30+ Best container plants for full Sun and Shade

Container gardens are an excellent method to improve your landscape and get around common gardening problems, whether you have a small yard, bad soil, or you just want to spruce up your front porch.

In this article we discuss about Best container plants for full sun and shade, While many plants can be grown in pots, some species are more suitable for this kind of growth environment than others.

Pots and containers are an excellent way to experiment with planting and design since they give the gardener a lot of flexibility. Planting in pots gives the garden a new dimension by smoothing corners, bringing life to drab areas, and producing results right away that are still simple to adjust.

These outcomes can range from temporary bedding displays to permanent small tree and topiary elements. Stick to simply one or two distinct materials when selecting your pot. Take inspiration from the house and garden’s design.

Terracotta pots complement red brick structures while galvanized metal pots look best against a contemporary landscape. The impact of larger pots is greater, and plants growing in them won’t dry out as soon, but a varied collection of little pots produces an odd, constantly shifting scene.

For maximum impact, garden designers frequently employ three or more identical containers filled with the same plants. We are presenting the best plants that can flourish in and add beauty to containers, from full shade perennials to long lasting annuals.

Magic Purple Aster

Magic Purple aster in container
Image: purple aster in container ( credit: pixabay.com)

The rich lavender purple Magic Purple aster blooms profusely with bright yellow cores. It’s a fantastic option for fall container gardening because of its full appearance and compact growing habits.

To promote fall development, the plant’s top should be cut back once throughout the summer months by 6 to 8 inches.

Mature Plant Size: 20 inches tall x 24 inches wide

Growing levels: Full sun, average to moist soil

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Silver Falls Dichondra

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- silver falls-dichondra
Image: Silver falls dichondra ( credit: pixabay.com)

The Silver Falls dichondra (Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’), a very attractive ground cover with a cascading growth habit, is a low maintenance plant that only needs occasional feeding and watering.

This spiller plant gracefully spills out of hanging baskets and pots, adding a silvery contrast to your garden and environment.

Mature Plant Size: 4 feet wide x 3 inches tall

Growing levels: Full sun to part shade, average to dry soil

Coral Bells

Image: coral bells-Best container plants for full Sun and Shade ( credit: pixabay.com)

For every position in your garden, whether it receives full shade or full sun, coral bells (Heuchera) cultivars are available. Finding the ideal cultivar for your display is quite simple because all cultivars have such a wide range of leaf shape, color, and pattern variations.

They have long flowers as well, which can be utilized in floral displays and to draw pollinators, that poke up through the foliage. Coral bells have the potential to be semi evergreen, making the plant suitable for an all year round display.

Mature Plant Size: 8 to 18 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches wide when fully grown.

Growing levels: Rich, moist, well draining soil, full sun to full shade.

Intenz Celosia

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- intez celosia
Image: Intez celosia ( credit: pixabay)

Intenz celosia (Celosia spicata) is a low maintenance plant that features tall, spiky, purple blooms and an upright growth habit. It’s a terrific choice for adding a splash of color to a container garden because of its large yet manageable size.

Mature Plant Size: 12 to 24 inches tall by 12 inches wide when fully grown.

Growing levels: wet soil, full sun to partial shade

Butterfly Bush

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- butterfly bush
Image: Butterfly bush- Best container plants for full Sun and Shade ( credit: pixabay)

Buttery bush is a deciduous shrub that produces stunning arching flowers in the summer and is great for adding structure to pots. Consider planting “Butterfly bush” if you’re seeking for a variety that will stand out very well.

With its striking pink summer color and gray green foliage, this is especially eye catching. It is excellent for luring butterflies and hummingbirds and has a compact growing habit for smaller containers.

Mature Plant Size: 3 feet wide × 4 to 5 feet tall

Growing levels: Full sun, rich and well draining soil

Giant Hyssop

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- Giant hyssop
Image: Giant hyssop ( Credit: pixabay.com)

An profusely blooming plant that looks stunning in container arrangements is giant hyssop (Agastache). Since cultivars differ greatly in terms of bloom structure and color, they can be used in nearly any presentation.

