drop
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.2
  • Hardiness zone: 10 to 11

Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)

A row of pots with impatiens planted by the window.

Also called “Busy Lizzie,” impatiens are one of just a few flower varieties that thrive in full shade, making them ideally suited to container growing indoors or on porches. They bloom frequently and throughout most of the spring and summer.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Minimal; full shade preferred
  • Water: little, moderate or plenty
  • Soil pH: 6.0-6.5
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 9-11

Pansies (Viola tricolor)

A bunch of colorful and vibrant pansies.

Interestingly, all pansies are violas, but not all violas are pansies. One way to tell the difference is to look at the flower’s petals: If there are four petals pointing one direction and one petal pointing the other, it’s a pansy. All pansies are also edible and make colorful, unexpected garnishes for drinks or salads.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots; Pansies like full sun but aren’t very heat-tolerant, so partial shade is best
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: 6.0-6.2
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 7 and higher

Violas (Violaceae)

A nice close up of white and purple violas.

Like their extremely similar counterparts pansies, violas are edible. Violas are slightly more tolerant of the heat and cold than pansies, so their blooms can be enjoyed for longer. To identify a viola, look for three petals pointing one direction and two pointing in the other.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots; full sun
  • Water: Moderate; allow soil to drain completely between watering
  • Soil pH: 5.4-5.8
  • Hardiness zone: 3-8

Coral Bells (Heuchera Americana)

A close examination of a cluster of coral bells.

Even more impressive than coral bells’ flowers themselves may be their large leaves, which come in a seemingly-infinite rainbow of colors. These perennial flowers attract hummingbirds and look wonderful with other plants in mixed containers.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots to moderate
  • Water: Moderate; keep soil consistently moist
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 4-8

Verbena (Family Verbenaceae)

A miniature garden of verbena flowers.

Verbena is excellent for attracting butterflies and its blooms last throughout the entire summer and into the fall months. While verbena is drought-tolerant, you have to take care not to either underwater it or overwater it, as too much water can cause blight and too little water can attract spider mites.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate; avoid allowing the plant to get waterlogged or too dry
  • Soil pH: 5.8-6.2
  • Hardiness zone: 5-11

Nemesia (Nemesia caerulea)

A close look at a cluster of nemesias.

Nemesia has prolific blooms and the flowers don’t get very tall, so it’s a perfect flower choice for hanging containers and balcony planters. Wilted flower blooms should be cut back as soon as you notice them so that the plant can put energy into more blooms.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate; nemesia like 6-7 hours of sun per day
  • Water: Lots
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.5
  • Hardiness zone: 9 and 10, but can be grown as annuals in other zones

African Daisies (Osteospermum)

The beautiful African Daisies in full bloom.

Also called Cape Daisies, these hardy, forgiving flowers are so vibrantly colored that people often think they’ve been dyed. Fascinatingly, African daisies will take a break from blooming during particularly hot spells.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: 5-5.5
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 9 and 10

Azaleas (Rhododendron)

A pot of lovely pink azaleas in a pot.

Commonly confused with rhododendron because they are in fact very similar, azaleas are poisonous flowers. They are also extremely “trainable,” meaning they can be pruned into different shapes and sizes, so they make excellent flowers for container gardens and pots.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate
  • Water: Little to moderate; azaleas can easily become waterlogged
  • Soil pH: 4.5-5.5
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 6-9; some varietals can tolerate up to Zone 4

Rhododendron (Rhododendron ferrugineum)

A close examination of a beautiful rhododendron flower.

Like their family members azaleas, rhododendrons are poisonous and should be kept out of reach of pets and children. The two flowers are often confused, but rhododendrons have larger leaves and their flowers have 10 stamens, while azalea flowers have just five.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate; partial shade with a few hours of direct sun is best
  • Water: Little to moderate; water only when the soil feels dry
  • Soil pH: 4.5-5.5
  • Hardiness zone: 4-8

Calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica)

A close look at a blooming calla lily flower.

