Donate Just 1$ and Make a Real Difference.

Close this search box.

8 Ornamental Plants That Can Grow in Containers

8 Ornamental Plants That Can Grow in Containers

Table of Contents

Container gardening is a versatile and convenient way to enjoy the beauty of ornamental plants right at your doorstep. Whether you have limited space or simply want to enhance your outdoor oasis, growing plants in containers allows you to create stunning displays with minimal effort. In this article, we will explore eight ornamental plants that are perfect for container gardening, bringing color, texture, and fragrance to your outdoor living space.

Key Takeaways:

  • Container gardening is a convenient way to enjoy ornamental plants.
  • These eight plants are ideal for growing in containers.
  • They add color, texture, and fragrance to your outdoor space.
  • Make sure to provide proper care, including well-draining soil and appropriate watering.
  • With the right selection, you can create a beautiful container garden.

Lantana – A Hardy and Colorful Plant for Containers


Lantana is a heat-resistant plant that thrives in sunny and dry conditions. Its vibrant and multi-colored flowers make it a favorite among butterflies and garden enthusiasts. Whether you’re new to container gardening or a seasoned pro, lantana is a hardy plant that can add beauty and color to your outdoor space.

One of the key advantages of lantana is its ability to withstand hot and humid climates. This makes it an excellent choice for container gardens, especially in USDA Zones 8 and up.

The versatility of lantana allows you to create stunning and eye-catching displays. Whether you prefer a single variety or a combination of different colors, lantana’s blooms will keep your container garden vibrant and attractive until the first frost.

Here are some key features and benefits of lantana for container gardens:

  • Heat resistance: Lantana is known for its ability to thrive in hot and dry conditions.
  • Colorful blooms: The flowers of lantana come in various shades of red, orange, yellow, and pink. They add a lively and cheerful touch to your container garden.
  • Butterfly attraction: Lantana is a magnet for butterflies, attracting these beautiful creatures to your garden.
  • Low maintenance: With minimal care requirements, lantana is suitable for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Whether you’re looking to create a bold and vibrant container garden or add a pop of color to your outdoor space, lantana is an excellent choice. Its hardiness and ability to withstand heat make it a reliable option for container gardens in various climates.

Continue to the next section to learn about another plant that thrives in containersmint.

Mint – Fragrant and Tough Plant for Container Gardens

Mint plant in a container

Mint is a tough plant that thrives in both full sun and partial shade. It is known for its divine fragrance and aggressive, spreading nature. Mint prefers moist soil and should be watered consistently. It can be grown in containers to keep its spreading nature in check and is a great addition to a container garden, especially near a patio where the leaves can be easily picked for cocktails.

If you’re looking for a versatile and aromatic herb to add to your container garden, mint is an excellent choice. Not only does it provide a refreshing scent, but it also offers various flavors that can complement a wide range of dishes and beverages. With its ability to grow in full sun or partial shade, mint is a flexible plant that can adapt to different growing conditions.

Benefits of Growing Mint in Containers

  • Mint’s aggressive spreading nature can be controlled when grown in containers.
  • Container gardens near patios allow easy access to fresh mint leaves for cocktails and cooking.
  • Growing mint in containers creates a beautiful and fragrant addition to your outdoor space.

Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast or a novice, growing mint in containers is a rewarding experience. It offers the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of this fragrant herb while keeping it contained and well-maintained.

Mint is not only a favorite among gardeners but also a popular choice for mixologists. Its aromatic leaves add a delightful twist to cocktails and mocktails. From classic mojitos to refreshing mint-infused lemonades, the possibilities are endless. So why not bring the minty freshness from your container garden into your next summer gathering? Cheers!

Mint Varieties Description
Spearmint With its robust flavor and refreshing aroma, spearmint is perfect for teas, desserts, and cocktails.
Peppermint Known for its strong menthol flavor, peppermint is often used in candies, ice creams, and herbal remedies.
Chocolate Mint This mint variety has a hint of chocolate in its flavor, making it a unique choice for baking and garnishing desserts.

If you decide to grow mint in containers, you’ll have the opportunity to experiment with various mint varieties. Spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint are popular options that offer distinct flavors and scents. Their versatility in culinary applications makes them a must-have in the kitchen.

In addition to its culinary uses, growing mint in containers adds visual appeal to your outdoor space. The lush green leaves provide a vibrant contrast to other plants and flowers in your container garden. Whether you choose to grow a single variety or mix different mint varieties in one container, the result is sure to be a stunning display.

Overall, mint is a fragrant and tough plant that is well-suited for container gardens. Its ability to thrive in both full sun and partial shade, coupled with its spreading nature, makes it an excellent choice for both experienced and beginner gardeners. So go ahead, plant some mint in a container, and enjoy the refreshing scent and versatility it brings to your outdoor oasis.