It is very scented, gives the impression of a wildflower in the container, which attracts pollinators, and may be used as a perennial in many places.

Size at Maturity: 1 to 2 feet wide and 2 to 3 feet tall.

Growing levels: Full sun and moist, draining soil are ideal for growing things.

Goldilocks Creeping Jenny

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- creeping jenny
Image: Goldilocks creeping jenny ( credit: pixabay)

The Goldilocks Creeping Jenny has lovely yellow flowers and bright golden leaves, and it blooms all summer long.

This plant is practically indestructible and simple to maintain. It is a strong candidate for container plants that spill over due to its low height and wide spread.

Mature Plant Size: 22 inches tall x 25 inches wide

Growing levels: Full sun to full shade, average to moist soil

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade

Tall Verbena

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- verbena
Image: verbena- Best container plants for full Sun and Shade ( credit: pixabay)

Tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis) can be used to fill in empty spaces in container plantings. With its high branches and adorable small purple blooms at the ends, tall verbena is a superb plant for giving the impression that it is wispy and for piercing through other plants.

Throughout its growing season, the plant will invite pollinators to your landscape as it blooms from summer through fall.

Size at Maturity: 1 to 3 feet wide and 3 to 6 feet tall.

Growing levels: Full sun is ideal for growing, it tolerates a variety of soil types, including clay, loam, and sand.

Dwarf Hinoki Cypress

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- dwarf hinoki
Image: Dwarf hinoki cypress ( Credit: pixabay)

Dwarf hinoki cypresses are excellent for a winter container display. They maintain their compact size while having lovely fan shaped leaves with varying colors of green from the center to the borders. You may maintain it in smaller containers for a longer period of time because of how slowly it grows.

Mature Plant Size: 4 to 6 feet tall x 3 to 4 feet wide

Growing levels: Full sun, well draining soil

Coleus

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- coleus
Image: coleus ( Credit: pixabay)

Coleus has gorgeous leaves that may either complement other plantings or stand out brightly on its own in containers. There are other variants available, but Burgundy Wedding Train Coleus is a well known cultivar.

It features small lobed leaves that are brick red all year long with unique lime green borders.

Mature Plant Size: 16 inches tall x 26 inches wide

Growing levels: Part shade to full shade, moist soil

Geranium

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- pink geraniums
Image: pink geraniums ( credit: pixabay)

These bright plants are a staple for front porch planters and blooming from spring through summer with fertilizer and deadheading (pinch off spent blooms). Even though they enjoy the sun, they do prefer some cover in the hot afternoons.

Growing levels: Sun

Hibiscus

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- hibiscus
Image: hibiscus ( credit: pixabay)

This tropical flower offers an eye catching addition to a cluster of pots, especially if one of them has a braided trunk. As long as you keep it from the cold, it has a long lifespan. As a master gardener in the Midwest, I keep mine indoors throughout the winter.

Growing Condition – Sun

Caladium

Caladium
Image: Green caladium ( credit: pixabay.com)

In a container, the heart shaped foliage of this tropical plant will command attention. In a shaded area, combine it with impatiens, but remember these things: Avoid letting pets near caladium, especially those who enjoy chewing on plants.

Insoluble calcium oxalates, which are present in caladium, are poisonous when ingested.

Growing Condition: Shade

Impatiens

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- impatiens
Image: impatiens ( credit: pixabay)

This timeless design will never date. These are occasionally used by me as the spill and the fill.

Growing Condition: Shade

Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet potato vine
Image: sweet potato vine ( credit: pixabay)

Depending on the cultivar, trailing sweet potato vines can give a pleasant color contrast to your container with foliage that ranges in hue from bright lime green to deep purple. One of my preferred spillers,” claims Sophia, the proprietor of Home decor like. Big leaves, big color, big impact.

