Tall flowering plants for outdoor planters

Updated February 21, 2017

Outdoor planters can be used for a number of purposes in the garden, from framing an entryway to providing colour on a bare patio or poolside. Tall flowering plants can be especially striking, adding a sense of drama to the home landscape that simply cannot be achieved with plants that only grow to 30 or 60 cm (1 or 2 feet) tall.

Angel trumpet

A member of the nightshade family, angel trumpet, or Brugmansia suaveolens, is a flowering perennial native to southeast Brazil. The plant reaches an average height of between 1.8 to 4.5 m (6 to 15 feet), though it will likely be smaller if grown in a container. The plant is notable for its broad, olive-green leaves and for its trumpet-shaped flowers, which hang downward and are typically a shade of creamy white, yellow or even pink. Angel trumpet does best in full sunlight in South West England. Plant in a well-draining soil in an outdoor planter and water regularly. Angel trumpet is highly poisonous and may be fatal if ingested, so take care to keep children and pets away from the plant.

Orange peel cestrum

Orange peel cestrum is a flowering garden hybrid that reaches an average height of 1.2 to 1.5 m (3 to 5 feet). The perennial is characterised by its small, tubular flowers, which are a brilliant shade of orange. The flowers release a sweet fragrance in the evening. Orange peel cestrum is best suited to cultivation anywhere in the UK. Plant in a well-draining soil in a planter, and put in a bright, sunny location. Orange peel cestrum is quite hardy and rarely suffers from disease or pest infestation. Though the plant prefers hot weather, it may be grown in cooler climates as an annual.

Spanish bayonet

A member of the agave family, Spanish bayonet, or Yucca aloifolia, is a Mexico and North America native that produces long, sharp green leaves and a narrow trunk that may reach heights of between 1.5 to 6 m (5 to 20 feet) depending on the conditions. The plant produces an impressive show of flowers, blooming with a 60 cm (2 foot) stalk of white or purple-tinged blooms that may be as large as 10 cm (4 inches) across. Spanish bayonet is suitable for outdoor containers in all but the coolest parts of UK -- Central Scotland and the Northern Isles. Plant the bayonet in a well-draining sandy soil or cactus potting mix, and place in a bright, sunny location. Water sparingly.

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About the Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.