Heat-Tolerant Trio – Geraniums, Calibrachoas, and Mecardonias

Geraniums, calibrachoas, and mecardonias are three heat-tolerant plants that can be combined in containers to create a beautiful and low-maintenance display. These plants have gorgeous, bright blooms and are easy to care for. They require regular watering and deadheading of faded flowers to ensure nonstop blooming. While they are mostly grown as annuals, they can be winter-hardy in USDA Zones 10 and 11.

Plant Description
Geraniums Geraniums are classic container garden plants with a wide variety of colors and forms. They thrive in full sun and are known for their long-lasting blooms. Geraniums are drought-tolerant and can handle hot and dry conditions.
Calibrachoas Calibrachoas, also known as million bells, are low-growing, trailing plants that produce an abundance of small, bell-shaped flowers. They come in a range of vibrant colors and are excellent for cascading over the edges of containers. Calibrachoas are heat-tolerant and highly resistant to diseases.
Mecardonias Mecardonias are compact plants with small, delicate leaves and tiny yellow flowers. They are excellent for adding texture and a pop of color to container gardens. Mecardonias are heat-tolerant and can withstand hot and dry conditions, making them perfect for summer displays.

By combining geraniums, calibrachoas, and mecardonias in your container gardens, you can create vibrant and eye-catching displays that will thrive in the heat. These plants will bring beautiful colors and textures to your outdoor spaces, providing a stunning visual impact. With regular care and maintenance, you can enjoy their vibrant blooms throughout the season.

Boxwoods – Classy and Sturdy Evergreens for Container Planting

Boxwoods in Container Planting

Boxwoods are sturdy evergreens that can be planted in containers to add a touch of class to any garden. These evergreen plants provide year-round structure and greenery, making them a versatile choice for container planting.

When selecting a container for boxwoods, choose one that is at least twice the size of the root ball to allow ample room for growth. Ensure the container has drainage holes to prevent waterlogged roots.

To create a stunning container display, consider combining boxwoods with heat-loving annuals like vinca that provide vibrant flowers and foliage. The boxwoods will serve as a beautiful backdrop for the seasonal color provided by the annuals.

While boxwoods can tolerate full sun, they benefit from some afternoon shade, especially in hotter climates. This helps to protect the plants from scorching and allows them to thrive in all weather conditions.

Ensure that your boxwoods are planted in well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Boxwoods prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil pH (between 6.0 and 7.5). Amend the soil with compost or organic matter to improve its fertility and drainage.

During hot and dry weather, it’s crucial to provide adequate watering to your boxwoods. They generally require about an inch of water per week, including rainfall. Monitor the moisture level in the container and adjust watering as needed.

Benefits of Boxwoods in Container Planting

“Boxwoods are an excellent choice for container planting, as they offer numerous benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should consider incorporating boxwoods in your container gardens:”

  • Boxwoods provide evergreen foliage, creating a visually appealing display throughout the year.
  • They can be shaped and pruned to suit your desired aesthetic, whether it’s a formal topiary or a more relaxed and natural shape.
  • Boxwoods act as a focal point or anchor in container arrangements, adding structure and balance to the overall design.
  • These versatile evergreens can be used in various container styles, from traditional to modern, and complement a wide range of plant combinations.
  • Boxwoods are relatively low-maintenance plants, requiring minimal pruning and fertilization.
  • They can be grown in containers of different sizes, making them suitable for balconies, patios, or any outdoor space with limited planting area.
Plant Height Width Hardiness Zone
American Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) 10-15 feet 10-15 feet 5-9
Korean Boxwood (Buxus sinica var. insularis) 2-4 feet 3-5 feet 4-9
English Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) 2-3 feet 2-3 feet 5-8

Foliage-Only Container Display – Cast Iron Plant, Coleus, Caladiums, Ferns, and Ivy

foliage plants

Flowers may be the go-to choice for container gardens, but don’t overlook the beauty and impact of foliage plants. This stunning container display showcases a variety of foliage plants that will captivate you with their unique textures, colors, and shapes.

First up is the cast iron plant, known for its swordlike foliage that adds a touch of drama to any container. Its hardy nature and ability to thrive in low light conditions make it a reliable choice for both indoor and outdoor displays.

Next, we have the coleus, with its frilly and vibrant leaves that come in a wide range of hues. Whether you prefer bold and bright or subtle and muted colors, coleus offers endless options for creating eye-catching container arrangements.

Adding a pop of color to the mix, we have the caladiums. These tropical plants feature large, heart-shaped leaves with striking patterns and hues. From deep reds and pinks to bright greens and whites, caladiums are sure to make a statement in any container garden.

