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Outdoor Plants for Containers

Updated February 21, 2017

Growing plants in outdoor containers increases your available gardening space, adds colour and curb appeal to your home and adds dimension to your landscape. Plant containers with flowers that bloom in a particular season or to return year after year. Mix cultivars with the same light preferences in containers to enhance the design interest of your outdoor space.

Bulb Container Plants

Tulip and daffodils are among the types of bulb plants you can use to fill outdoor containers. Both flowers bloom in the spring and will reappear for years. Plant tulips or daffodils in the late fall or early winter. Lily-flowered, Darwins, cottage, parrots, late doubles and single earlies are varieties of tulips that grow well outdoors in containers. Pair the deep rich shades of red or purple tulips with the bright yellows of daffodils for a striking contrast.

Outdoor Annual Containers

Waxy begonias, petunias, pansies, impatiens and geraniums are among the types of outdoor annual plants that grow beautifully in containers. Annuals grow for one season only, but they bloom for the entire season, not just a few weeks. Plant a mixture of annual flowers in the same container to create a multicoloured, multidimensional outdoor display.

Waxy begonias, petunias and geraniums prefer full sun; pansies thrive in full to partial sun and impatiens prefer shady areas of your landscape. Petunias can flow over a hanging container basket, while pansies, impatiens, begonias and geraniums grow upright. Begonias, petunias, geraniums and impatiens bloom in an array of colours during the summer months that include shades of purple, red, white, blue, orange and pink. Pansies bloom during the colder months of fall, winter and early spring in a variety of colours.

Outdoor Perennial Containers

Chrysanthemums, bellflower, lady's mantle, Shasta daisy, phlox and delphiniums are a few of the perennial plants that will grow outdoors in containers. Perennial plants return each year, but they only bloom for a few weeks at a time. Begin your springtime display with delphiniums; place the container in full sun. Lady's mantle and bellflower bloom in the late spring to early summer, but they both prefer partial sun to full shade. Summer sun-loving perennial container plants include Shasta daisies and phlox. Chrysanthemums are perennial container plants that bloom in the fall; place chrysanthemum containers in full sun to partial shade.

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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.