12 Best Plants for Outdoor Containers 

This article may contain some affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on any of teh links, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Plants come in various types of containers in different sizes and colors. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to figure out the type of plant that should go into your flower pots, but with the proper guidance, you can decide how to go along with it. 

A lot of people would strive to grow unique plants outdoors, and for this reason, container gardening is extremely popular.

Some of the best plants for outdoor containers  include the oxalis, banana, petunia, purple queen, spider plants, and many others that we will talk about here today.

Best Plants for Outdoor Containers

Some unique container plants you can have in either your garden or pool sides in your containers include; 

1. Elephant Ear

The elephant ear is a fantastic Colocasia plant that can serve as a beautiful foliage plant for containers. In addition, these plants can add a lot of drama to your summer gardens because they come in various colors like red, orange, and yellow.

Elephant ear plants love water but also need well-draining soil, so they develop root rot. However, elephant art can tolerate the full sun even if they do better in the partly shaded sun. So, if you want to add a bit of drama and colorfulness to your garden, then the elephant ear should be the best option.

See Also: Pool Friendly Plants and Trees

2. Marigolds

Marigolds are container plants that do well in full sun and heat. Like the elephant ear, they come in various colors like green, yellow, orange, and even dark red.

You should ensure that you water the plant frequently when it is dry, but you should ensure that t is dry before you water again.

3. Coleus

Coleus is a fantastic colorful plant that can tolerate the full sun and partial shade. These plants are perfect for any container because they can go well in any side container.

When planted, the coleus plant requires regular watering, but you should ensure that it dries out thoroughly before you water again. 

4. Begonia

The fantastic thing about the begonia plant is that they come in varieties of flower colors. So, because of the variation, you can choose which suits you more.

Some species or varieties do not bloom, while others do and take fantastic foliage. The begonia plants need slightly drained soil for them to be able to grow well and also a partly shaded environment.

5. Nasturtium

Nasturtiums and unique trailing plants can trail over your container pots.

See Also: Different Plants With Thorns On Leaves

6. Big Bluestem

The big bluestem is an ornamental plant that you can plant in containers. However, if you want to plant this with other companion plants, you would need an enormous container because the big bluestem would be able to overshadow other plants. This bluestem grass grows at about 4-6 feet tall with a spread of about 2-3 feet. 

You should ensure that you do not like water too much or apply too much fertilizer so this does not cause your plant to flop and also introduce certain conditions like the yellowing of the plant.

Also, if planted in the shade for too long, you may stunt the growth of this plant, so you should place it in a location where it would be getting at least 7 hours of direct sunlight daily. 

7. Martha Washington Geranium

These plants must have the most vibrant and beautiful color that lasts from spring to fall; nothing ever beats the Martha Washington geraniums. In late spring, these plants are just available for about eight weeks. 

Most people get these plants confused for orchids. Like many other flower hybrids, these plants have excellent cultivars like the raspberry swirl, imperial, and Excaliber; the Martha Washington needs well-drained soil and indirect exposure to sunlight for it to thrive well.

Its color varieties include pink, magenta, fuchsia, red, white, lavender, and violet. 

8. Echeveria 

Echeveria is a succulent perennial that originates from Mexico, and when touched, it feels like a cross between felt and velvet. These plants are drought tolerant and suitable for rock gardens, and therefore, they would be an excellent addition to plants alongside your pool or spa. 

For their growth, they require soil with a well-drained and succulent mix and an ideal pH of about 6. These plants can be grown as shrubs reaching a height of about 60cm (2 feet) with four-inch-long leaves. 

9. Bougainvillea 

The bougainvillea is a plant that can grow and do well in hardiness zones of 9 and even higher, but you can also opt for it to grow as an annual plant, or you bring it indoors during the winter. These plants are vines and not upright, so you would need to support them to grow vertically.

Even with its inability to grow straight, it is a very fast grower and would need a lot of pruning. However, the blooms of the bougainvillea plant look stunning, and you can also see it crawling up a tree or its surface. 

10. Canna Lily

With their showy flowers, Canna lily plants add an instant tropical flair to your pools. In most cases, the canna lily is an annual plant, but, in a few cases, you can carry on through the winter seasons indoors, but it has to be in a sunny spot.

 The canna lily flowers a few times throughout the summer, and its cultivars can grow to about 2-6 feet tall. Although the canna lily does well in dry land, it prefers a moist environment, so you should be vigilant. 

11. Bird Of Paradise

If you plan on giving your pool a tropical-oasis route, you could get there much faster with the bird of paradise. These plants look similar to the banana plant and usually grows up to a height of 2 foot long. 

Like banana trees, these plants have very tender and soft leaves and can get ripped easily in strong winds. Therefore, the bird of paradise would be one of the perfect birds for pool scaping. It does not shed and can withstand splashing in moderation. 

12. Geranium

Geranium plants love the heat and do not even get a bit dry. The geranium plants come in various colors like red and orange. To bring out their color, you can plant them with other unique side companion plants like tulips and rosebuds.

Geranium is a tender perennial plant that can grow as annuals. Also, these plants can be hardy in USDA zones of 10 down to 11. So, if you need a plant that adds beauty and heat to your gardens, then the geranium plants should be your first pick.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Outdoor Pots Have Low Maintenance Costs?

Some unique outdoor plants with low maintenance costs include; 

  • Jada plants; these plants are unique because they are tolerant and also ignore less-than-ideal growing conditions. Many people prefer the silver jade plant in containers since their paddle-like leaves are slightly bigger. 
  • The mother in laws tongue is yet another excellent pot plant with a meager maintenance cost. Although the name of the plant makes it sound terrible, it isn’t. once you receive a few hours of bright light and no direct sunlight, it also rarely needs watering. 
  • Although the aloe plants grow slowly, they provide the benefit of serving the home for many needs without you having to stress about their maintenance. The aloe plant prefers bright light and does not like it when plants touch the soil. 

What are the top ten plants for containers?

Some unique container plants include sedum, penstemon, cordyline, lavatera, alstroemeria, hydrangea, and polygala. Once you have gotten these plants with the proper maintenance habits, they can serve you beautifully. 

What Container Plants Do Well in Heat?

There are a lot of plants that do well in heat seasons. Some of these include the following plants; 

  • Lantana plants: Lantana plants are irresistible to butterflies, and you can hardly take one picture of this plant without sighting a butterfly around. In addition, people usually identify Lantana plants as drought-tolerant plant species, but that doesn’t mean you should let the potting mix dry out
  • Hibiscus plant
  • Princess flower: You didn’t just randomly give this plant its name, and it would be a great addition to your garden, not just under its velvety leaves alone
  • Cuphea: The cuphea plant attracts hummingbirds due to its upright blooms throughout summer. 
  • Salvia is a plant species with both annual and perennial species, but the annual plants are the best for containers. The salvia plant has wispy and bold colorful blooms and gracefully welcomes butterflies and hummingbirds. The most popular salvia specie is the salvia splendens, but when you compare based on colorfulness, you should opt for better options

See Also: Top 15 Trees That Don’t Lose Their Leaves

How Do I Pick the Right Plant for Outdoor Pots?

When shopping for containers, you should go for plants with various shaped leaves mixed with larger and smaller ones with gritty and delicate textures. Just one type of leave is boring; mix it with thrillers, spillers, and fillers to mix up the emotion.