To add a touch of airiness, consider incorporating ferns into your container display. These delicate plants bring a sense of tranquility and lushness with their feathery fronds. Choose from a variety of ferns, such as Boston ferns or maidenhair ferns, to create a soft and elegant look.

Finally, we have ivy, a classic foliage plant known for its trailing vines and variegated leaves. Ivy adds a touch of greenery and texture to any container, creating a cascading effect that adds depth and visual interest.

Together, these foliage plants create a stunning container display that is sure to impress. With their diverse textures, colors, and forms, they prove that flowers aren’t the only stars of the show in a container garden. And the best part? These plants thrive in full or part shade, meaning you can enjoy their beauty even in areas with limited sunlight. Plus, their foliage-focused nature means they require less watering, thanks to the natural protection provided by their leaves.

Let your creativity soar and experiment with different combinations of cast iron plants, coleus, caladiums, ferns, and ivy in your container displays. Play with different textures, colors, and heights to create a visually captivating arrangement that is uniquely yours.

“Flowers are like a colorful icing on the cake, but foliage is the cake itself. Don’t be afraid to let foliage take center stage in your container gardens.”

So, next time you’re planning a container garden, don’t limit yourself to just flowers. Consider the beauty and impact that foliage plants can bring to your displays. Explore the world of cast iron plants, coleus, caladiums, ferns, and ivy, and create a lush and captivating container garden that will leave everyone green with envy.

Chinese Fan Palms and Bromeliads – Tropical and Heat-Tolerant Options for Containers

Chinese fan palms and bromeliads

Looking to create a tropical paradise in your container garden? Look no further than the stunning Chinese fan palms and vibrant bromeliads. These heat-tolerant options are perfect for adding a touch of the exotic to your outdoor space.

Chinese fan palms, also known as Livistona chinensis, are architectural marvels that bring a sense of elegance to any container display. With their large, fan-shaped leaves and tall, slender trunks, these palms command attention and create a captivating focal point. Chinese fan palms can tolerate full sun or part shade, making them versatile choices for different lighting conditions.

On the other hand, bromeliads are tropical plants that come in a wide range of colors and shapes. From scarlet bromeliads to gold-variegated acuba and even ivy, these plants offer a variety of stunning options for creating a vibrant container garden. Bromeliads prefer dappled light or full shade, making them ideal for adding pops of color to shadier areas.

If you live in USDA Zones 8 and warmer, you’re in luck as both Chinese fan palms and bromeliads can thrive in these regions. However, keep in mind that these plants may need to be brought indoors during the winter months to protect them from freezing temperatures.

Plant Lighting Requirements Hardiness Zones
Chinese fan palms Full sun or part shade USDA Zones 8 and warmer
Bromeliads Dappled light or full shade USDA Zones 8 and warmer

Whether you choose Chinese fan palms, bromeliads, or a combination of both, these tropical plants will bring a touch of paradise to your container garden. With their bold architectural interest, vibrant colors, and heat-tolerant nature, they are sure to impress.

Next, we’ll explore another eye-catching option for adding color and charm to your container displays – the beautiful mandevilla vine.

Eye-Catching Mandevilla Vine – Ideal for Colorful Container Displays

Mandevilla vine

Looking to add a splash of color to your container displays? Look no further than the eye-catching Mandevilla vine. This vibrant plant is the perfect choice for creating stunning container arrangements that are sure to impress.

The Mandevilla vine thrives in hot climates and prefers full sun, making it an excellent option for those sunny spots in your garden or on your patio. With its profusion of blooms, this vine will bring a burst of color to your container displays throughout the growing season.

When it comes to caring for the Mandevilla vine, it’s important to provide well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Ensure that the container has adequate drainage holes, and use a balanced fertilizer during the growing season to keep the plant healthy and vibrant. Water the vine when the soil feels dry to the touch.

If you want to add a touch of vertical interest to your container displays, the Mandevilla vine can be trained to grow on a support like a wire. This allows the vine to climb and adds an extra level of visual appeal to your containers.

In USDA Zones 10 and 11, the Mandevilla vine is a perennial, meaning you can enjoy its beautiful blooms year after year. However, in cooler climates, it can be grown as an annual or brought indoors during the winter months.

With its striking blooms and ability to thrive in containers, the Mandevilla vine is a must-have for any colorful container display. Whether you’re looking to create a focal point on your patio or add a splash of color to your garden, this eye-catching plant will not disappoint.

Geraniums – Versatile Bedding Flowers for Container Gardens

Geraniums are popular bedding flowers that come in a variety of colors and leaf shapes. They are versatile plants that can be used in container gardens to add a pop of color and texture. Whether you prefer bold and vibrant hues or soft pastels, geraniums offer plenty of options to suit your design preferences.

