There may not be a better hobby for letting creative juices flow than flower gardening in pots.
Style, structure, contrasting and complimentary color combos and foliage textures. The sky is the limit!
Here we have gathered an extensive list of the absolute best flowering plants to inspire your next creative flowering pot collection.
Non-stop bloomers are available in every imaginable color, shape, and size. Make a structural statement with a mass planting overflowing with your favorite flowers.
Mix and match tall, short, and trailing plants in complimentary colors for an extravaganza of plant forms.
Create drama with contrasting colors and textures to catch the eye and command the admirers’ attention.
Check out our article, “5 Container Garden Design Secrets”. Certainly, it can give you even more inspiration for your flower containers.
The Formula For A Beautiful Flower Pot Display
There are so many incredible choices of spectacular flowering plants for pots to explore. However, the wonderful recipe of growing a thriller, filler, and a spiller is a trail to successful container flower gardening. Make it your own with plays on this recipe or make your own rules.
Begin with a General Idea
In the beginning, it may be fun to start with a general idea. Is there exciting company coming in August? As an example, try picking plants that will be spicy hot and flame through the summer events.
If, on the other hand, the dream is of soft, restful, relaxing summer moments, perhaps try rounded soft foliage and subdued hues of deep purple and quiet blues and greys reminiscent of lackadaisy days spent by a calm, glassy lake.
Four Spectacular Flower Categories
For simplicity’s sake, our list has four categories: solo plants that can fill a pot all on their own, thriller plants to act as a centerpiece, filler plants to surround your thriller, and spiller plants to trail down the sides of your pot.
Blooms are the main focus of the plants. They are annuals, summer blooming bulbs, or tender perennials to maximize their potential spectacular blossom show from spring all the way through to fall.
You Make the Rules!
Most importantly, there really are no rules and you can re-invent your own style any which way you wish. With so many options, it helps to put limits on ourselves so that the overall effect is cohesive and not offensive to the senses.
Certainly, all plants are gorgeous. We gardeners can only help them be more gorgeous by putting them next to each other in complimentary ways. That is to say, a plant is always better than no plant. Most of all, a flowering plant? Even better!
Provide Optimal Plant Care
Do please keep in mind, the only really important rule is to be kind to the plants. Give them good nutrition and water them well. You will see, they will reimburse you tenfold. Otherwise, you can use the below selected plants anyway you choose. Mix them with others that you have already fallen in love with!
Best Flowering En Masse, Specimen, or Solo Plants for Pots
In this first category, we have gathered an amazing list of flowering plants that stun when planted alone, as a specimen, or en masse. These great choices are prolific bloomers that have a trailing habit but can also stay upright to create fantastic, eye-catching form.
1. Fuchsia (Fuchsia)
A lover of shade, Fuchsia’s unique blooms come in a variety of single and double flowers in shades or contrasts of whites, pinks, reds, and purples.
2. Petunia (Petunia)
For nonstop color, petunias are an old favorite. They come in just about any color you can imagine with interesting flower variations of stripes, doubles, fragrant, and minis to extra-large.
To save yourself time, look for varieties proclaiming self-cleaning habits. This will save you from the chore of deadheading these long blooming, sun-loving versatile showstoppers.
3. Dahlia (Dahlia)
Smaller dahlia varieties are perfect for mass planting in a container. They thrive in full sun. Dahlias grow from tender bulbs. Enjoy the wide selection of color variations along with unique flower styles.
Here’s more info about growing dahlias in pots.
4. Million Bells (Calibrachoa)
As the name suggests, these lovelies bloom prolific small petunia-like flowers. Heat loving, they are perfect for containers in full sun spaces. Blossoms cover the plant from spring to hard frost.
Million Bells are tough, and low maintenance, because they do not require deadheading. A thrilling spiller plant which grows spectacular all on its own.
5. African Daisy (Osteospermum)
This showy, vibrant, colorful daisy performs in full sun, tolerant of heat and drought. The blooms keep on coming through to frost without deadheading. Breathtaking on its own or can be used as a filler plant too.
6. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula is always right! A wonder plant in the herb garden or to grow with vegetables. Calendula makes a great choice mixed in the annual and perennial border as well.
Another unique way to use this gorgeous plant is all on its own. Here, it can really show off its stuff. This showy flower performs best in full sun and makes a great cut flower. In addition, Calendula has many edible and medicinal uses as well.
Best Flowering Centerpiece, Main Plant, or Thriller Plants for Pots
Our second category is the best plants to use as centerpieces. To be sure, it wouldn’t be a list of the best container plants without incredible choices for the wow factor of the “thriller” aspect of the pot.
7. Canna lily (Canna x generalis)
Canna lilies bloom prolifically with iris-like flowers through the summer in hot weather in warm shades of yellow, orange, and red. For those gardeners in the north or during cooler summer seasons, the gorgeous tropical foliage makes up for any lack of blossoms.
8. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
A childhood favorite flower, snapdragon flowers have the face of a dragon that when squeezed, opens its jaws. A colorful, playful spike flower which blooms prolifically in every shade of the rainbow.
Snapdragon loves full sun. Pinch back plants early in the season for bushier plants and more prolific flowers.
9. Dwarf Sunflowers (Helianthus)
For the lovers of sunflowers, there are a huge variety of dwarf versions that grow incredibly well in containers. Additionally, they make a great choice to use as a centerpiece with filler plants that can help balance out the long stems. As the name suggests, sunflowers are sun lovers and will follow the sun.