Growing Condition: Part Sun to Sun

Supertunia

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- supertunia
Image: supertunia ( credit: pixabay)

Spills up to 4 feet long in containers. You’ll adore the fact that this low maintenance petunia hybrid blooms again without the need for deadheading.

Growing Condition: Part Sun to Sun

Basil

Basil herb in container
Image: basil herb in container ( credit: pixabay)

You will always have fresh basil leaves available for use in cooking if you grow it in your container garden, and it will also help keep mosquitoes away. In her pots, Sophia employs basil as a filler plant and lets the flowers bloom.

She remarks on how lovely and fragrant the flowers are. They make wonderful floral arrangements as well.

Growing Condition: Sun

Varieties to try: Sweet Basil, Lemon Basil, and (for added color) Purple Basil

Iris

Iris plants in pot
Image: iris plants in pot ( credit: horticulture magazine)

Irises may be grown in pots, according to Sophia, who has 23 different varieties on her property. Irises have wonderful green leaves with a bluish tint that remain lovely for the remainder of the season and far into the start of winter, which is what she loves most about them.

“I trim the brown off and clip them to a point when they begin to turn brown at the tips. Usually, doing so prevents browning and maintains their flawless appearance.

Growing Condition: Sun

Lantana

Lantana plant in pot
Image: lantana plant in pot ( credit: pixabay)

With this spiller in a container or hanging basket, even beginners will succeed. This low maintenance perennial that blooms from late spring until frost is a butterfly magnet and is both heat and drought tolerant.

Sophia exclaims, “I love the elaborate petal structure, the colors, and the smell.”

Two warnings: Lantana is harmful to animals if consumed, so exercise caution around dogs, horses, and livestock. Choose sterile variants as well because non sterile lantana can become invasive in warm climates.

Growing Condition: Sun

Varieties to try- Bloomify Rose, Bloomify Red, and Luscious Royale Red Zone (all certified sterile)

Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum in container
Image: sweet alyssum ( credit: pixabay)

Sophia enthuses, “The sweet alyssum’s delicate and airy look is so special as it falls over the container rim.” I enjoy hiding this in my rock wall as well. Although purple and pink blooming types are also available, white is the most popular hue.

Growing Condition: Sun (in hot climates, plant in part shade)

Euphorbia

Euphorbia plant in container
Image: euphorbia plant in container ( credit: pixabay)

Although it has a frilly appearance, this less well known plant is strong as nails in a range of environments, including heat and drought. According to Glenn Kopp, horticulture information manager at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, its wispy leaves and profusion of airy white blooms give mixed pots a delicate baby’s breath like impression.

Growing Condition: Part sun to sun

Varieties to try: Diamond Frost (pictured) or Glitz

Begonias

Although it has a frilly appearance, this less well known plant is strong as nails in a range of environments, including heat and drought. According to Glenn Kopp, horticulture information manager at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, its wispy leaves and profusion of airy white blooms give mixed pots a delicate baby’s breath like impression.

Growing Condition: Part sun

Varieties to try: Dragon Wing, Santa Cruz, or Roseform

Ornamental Pepper

Ornamental pepper in container
Image: ornamental pepper in container ( credit: my garden life)

With their season long color, texture, and brilliant fruit, these bushy tiny plants make amusing additions to containers, according to Kopp. Usually, the tiny fruits turn from black to scarlet as they ripen. Although theoretically edible, the majority of ornamental pepper cultivars are quite spicy, so keep children and animals away from them.

Growing Condition: Sun

Varieties to try: Purple Flash or Black Pearl

Angelonia

The delicate but heat resistant summer snapdragon, also known as angelonia, doesn’t require deadheading to bloom all season. They come in a variety of colors, including white, deep purple, blue purple, and mauve.

Kopp advises using them with trailing herbs to create a lovely combination planter.

Growing Condition: Sun

Varieties to try: Angelface Wedgewood Blue or Archangel Purple

Coral Bells

Coral bells in container
Image: coral bells in container ( credit: pixabay)

This perennial, often known as heuchera, blooms in early summer with frothy tiny flowers that arch above mounded foliage. Peach to the deepest burgundy are just a few of the colors that its leaves come in.

