Growing flowers in containers is a great way to get close to nature and enjoy the outdoors. This is also a fun way to get children involved in gardening, and the elderly can enjoy gardening in containers when they can no longer do the physical work required for a large garden.
When people think of container gardening, the first thought that usually comes to mind is a beautiful display of colorful flowers. Any flower that can be grown in a garden, can also be grown in a container.
Types of Flowers for Containers
There are three types of flowers that can be grown in containers. These are annuals, perennials, and vines.
Annuals are plants the mature, flower, and die all in one season. They are the quickest and easiest way to add color to your container gardens and they are the most well known when growing flowers in containers.
Perennials are plants that come back every year. Climate has a lot to do with what is considered a perennial. In mild zones of the West and South, geraniums and chrysanthemums are considered perennials, while in the colder north they are treated as annuals. It is important to know the planting zone of your region when you are choosing plants for growing flowers in containers. There are 11 planting zones in the United States. To find your zone, check the USDA Hardiness Zone Finder Map. You will be able to find your planting zone along with a lot of other information about your area, just by entering your zip code into the map.
If you live in the South, you may find the Heat Tolerance Zone Map to be of more useful in your area
Vines can be annual or perennial, deciduous(a plant having foliage that is shed annually at the end of the growing season) or evergreen. Their growth pattern makes them ideal for inclusion in garden containers. Because they are confined to a container, it is easy to keep them confined and limit their growth so that they do not over run your garden.
Using Annuals in Garden Containers
When growing flowers in containers, the most popular type of flowers are the annuals. There are many ways to use annuals in garden containers. They can be used as stand alone plants to brighten up a bare wall or barren corner. A pot of pansies or petunias will bring a splash of color anywhere and if placed in a moveable container, can be considered a portable flower arrangement. When you are having a social event you can move them in closer to decorate your party area, and later move them back by the front entrance or garden path where they were originally placed. They can also be used to highlight other garden plants or as a backdrop to larger focal point plants.
Using Perennials in Garden Containers
The blooming time of perennials is not as long as that of annuals. By planting perennials in pots, you can bring them to the forefront during their showy blooming time, and as they become dormant, remove them from view.
Perennials can also be mixed with annuals for a longer show time. Many perennials have foliage that lasts through the summer so you can get to enjoy them longer by planting them with annuals to extend the bloom time of your garden containers.
Using Vines in Garden Containers
Because of their trailing growth patterns, vines are always a popular choice for containers. They add visual interest to the arrangement by leading the eye out and downwards from the containers. They also soften the edges of the containers, and often hide the container completely if that is the intention of the gardener, so that the plants are the focal point and not the container itself.
Choosing Flowers for Container Gardens
There are many plants that will perform well within the confines of a container. I’ve created a listing of the most popular and readily available flowers for containers. You can find this at:
Choosing Flowers for Container Gardens Ageratum to Lobelia, and the list continues at Container Garden Flowers , Marigolds to Zinnias.
These plants have stood the test of time and popularity and are all worthy of attention. However, this is not an exhaustive list by any means and the plants listed here are suggestions meant only to get you started in the wonderful world of container gardening.