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Shrubs for Containers: 5 Tried and True Plants

Pro Tips: Plants in containers need more water than plants in the ground. Because terra-cotta is a breathable material, plants in those containers dry out even faster than those planted in plastic or ceramic pots. In general, check the soil in your containers daily to be sure it stays moist but not wet. In windy or hot conditions, plants might even need watering twice a day. Before watering, insert your finger up to the first joint in the soil to determine whether water is needed.

Choose the right container: Always plant in a container with drainage holes. Roots allowed to stay in standing water will rot. Pour water over the soil until you see water running out of the drainage holes.

  • Angelina Sedum

  • Tristar Everbearing Strawberry

  • Rozanne Geranium

  • Pixie Meadowbright Coneflower

  • May Night Salvia

Angelina Sedum

If you have a hot, dry spot and need a plant with some color Angelina Sedum is the one to choose! It has bright golden, needle shaped leaves that trail along the ground or over the edge of a container. This excellent groundcover will tolerate any tough rock garden or green roof site in full sun and provide great golden foliage all season before changing to oranges and red in the fall. It does have yellow flowers mid-summer. Sedum makes an ideal plant in containers and troughs due to its ability to resist drought and heat, in fact preferring those conditions. Growing Sedum in sandy soil, among gravel or rocks or in fast draining containers is its favorite situation. Mature growth is around 6" tall.

Angelina Sedum Quick Facts:

Bloom Time: June

Color: Green, Orange, Red, Yellow

Plant Size: Around 6" tall

Fall Color: Red, orange, yellow

Sunlight: Full Sun

Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Dry

Growing Zones: 5 - 8

Tristar Everbearing Strawberry

The Tristar Everbearing Strawberry is medium-sized, firm, glossy fruit harvested early spring and repeats about every six weeks through the fall. Because of their small root systems, strawberries are ideal fruits for containers. Although any pot that's at least 18 inches wide and 8 inches deep will do, you might want to plant in a hanging basket or a strawberry pot, which features a series of pockets along the sides of the container as well as an opening at the top. A container that is wider than it is deep, such as a half-barrel, allows you to grow more plants.

Tristar Everbearing Strawberry Quick Facts:

Bloom Time: June - September

Color: Green, Red, White

Plant Size: Around 2 1/2" tall and wide

Flower Color: White

Fruit: Red

Sunlight: Full Sun

Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic

Growing Zones: 4 - 8

Rozanne Geranium

The 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year! The Rozanne Geranium is reportedly deer resistant. A free flowering perennial Geranium that is simply the best! Grows 2-1/2"size violet-blue flowers that adorn this plant from June through October. Foliage is green and lightly marbles with chartreuse, and turns red brown in fall. A great plant that gets to about 18" tall and about 2-2.5' across. The foliage does not open up in the center like other varieties. Hardiness zone 5. This perennial plant likes full sun to part shade. Rozanne is a hardy geranium that thrives in many different conditions. She is tough and resilient and beautifully bright. Container planting your Geranium Rozanne opens up a host of new options for the gardening enthusiast.

Rozanne Geranium Quick Facts:

Bloom Time: June - October

Color: Green, Blue, Pink, Purple, Red

Plant Size: Around 18" tall x 2-2.5' wide

Flower Color: Pink, purple

Fall Color: Purple

Sunlight: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Dry

Growing Zones: 5 - 8

Pixie Meadowbright Coneflower

Photo Credit: Monrovia

The Pixie Meadowbright Coneflower is a new introduction that will get to about 3' tall. Stiff petals do not droop like other selections. The flower color has more intense coloration of purple and carmine red. This plant definitely makes an excellent long lasting cut flower. This plant requires full sun and well drained fertile soil. A great plant for the sunny border, prairie garden, wildflower meadow or containers. A great naturalizer plant best used in mass plantings. Mature size is around 18-24" tall and wide. Hardiness zone 3.

Pixie Meadowbright Coneflower Quick Facts:

Bloom Time: July - August

Color: Green, Pink, Purple

Plant Size: Around 18-24" tall x 18-24" wide

Bloom Color: Purple-pink

Sunlight: Full Sun

Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Dry

Growing Zones: 4 - 9

May Night Salvia

The May Night Salvia won the 1997 perennial plant of the year! This beautiful plant forms a neat mound at its maturity. The violet-purple spikes appear in June and will continue into September if spent flowers are removed. It looks beautiful when planted in the masses and in containers as the main show! Be sure to plant in full sun. This plant is tolerant to drought conditions. Mature size is around 20" tall x 24" wide. Hardiness zone 3.

May Night Salvia Quick Facts:

Bloom Time: June - September

Color: Green, Purple

Plant Size: Around 1-3' tall x 1-3' wide

Flower Color: Purple

Sunlight: Full Sun

Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Dry

Growing Zones: 3 - 8

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