10. Scarlet Sage (Salvia spendens)
If welcoming bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to the garden is the goal then Scarlet Sage might be the answer.
This dramatic flowering tender tropical perennial hits the high notes with tropical flare and pizzaz. And, since it is a salvia, its tough, drought tolerant, heat and sun loving, and can take poorer soil conditions.
11. Dahlia (Dahlia)
I know I included dahlias in the last section, but they are a centerpiece master too. The perfect dahlia can be grown year after year in a pot that is moved to an unfreezing location during the winter months. Great options are medium-sized dahlias because of their prized blooms which come in incredible shapes and sizes.
These are perfect as the thriller element of the flower container. For larger flowers, pinch off side buds to maximize the plant’s main feature flowers.
Best Flowering Plants for Stuffing and Filling Pots
The third category in our list are the fillers and stuffers. These are great for lushing out the pot, complimenting the pot itself, flattering the centerpiece or thriller, and oftentimes the anchor for the color and texture theme. This list has the best stuffer and filler options.
12. Geraniums (Pelargonium zonale)
Geraniums are known for their bold clusters of continuous blossoms. A classic for the container flower garden for sun to part shade. They do perform best with diligent deadheading. But the deadheading is easy. Just remove whole spent flower clusters.
Excitingly, their colors range from the purples, blues, the deepest reds, through pinks, corals, and salmons, to brightest whites.
13. Impatiens (Impatiens)
Impatiens are perfect for brightening up any shady spot. They bloom fiercely and fiery in every shade of pink imaginable. An expert at handling humid moist conditions and impatiens even perform in deep shade.
14. Begonia (Begonia)
Loved for its vibrant large double intricate flowers in bright illuminated colors, begonia performs in shade and can tolerate sun in more humid conditions. Don’t disregard the twisted heart-shaped speckled leaves which add extra interest to the pot.
15. Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
Sweet, petite, fragrant. Alyssum fits the bill as the stuffer of choice to compliment and show off centerpiece and trailing plants alike. And, they can take the heat and don’t stop blooming from spring through to frost.
16. Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
Zinnias bring the heat to summer days with their hot yellows, reds, and oranges and they are heat and drought tolerant. Gorgeous as a cut flower and adored by butterflies all season long.
17. Marigold (Tagetes)
From the gorgeous giant African marigolds, rich double fiery blooms of French marigolds, or the fragrant prolific signet marigolds, there is a marigold to stuff into just about any container.
Frost tender perennials, these beauties can brighten up a container, pay tribute to a tall thriller plant, or bring in the pollinators while being a helpful neighbor.
Best Trailing, Hanging, Draping, and Spilling Flowering Plants for Pots
This fourth and final comprehensive list of trailing, flowing, spiller plants is included to use potentially to embellish the structural style, soften the edges, and contribute to the overall theme of the container.
18. Bacopa (Sutera cordata)
A child-like drawing of a flower with common names like snowflake, bacopa falls all over itself aiming to please. Its prolific streaming stems are dappled in bright white, pink, or blue flowers. This little gem thrives in part sun to sun.
19. Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
Light and airy, lobelia gives and gives. It is smothered in draping dainty flowers. Attractive to bees and butterflies. Lobelia is sun loving, easy to grow, and does not need deadheading. Usually found in shades of blue and violet, there are rosy and white varieties available.
20. Trailing Begonia (Begonia boliviensis)
Just because it’s a spilling plant doesn’t mean it isn’t thrilling. The colorful pendulous flowers almost seem to glow in the dark. An easy to care for annual that doesn’t need deadheading to rebloom. Although, removing spent blooms can be done for tidiness’s sake. Rated for sun, begonia blooms in the shade and is more heat tolerant with high humidity.
21. Petunia (Petunia)
Petunia can be grown alone, but just like us, it might be even better together. Its cascading vines are smothered in gorgeous tubular blooms in many shades and color combination. Look for self-cleaning varieties to reduce the chore of deadheading.
22. Black-Eyed-Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata)
Possibly considered a big sister to bacopa, the child-like Black-Eyed Susan flowers are bright and look like an elf came along and pinned them all over the plant.
This fantastic flowing annual grows up to 20 feet in its tropical origins. In a single annual season, it may grow up to 8 feet so is great to smother an area with fun orange flowers.
Black-Eyed-Susan vine can also climb, adding even more uses to this strong, playful performer.
23. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
A spicy looking plant with tasty edible leaves and flowers, nasturtium climbs, hangs, and mounds. The lilypad-like leaves create a delicious background to the flame colored flowers who are loved by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
24. Fan Flower (Scaevola aemula)
Fan flower is an easy breezy plant that looks and acts like little fans in the wind. It dances and flows, softening edges and minds. A relaxing plant the requires little but loves heat, can handle drought, and doesn’t need deadheading to bloom all summer long.
25. Verbena (Verbena)
Maybe an old-fashioned favorite. However, the cascading fragrant flowers of verbena bring about that childlike feeling that summer is here forever.
Blooming from spring to hard frost, verbena comes in shades of white, pinks, corals, mauves, and royal purple. Thrives in the sun, brings in the butterflies, doesn’t need deadheading, makes a lovely wild-flower style bouquet, and is heat and drought tolerant.
Flower gardening in pots is undeniably a chronic condition worthy of multiple seasons of exploration! Additionally, container flower gardening is an addictive hobby that creates pleasure for all the senses, not just for the gardener but for all those around to enjoy.