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Container Gardening Ideas

Enjoy nonstop color all season long with these container gardening ideas and plant suggestions. You’ll find beautiful pots to adorn porches and patios.

You may not have the space or patience to become a master gardener, but anyone can master container gardening. It’s a cinch—all you need is a container (a planter in true gardener speak), potting soil, some plants and you’re ready to go. Thinking of container gardening like this, it’s easy to see why container gardening ideas can be endless—so endless that you may need a few container garden ideas to point you and your pots in the right direction. From fall container gardening to hanging container gardening and even indoor container gardening—we’ve got tons of container garden ideas for you. With our ideas, you’ll be inspired to dirty your hands and spruce up your porch or patio with some pretty container gardens in no time.

Orange Crush

For a late-summer container that steals the show, make bold foliage the focal point. This easy-care, end-of-season planter uses vibrant ‘Rustic Orange’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), identified by its rusty-hued leaves that will last until the first frost. The filler in this space-saving pot is ‘Compact Hot Coral’ SunPatiens (Impatiens sp.), which has tiny tangerine blooms and dark, shiny leaves that contrast nicely with the bronze-toned coleus. Finally, ‘Yellow Moon’ wishbone flower (Torenia sp.) adds even more lush greenery to the arrangement and offers petite yellow petals with purple throats. This is a thirsty container, so you’ll need to make sure it stays well watered. Place it in full sun or partial shade.

Made for Shade

A simple-to-follow formula is all you need to create drama in a container. Here, it takes only four plants to convey the sweeping illusion of a floor-length gown. The key to pulling this off is starting with an elevated planter so the vibrant ‘Celebration’ and ‘Florida Sweetheart’ caladiums pop at eye level. Clusters of white wishbone flower fill the empty spaces between the caladium stems and also conceal the actual container, which means you can use just about any freestanding vessel. The final attention grabber is the graceful creeping Jenny spilling over the sides. Position this planter in the shade and water regularly for a gorgeous, easy-to-maintain display.

Traditional Freestanding Container

These porch-step containers begin with bright pink and yellow zinnias—think ‘Zowie! Yellow Flame’ or ‘Magellan Salmon’—which are one of our favorite flowers for their beautiful, round shape. Cooler ‘filler’ flowers, such as purple verbenas and blue calibrachoas are added to create contrast with texture and color. To make this container garden even simpler, opt for inexpensive plastic planters that are weatherproof and easy to move around. Grouping your containers in a tight space can help to create a homey, mini-garden vibe. Plus, when placed side by side, all of these incredible colors intensify. You’ll love to walk up to these bright wonders.

Traditional Hanging Container

This woven wicker basket is a natural way to decorate a bare wall in an outdoor space, and it will look just as beautiful whether you set it against brick, timber, or concrete. Pink zinnias and yellow tuberous begonias are the focal points or ‘thrillers’. You’ll love the variation between the tighter, round zinnias and the softer, open petals of the begonias. Blue Cape plumbago and golden lantana add an extra hint of drama—think of these as the ‘fillers’. Finally, English ivy, with its delicate, well-known shape, cascades over the side—that is the ‘spiller’, which gives this beautiful hanging container a sense of movement.

Traditional Tabletop Container

If you need proof that a plain and simple planter has the power to brighten up what could be a dull backyard side table then look right here. This container’s copper sheen complements, rather than competes with, the fuchsia zinnias. Yellow calibrachoas—which look like little petunias—spill over the container’s edge. Then, subtle splashes from purple verbenas create another unexpected yet robust focal point in this outdoor garden conversation space. If you would like your planter to have this beautiful feeling of flow, be sure to select a ‘trailing’ calibrachoa for this container because it grows lower than the mounding version.