When it comes to caring for geraniums in containers, it’s important to strike a balance between periodic dryness and regular watering. These plants can survive short periods of drought, but they perform best when watered consistently.

Geraniums are like the chameleons of the flower world, adapting to different growing conditions and blooming generously in full sun. However, during extreme heat, they benefit from afternoon shade to prevent sunburn and conserve moisture.

Geraniums are not just visually appealing; they also offer a lovely fragrance that adds an extra dimension to your container garden. Their lush foliage and delicate blooms create an inviting ambiance wherever they are displayed.

Here are some popular geranium varieties for container gardening:

  • Pelargonium ‘Mrs. Pollock’ – This eye-catching variety features tri-color foliage in shades of green, bronze, and red.
  • Pelargonium ‘Americana White Splash’ – With its white flowers and variegated foliage, this geranium is perfect for adding elegance to your container displays.
  • Pelargonium ‘Frank Headley’ – Known for its deep pink blooms and serrated leaves, this geranium adds a touch of charm to any arrangement.

By incorporating geraniums into your container gardens, you can enjoy their beauty all season long. Their versatility, low maintenance requirements, and ability to thrive in various growing conditions make them an excellent choice for both experienced and novice gardeners.

Lovely Geranium Varieties for Container Gardening

Geranium Variety Characteristics
Pelargonium ‘Lara Starshine’ Compact growth habit, bright pink flowers
Pelargonium ‘Appleblossom Rosebud’ Double flowers that resemble rosebuds, bicolor blooms in shades of pink and white
Pelargonium ‘Orion’ Large, vibrant purple blooms, upright growth habit
Pelargonium ‘Distinction’ Dark, velvety red flowers, crinkled foliage

With the right selection of geraniums and complementary plants, you can create stunning container garden displays that will impress your neighbors and bring you joy throughout the growing season.

Next, we’ll explore other ornamental plants that are perfect for container gardening. Keep reading to discover more options for creating a beautiful and vibrant oasis right in your own backyard.


Container gardening offers endless possibilities for creating beautiful displays with ornamental plants. With the right selection of heat-resistant, low-maintenance, and visually captivating plants, you can enjoy a lush and vibrant container garden all season long.

Whether you choose lantana, mint, geraniums, or any other plant mentioned in this article, remember to provide well-draining soil, appropriate watering, and the right amount of sunlight to ensure their success. Container gardens require regular care and attention, but the rewards are well worth it.

So go ahead, get your hands dirty, and let your creativity flow. Experiment with different combinations of plants, colors, and textures to design your own stunning container garden. Whether you have a small balcony, urban patio, or a spacious backyard, container gardening allows you to bring nature’s beauty right to your doorstep. Happy container gardening!


What are some examples of ornamental plants that can grow in containers?

Lantana, mint, geraniums, calibrachoas, mecardonias, boxwoods, cast iron plants, coleus, caladiums, ferns, ivy, Chinese fan palms, bromeliads, mandevilla vine, and scarlet bromeliads are all great examples of ornamental plants that can thrive in containers.

Which plants are heat-resistant and suitable for container gardens?

Lantana, mint, geraniums, calibrachoas, mecardonias, boxwoods, Chinese fan palms, scarlet bromeliads, gold-variegated acuba, and mandevilla vine are heat-resistant plants that can be grown in containers.

Do all these plants require full sun?

No, different plants have different sunlight requirements. While lantana and mint prefer full sun, cast iron plants, coleus, caladiums, ferns, ivy, and bromeliads flourish in full or part shade. Chinese fan palms and silver saw palmetto can grow in full sun or part shade, and geraniums perform best in full sun but require afternoon shade during extreme heat.

How often do these plants need to be watered?

Watering requirements vary among plants. Mint, for example, prefers moist soil and should be watered consistently. Geraniums, calibrachoas, and mecardonias require regular watering. Boxwoods need weekly watering during hot, dry weather. It’s always important to check the specific watering needs of each plant to ensure their healthy growth.

Can these plants survive in colder climates?

Some of these plants, such as mandevilla vine and geraniums, can be winter-hardy in USDA Zones 10 and 11. However, in colder climates, these plants may need to be brought indoors or provided with some protection during the winter months.

Are these plants easy to care for?

Yes, many of these plants are low-maintenance and relatively easy to care for. However, it’s important to provide them with the appropriate soil, sunlight, and water conditions to ensure their optimal growth and appearance.

Can I combine different plants in a single container?

Absolutely! Combining different plants in a single container can create beautiful and visually appealing displays. Just make sure to choose plants that have similar water, sunlight, and soil requirements for the best results.

Share this article