Whether you’re gardening on a balcony in the city or on acres of land, containers are a great addition to any landscape. They give you a chance to express your own style and brighten up any outdoor patio or living space. Most think of annual varieties when planning their containers for the year, but there are a variety of perennials and summer-blooming bulbs that thrive in containers and create a unique statement in any garden.
The key to a successful container garden, especially when planting perennials, is to make sure your containers have good drainage and you start with a rich potting soil. A little fertilizer once you plant is also a good idea to give your plants the best chance to grow healthy and produce vibrant blooms. Also, make sure to check the light requirements for the varieties you’re planting and place your containers accordingly.
The Best Perennials For Containers
Any smaller, compact or “dwarf” perennial should do well in containers. Make sure to take into account the height of the plant when deciding which container to plant it in. You want to make sure the roots have plenty of room to grow!
Great Perennials for Containers:
- BellflowerLavender Platinum Blonde
- Coral Bells
- Aster Wood’s Pink
- Bee Balm Fireball
- Fountain Grass Karley Rose
The Best Bulbs For Containers
Summer-Blooming Bulbs produce some of the most spectacular flowers of the season and are a prime candidate for show-stopping containers.
Great Bulbs for Containers:
- Dark Angel Dahlia Dracula
- Peacock Orchids
- Elephant Ears
- Calla Lilies
- Nerine Lilies
How To Over-Winter Your Containers
You have a few options for storing your potted perennials for the winter. If you have a dark, dry basement, garage or other storage space that won’t dip below freezing, store your potted perennials there for the winter. Water them when you first set them in for the winter and then let them go dormant. Come early spring, you can bring them back outdoors. If you don’t have a cool, dark place to store your potted perennials for the winter, you can plant them temporarily in the ground until the early spring. If you don’t have room (or a garden to do this in) you can place the containers together against the side of your home and cover them with shredded leaves to protect them from the harsh cold.
For tender bulbs such as Dahlias, Caladium, Canna Lilies and more, we recommend taking the bulbs out of their containers after the green growth has died down in the fall. Store them in a cool, dry and dark place for the winter. A dry paper bag in a temperature-controlled garage or the back of a dark closet works great. Come spring, you can re-plant the bulbs in your containers again. You can learn more about bulb storage here.
Containers are a great way to experiment and have fun with gardening. Regardless of the size of your land, there are endless possibilities when it comes to growing in containers it’s a great way to get creative with your favorite varieties.