These are among my favorites, and I’ve used them in countless planters. In some locations, they frequently grow better in pots, particularly if your yard is frequented by hungry animals like voles, according to Sophia, author of Container Gardening for All Seasons.

Growing Condition: Part sun

Varieties to try: Harvest Burgundy or Dolce Cinnamon Curls (pictured)

Coleus

Coleus has had a color explosion in recent years. It is drought tolerant and comes in too many different colors to count in trailing, mounded, and upright variants.

They also attract a lot of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds as pollinators because to their lovely blossoms, adds Sophia.

Growing Condition: Shade to sun (read the plant label for each variety)

Varieties to try: Trusty Rusty or Redhead

Nemesia

With plenty of vibrant colors, including purple, pink, red, bright yellow, pastel yellow, orange, and white, perky tiny flowers last the entire growing season on tall stems.

In milder areas, the plant may flower in the winter, but it is typically regarded as an annual. As a vertical accent in a mixed container, use.

Growing Condition: Part sun to sun

Varieties to try: Juicy Fruits Kumquat or Dazzle Me Lilac

Dwarf Hydrangea

Surprise, Flowering shrubs, particularly dwarf types that don’t grow taller than two to three feet, can also be planted in containers. You’re sure to find one you adore because there have been so many new hydrangea kinds introduced in the last ten years.

Most hydrangeas bloom white or whitish pink, changing to pink, purple, lime green, or a combination of these colors in the later stages of their life. Cut flowers dry wonderfully for a wintertime home show.

Growing Condition: Shade to sun (read the plant label for each variety)

Varieties to try: Little Quick Fire (pictured) or Bobo

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Shrub Rose

Shrub roses in container
Image: shrub roses in container ( credit: pixabay)

Roses look beautiful in landscape landscaping, but many shrub kinds can thrive in containers, according to Wise.

Old fashioned roses require more care and maintenance, whilst newer kinds are more disease resistant. Set these out as opulent focal pieces on your patio or deck in attractive decorative pots.

Growing Condition: Sun

Varieties to try: Oso Easy

Pansies and Violas

These gorgeous single and multi colored blooms are the darlings of spring and fall gardens. Some kinds continue to grow well after the first frost and even make a springtime comeback. For maximum impact, plant them in a single color in large groups. For season long interest, mix them with a range of plants that bloom later.

Growing Condition: Part sun to sun

Varieties to try: Cool Wave or Anytime

Best plants for pots and containers all year round

Some plants thrive year-round in pots. These include flowering plants like Skimmia japonica and hebes as well as hardy evergreen foliage species including yucca, English- ivy variegated euonymus, and heuchera.

Because they are constantly in leaf and hence have something to offer the display, evergreens typically work best for year round pot displays. Pair them with plants that bloom at various times throughout the year, from spring to winter.

You can enhance your show by planting long blooming plants like perennial wallflowers, which, in mild climates, may bloom all year long.

The best 10 plants for pots and containers

Euonymus

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade- euonymus in container
Image: euonymus in container

All year long, variegated greenery is a terrific mood booster. Try it with creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia, tulips, golden narcissi, or primroses for an eye catching display.

Pittosporum tenuifolium

Rich mahogany leaves that initially emerge a light cream color before darkening are present on this attractive evergreen shrub. It needs a protected location throughout the winter because it is a little fragile.

Skimmia japonica

This male version is endowed with glossy evergreen leaves, a profusion of wintertime small red buds, and springtime pinky white blooms.

Hosta

Hostas create lovely architectural plants that thrive in containers, either by themselves or in combination with other plants. Consider mixing with heucheras, bleeding hearts, or other foliage plants.

Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum)

Fountain grass is quite spectacular. For a dramatic effect, grow with alliums in large pots, or grow it alone to make a point. “Rubrum” has graceful stems and squirrel tail blooms with a scarlet tint that turn beige in the fall. Wintertime protection from frost.

Buddleia Buzz

The Buzz variety of buddleias are small, making them ideal for container gardening. They produce a perennial show that you may enhance with other plants that bloom at various times of the year, despite the fact that they don’t flower all year and need to be cut back in the spring.

Hebe

Hebes are frequently small enough to grow in pots. Most have evergreen foliage, and when the weather is moderate, their flowers can last late into the fall and even into the winter. The colors of flowers range from pink to purple to white.

Agapanthus

Agapanthus in container
Image: agapanthus in container ( credit: gardener’s path)

Agapanthus thrive in containers because their roots need a little bit of room to spread out. Grow them independently or in combination with other plants that bloom at various periods of the year. Although some agapanthus varieties are deciduous, the majority are evergreen.

Cornus

Many dogwood cultivars, such as those of Cornus alba, Cornus sanguinea, and Cornus sericea, have stunningly colorful winter stems and are suitable for pots.

You can choose plants (like the lavender, hebe, and phormium seen in this picture) that will take center stage when the leaves sprout on the cornus stems in spring, dulling its display, and they make a wonderful backdrop for other winter perennials.

Heuchera

Image: heuchera in container

Heuchera are foliage plants that are evergreen and have a variety of vivid colors. They make beautiful, long lasting displays and are ideal for utilizing as a foil for other plants.

Conclusion

Best container plants for full Sun and Shade

Adding color to shady regions, adorning your front porch or patio, or dealing with poor soil in your yard are all made simple with container gardening. Many plants do well in pots, but the most crucial factor is proper drainage.

To prevent plants from drowning, make sure your pot has a hole in the bottom. Learn which plants thrive in the conditions you have, such as full sun or shade, by reading the tag or asking the nursery. Choose your location wisely because your outside potted plants will require more water than their in ground counterparts.

Pick plants that can withstand drought for secluded areas, such succulents. Place the thirstier plants closest to the water supply if you have any. For the first week after planting, check the soil moisture in your pots every day to determine how frequently to irrigate. Choose a thriller, a filler, and a spiller” when it comes to design.

Here are a few more pointers to bear in mind, though. Choose a color scheme that complements your home’s decor and employ it consistently throughout all of your containers. In order to increase visual interest, combine various textures, forms, and colors.

Pick a range of flower and leaf shapes, for instance. Some are scalloped, others are rounded or trumpet shaped. Combine pots in different sizes, shapes, and complimentary designs.

FAQs

What is the easiest potted plant to grow?

The simplest plants to cultivate in pots are listed below:Lettuce. The best lettuce varieties to grow in containers are loose-leaf and romaine since they require less area to grow than head or stalk lettuces.Basil. lovers of pesto, good news…
Tomatoes
Snow Peas/Sugar Snap Peas
Bell or Chili Peppers
Zucchini
Strawberries
Chives, etc.

Can all plants grow in pots?

Almost anything, even a lot of trees, can be grown in a container! But take a time to consider your goals for your container garden before heading out to the nursery to buy whatever takes your fancy. – Are you interested in growing food, such as herbs or vegetables?

What is a disadvantage to container gardening?

The disadvantages of container gardeningThey require more frequent feeding and watering because they are easily dehydrated. Vegetables can only be grown in tiny quantities in containers, so choose the right crop for the right container.

Do container plants need fertilizer?

Depending on the type of potting medium, watering frequency, and rate of plant growth, it’s a good idea to begin regular fertilizer treatments two to six weeks after planting a container. There are numerous fertilizer alternatives available for container plants. Starting with an all purpose fertilizer is an excellent idea.

How many plants should you put in a container?

According to the general rule of thumb, planting three or four plants in 10 to 12-inch pots, four to six in 14 to 16-inch planters, and six to eight in 16 to 20-inch planters will attractively fill the containers while allowing the plants room to grow without being overcrowding.

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