Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ has long trailing stems with tiny leaves of the most iridescent silver. It’s very hardy and tolerant of both sun and light shade.


Helichrysum petiolare is a shrubby perennial plant, which sends out long stems covered in small felty leaves, which can be either silver-grey or lime-green, depending on the variety. It’s happy in both sun and light shade.


Bacopa (also known as Sutera cordata) has trailing stems and small single flowers in white, pink or mauve which appear through summer and beyond. A very compact grower, it suits sun or light shade and is extra handy as an edging plant for large pots.


Golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is a low-growing trailing plant with leaves of golden green. It’s a vigorous grower and looks great cascading out of pots or over rocks. Plant it in sun or shade and keep well watered during hot weather.


Scaevola, known commonly as the fan flower, is an Australian native groundcover which bears pretty little blooms, mainly in shades of mauve, blue and purple. Blooming on and off between spring and autumn, it does best in full sun and well-drained soil, with good watering through dry weather.


Add a vertical touch in your container garden by growing climbing plants for containers. Must see these 24 best vines for pots.

The climbing plants in pots can bring a real touch of nature to any place, and they are a good way to add some privacy, too. These plants will create a nest of greenery where you can relax and rejuvenate and harbor in the mild soothing fragrance and lively colors.

1. Ivy

Ivy is one of the best climbers for containers. Its ability to adapt to all types of position makes it an excellent choice for beginners. It can grow up to 80 feet high, and its evergreen foliage remains green even in winters. Plant it in a container that is wide and shallow rather than narrow and deep.

2. Morning Glory

Morning glories are a good option and one of the best creepers or vines for containers. This old-fashioned plant is easy to grow.

3. Clematis

Clematis is the perfect plant to add vertical height and interest to any container garden. Plant clematis in a large container. Fertilize this plant regularly and make sure to always water it thoroughly and deeply.

4. Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper’s foliage turn into a beautiful red in the autumn. You can also grow it in a pot, even on a balcony. It improves privacy! To grow this, find a really big container and provide sturdy support of a trellis.

5. Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing hydrangea is a great option, if you live under the USDA Zones 5-8 and have a lot of room as this vine can grow up to 70 feet long. It is shade tolerant and thrives best in semi-shaded positions. This plant needs a large pot of about of the size of the half of a whiskey barrel.

6. Trumpet vine

This big (up to 40 ft.) and a fast growing vine is considered as a weed in some parts due to its invasiveness. Despite the fact, this plant is famous for its trumpet-shaped flowers that come in shades of yellow to red and attract hummingbirds. Trumpet vine is more suitable for warm temperates, still it can acclimatize and grow in cooler regions if the protection from cold is provided in winter.

7. Bougainvillea

The bougainvillea is not a vine but a climbing shrub, it is easy to grow, colorful and controllable. You can grow it to give a tropical touch to your container garden. As bougainvillea is a tropical plant, the protection in winter is required in temperate zones.

8. Honeysuckle

There are about 180 different varieties of honeysuckle available as vines and creepers and can be grown diversely in a variety of climates (USDA Zones 3-11). Most of the honeysuckle varieties are evergreen in warmer climates. When growing honeysuckle, place the plant in full sun and do a regular watering. Occasional feeding with balanced fertilizer is enough.

9. Wisteria

Wisteria is one the most popular vines and it grows best in moderately cool climate. It can become huge, however, by providing solid support to the wisteria vine and some space you can grow it in a container, too. Also, it is required that you transplant this plant time to time into one size bigger pot. You can learn how to grow wisteria in a pot here.

10. Common Jasmine

Truly the most fragrant flower. Even its heady fragrance is sometimes too much for some people. The Jasminum Officinalis is easy to grow in containers and requires well-draining soil and warmth (hardy in USDA Zones 8-11) to thrive. The plant usually blooms in summer but in tropics, jasmines are evergreen and in flower most of the year.

11. Confederate Jasmine

Confederate jasmine is a robust plant. It has moderate watering needs and doesn’t mind the hot and humid weather. Similar to other jasmines, it also likes warm climate and exposure to the sun. The beautiful star-shaped flowers appear in clusters. This vine is suitable for containers as it only grows up to 20 ft. long.

12. Climbing Rose

Climbing roses bloom prolifically, many varieties have a pleasant rosy scent. Consider the overall mature size of the variety that you are going to grow and the time you can devote to it, as roses require care and maintenance. Prune the plant on time and regularly remove the faded flowers to keep it in an attractive appearance.

Also Read: How to Make a Container Rose Garden

13. Mandevilla

Mandevilla is an eye catcher. With proper care and an optimal location to enjoy the graceful, funnel-shaped flowers of this plant appear all summer. However, Mandevilla requires warm climate to thrive but you can still grow it as an annual in cooler zones.

