Growing perennials in pots is a fantastic way to add lasting summer color to your garden, balcony, or patio.
Not only does it save space, but it also allows you to easily rearrange your plants for a fresh look throughout the season.
By choosing the right perennial plants, you can enjoy vibrant blooms and lush foliage year after year without the need for constant replanting.
When it comes to selecting perennials for container gardens, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.
Firstly, look for plants that are well-suited to container life. These should be drought-tolerant, able to thrive in limited soil space and have a relatively compact growth habit.
Secondly, consider plants that offer long-lasting blooms for an extended display of color throughout the summer months.
In this guide, you’ll discover three great choices for growing perennials in pots, each offering its own unique splash of color, texture, and visual interest.
With these selections, your container garden will be transformed into a stunning display of summer blooms that you can enjoy for years to come.
Why Choose Perennials For Pots
Perennials offer a wide variety of benefits for container gardening, making them an excellent choice for adding lasting summer color to your outdoor spaces. In this section, we’ll discuss their versatility and low-maintenance qualities.
One of the greatest advantages of choosing perennials for your potted garden is their versatility. With a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes available, you can easily find perennials that suit your taste and the specific needs of your outdoor space.
Some popular perennials for container gardening include:
- Lavender: a fragrant option that offers a calming presence and attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
- Coral Bells: providing vibrant, bell-shaped blooms that add color to your garden throughout the summer.
- Sedum: an easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant plant that offers interesting textures and displays colorful foliage.
Perennials are often praised for being low maintenance. Many require only basic care to thrive, making them a perfect addition to your container garden if you’re looking for plants that won’t require too much time and energy.
Some general care tips for perennials in pots include:
- Ensuring they have adequate drainage to prevent root rot.
- Watering regularly, but not overwatering. Check the moisture level of the soil before adding water.
- Feeding them with a slow-release fertilizer designed for perennials to provide the necessary nutrients.
3 Great Perennial Choices
1. Geranium ‘Rozanne’
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is a fantastic choice for your potted perennials. This hardy plant offers striking blue-violet flowers that bloom from late spring to the first frost. It’s a versatile option, as it can thrive in various lighting conditions, from full sun to partial shade.
The plant grows up to 20 inches tall, so make sure to choose a pot with enough depth. Rozanne is also resistant to most common diseases, making it a low-maintenance option for lasting summer color.
2. Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’
Another excellent perennial for potted gardens is Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’. The vibrant flowers come in multiple colors – red, orange, yellow, purple, and white – creating a colorful impact on your outdoor space.
This drought-tolerant plant loves full sun, requires well-draining soil, and attracts pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
With a mature height of 18-30 inches, select a pot that will accommodate its growth.
3. Gaillardia ‘Arizona Sun’
Finally, consider incorporating Gaillardia ‘Arizona Sun’ in your potted garden for an everlasting splash of color.
The unique red and yellow flowers create a warm, inviting atmosphere in any outdoor setting. Like Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’, Gaillardia is drought-tolerant and requires full sun.
It’s a compact plant, growing between 8-12 inches tall, making it perfect for mixing with other, taller perennials in larger pots.
Additionally, Gaillardia is resistant to most pests and diseases, ensuring healthy growth with minimal effort.
Choosing The Right Pot
When growing perennials in pots, selecting the right pot is an important aspect to consider. In this section, we will discuss the factors to pay attention to, such as size, material, and drainage factors.
Size And Material
You should select a pot that is large enough to accommodate your plant’s roots and allow for proper growth. Generally, it’s best to choose a container 2-3 times larger than the plant’s rootball. When selecting a pot, consider the following materials:
- Plastic: Lightweight and affordable, plastic pots are a popular choice. They retain moisture well but can become brittle over time.
- Terracotta: These pots are porous, allowing for excellent airflow and drainage. However, they can be heavy and breakable.
- Ceramic: Aesthetically pleasing and available in many styles, ceramic pots can be quite heavy. They insulate the roots well but can crack in freezing temperatures.
- Wood: Wooden pots are sturdy but can eventually rot. If you choose this option, it is essential to apply a protective sealant.
Proper drainage is crucial for the health of your perennials. A container with insufficient drainage can lead to root rot and other problems. Keep the following factors in mind:
- Holes: Ensure your chosen pot has multiple drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape.
- Elevate: Placing your pot on a stand or a couple of bricks will improve drainage and prevent water from pooling.
- Lining: Adding some gravel, small stones, or broken shards of terracotta at the bottom of your pot provides an additional layer of drainage.
These guidelines will help you choose the right pot for your perennials, ensuring lasting summer color and healthy plants.
Planting And Care Tips
Potting Soil Mix
To ensure your perennials thrive in pots, choose a high-quality potting soil mix. This mix should provide good drainage and aeration, as well as sufficient nutrients for your plants. You can also create your own mix by combining equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and compost or well-rotted manure. Don’t forget to add a slow-release fertilizer to the mix for added nutrients.
Proper watering is essential for your potted perennials. Check the soil moisture regularly and water when the top 1 to 2 inches feel dry. When watering, make sure to thoroughly soak the root ball until water runs out of the drainage holes. This ensures your plants receive an even amount of moisture. Be aware that potted plants dry out more quickly than those in the ground, so monitor them closely, especially during hot or windy conditions.
Feed your perennials with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer according to the package instructions. Typically, this should be done at planting time and then re-applied every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth and reduced flowering. If your plants show signs of nutrient deficiency, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth, you can also apply a water-soluble fertilizer to give them a quick boost.