Outdoor Plants for Pots

Updated February 21, 2017

Using pots for gardening is the best way to maximise growing space and to create thriving gardens in limited space. Grow outdoor plants in pots for your deck, patio, steps or any other area. Unlike permanent plants, you can easily move plants in pots to other areas in the landscape. Another big advantage of container gardening is that you can provide your plants with the specific type of growing medium they require. For instance, some plants require ample moisture and fertiliser while others prefer a drier soil. A wide variety of plants grow well in containers, including dwarf fruit trees and vegetables like tomatoes and peas.


Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) are one of the most commonly grown flowers. The flowers come in a variety of bright colours and last a long time. Geraniums grow just as well in window boxes and containers as they do in borders and garden beds. Geraniums bloom all through the summer until the first frost. The plants reach a mature height of 1 to 2 feet and grow best in full sun. Geraniums do best in zone 10 and are grown as annuals in many areas. Geraniums can easily be started from cuttings. When grown in containers, the plant can be moved indoors during winter and grown like a houseplant.


Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) is known for its whiskered face, which gives the flower a happy, grinning look. Pansy belongs to a large flower family which includes Johnny-jump-ups and violets. Pansies come in a wide variety of bright-coloured blooms that grow in the middle of bushy foliage. The flowers are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8, and plants grow to a mature height of 6 to 9 inches. Common flower colours are yellow, purple, white, red and orange. Flowers produce five overlapping petals, and some have ruffled edges. Pansies grow best in full sun to partial shade.

Purple Fountain Grass

Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum') makes an attractive outdoor container plant with its full tufts of fuzzy, rosy-purple flower spikes that cascade from the stems. The plant stays in bloom all through the fall and grows to a mature height of 2 to 3 feet. Purple fountain grass grows well in full sun and is grown as an annual. This ornamental grass grows successfully in all regions of the country. Prune the dead top growth by early spring to encourage new growth. Other varieties include giant burgundy fountain grass, which is larger in size, and the dwarf rubrum, which is slightly smaller in size.

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About the Author

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.