These dramatic flowers tend to be thought of as only for special occasions, but calla lilies do quite well in containers, particularly miniature varietals. Calla lilies last an exceptionally long time once they’re cut.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Little to moderate; indirect sunlight with partial shade
  • Water: Little to moderate; keep soil just moist
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.0
  • Hardiness zone: 9-11

Daffodils (Narcissus)

A close look at beautiful daffodils.

Bright yellow daffodils are synonymous spring, and these hardy flowers are amazingly easy to grow and care for. It is believed that well-cared-for daffodil bulbs can outlive a person!

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate; in the summer the bulbs go dormant and prefer drier soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 3-8

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

A cluster of lovely chamomile flowers in a concrete pot.

Chamomile flowers are aromatic and have many medicinal uses, but only German Chamomile is used for herbal tea. The flowers are technically annuals, but they self-seed so easily and often that most people think they’re annuals.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: 5.6-7.5
  • Hardiness zone: 3-9

Dahlia (Dahlia pinnata)

A close look at clusters of colorful dahlias.

Gorgeous, colorful dahlias work incredibly well in mixed container gardens and other planters. Some varieties have tremendous blooms and may need to be staked for additional support as they grow taller.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate; it’s important not to let the soil get either dry or waterlogged
  • Soil pH: 6.5-7.0
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 8-11 only, but can do well in Zones 2-7 as annuals

Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)

A close look at a single cosmos flower.

Sunny, cheerful cosmos are practically effortless to grow, making them ideal for pots and containers. They’re also sometimes called Mexican aster and attract plenty of bees and hummingbirds, great for nearby gardens.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little; water only when soil is dry
  • Soil pH: 6.0-6.8
  • Hardiness zone: 2-11

Zinnias (Zinnia elegans)

A cluster of vibrant and colorful zinnias.

Zinnias are easy to grow from seeds and equally simple to maintain once established, and their rewards are abundant. The gorgeous, richly-hued blooms work well on their own or in mixed container and planter gardens, plus they’re resistant to pests.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little to moderate
  • Soil pH: 5.5-7.5
  • Hardiness zone: 3-10

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

A bunch of beautiful deep orange calendulas.

While calendula is often referred to as “pot marigold,” it’s a completely different flower than common marigolds. They bloom profusely, especially in warmer climates, but have a short-lived season. Calendula also has some medicinal uses.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little to moderate; water often when flowers are being established, but mature flowers prefer only occasional watering
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Hardiness zone: 9-11, but can be planted as annuals in Zones 2-8

Sunflowers (Helianthus)

A bunch of potted sunflowers.

There are several varieties of sunflowers, and many of them do very well in pots. Despite being symbolic of summer, fall is actually a more prolific blooming season for sunflowers.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate to lots
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Hardiness zone: All sunflowers are annuals, so they don’t have hardiness zones

Lantana (Lantana camara)

Clusters of beautiful and colorful lantanas.

Lantana is a hardy plant with trailing tendencies, so the flowers look fantastic in hanging baskets and over balcony containers. The flowers are colorful and individual flowers in clusters can be different colors.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Lots
  • Soil pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Hardiness zone: As perennials in Zones and higher

Morning Glories (Ipomoea)

Beautiful blue morning glories growing on a wooden pole.

Also called moonflower, morning glories are distinct blue-purple flowers that grow on vines. Interestingly, the flowers are actually in the same family as sweet potatoes, but are not edible.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little; water when soil appears dry
  • Soil pH: 6.0-6.8
  • Hardiness zone: 3-10

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)

A bunch of beautiful and colorful snapdragon flowers in bloom.

There are few plants as distinct as snapdragons, with their tall stalks and blooms that go all the way up. Unfortunately, snapdragons are prone to disease and pests, so they are often short-lived.

Requirements:

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: 6.2-7.0
  • Hardiness zone: 8 and 9, but thrive as annuals elsewhere

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