14. Cup and Saucer Vine

Cup and saucer vine is a fast growing abundant flowering plant that is native to Mexico. It blooms prolifically but to do this the plant needs an optimal bright location. In temperates, you can grow it either as an annual or protect the plant from winter by keeping it indoors.

15. Passion Flower

One of the most beautiful privacy protection plant for a container garden. If you prefer an exotic flair and extraordinary flowers, the passion flower is a right choice for you. It is important that you provide it sufficient sun. The passion flower is slightly frost resistant, but it should spend its time in a favorable spot in the winters.

16. Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is a perennial vine that requires a sunny place and a trellis to climb on. This period flowering climbing plant can reach a height of over two meters with good care! Thus, the Black-eyed Susan is ideal if you want color and privacy in your container garden.

17. Dutchman’s Pipe

If you are looking for an unusual plant for your container garden, plant the dutchman’s pipe. The lush, large and heart-shaped foliage also provide interest apart from flowers that have a mildly unpleasant odor. Growing this unique plant as a perennial is only possible in warm subtropical or tropical climates. Everywhere else (as the plant is not frost tolerant) it must be grown in a greenhouse or indoors.

18. Butterfly Pea

Butterfly pea is a tropical vine and grows best in USDA Zones 10 and 11. In a cold temperate zone, grow this perennial as an annual. Plant it in a medium to a large sized container with a trellis to climb on from the initial stage.

19. Moonflower

Moonflower is a fantastic night blooming plant with large trumpet-shaped fragrant flowers. Place the pot near your patio or bedroom window to enjoy its fragrance in the night but make sure the place receives morning sun and light afternoon shade. Deadhead or remove the spent blooms to encourage more flowers.

20. Asarina Scandens

Asarina, which is also known as climbing snapdragon is perfect for growing in containers as it seldom exceeds the height of 8-10 feet. Many hybrid cultivars are available in the shade of different colors. You can also use this vine in hanging baskets or as a groundcover. Asarina is more a warm climate plant and often grown as an annual in temperates.

21. Canary Creeper

Let this annual vine ramble up on a trellis, and it will award you with its showy yellow flowers that look unmatchable. The canary creeper has long blooming period from summer to fall and even more in warm subtropical regions where it is perennial (USDA Zone 9 and higher).

22. Sweet Pea

Grow sweet peas in warm zones in fall and winter. In temperates, plant this fragrant vine in spring or summer. When growing in containers choose bush type varieties.

23. Sweet Autumn Clematis

Sweet autumn clematis vine forms masses of amazingly fragrant flowers from late summer to fall (autumn). You can grow this vine diversely in both the cold and warm climates (USDA Zones 4-9). Also, in subtropical and tropical climates if shade from afternoon sun is provided.

24. Snail Vine

This beautiful tropical vine has rare snail-like fragrant flowers that are white in the beginning and later unfurl to lavender pink. However, it’s easy to grow snail vine in non-tropical zones, but the plant dies in winter and returns again in the spring.

Top 10 Hanging Basket Plants

Top 10 hanging basket plants

There’s nothing quite as captivating in a garden as seeing as a full, cascading hanging basket, overflowing with colour with the flowers catching the sun. Planting up a hanging basket is not as daunting as you may think, we have handy video guides and now we even have our fantastic BloomAround Hanging Basket which actually makes it very easy to create a stunning display!.

Choosing which pre-planted hanging basket plants to display is really down to personal choice of colour, variety and trailing habit, do you want long trailing stems full of blooms that can grow down 60cm or more, or would you prefer a ball of colour hanging outside your front door?

If you’re not sure, here are our top ten basket plants for you to choose from this season:

1. Begonia x tuberhybrida

Instantly recognisable with their large blowsy blooms that hang pendulously from the thick stems, begonia tuberhybrida are one of our most popular basket and bedding plants. They are incredibly easy to grow and will give you a full season of colour. Varieties such as Begonia ‘Apricot Shades Improved’ will trail down over 45cm and will keep on flowering no matter what the weather so that you will always have sunshine shades of apricot and lemon even on the cloudiest of days! Other brightly coloured varieties include Begonia ‘Non-stop Mocca’ with its colourful flowers contrasting beautifully against the dark foliage, or the impressive Begonia ‘Majestic Mixed’ with huge double blooms reaching up to 20cm across!

2. Fuchsias

Exotic looking flowers drip down through the summer from these amazing plants; fuchsias are very tough hanging basket plants that are also semi hardy, so that they can be kept in a frost free place over winter and grow again the following year! Fuchsias are a well known and very popular plant that has been developed from a hardy shrub in beds and borders to wonderful trailing varieties such as Fuchsia ‘Purple Rain’ or Fuchsia ‘White King’ that will fill a basket easily and be smothered in fantastic blooms! If you’re unsure of which particular variety to choose then there’s always our pre-selected mixes, especially the Fuchsia ‘Giant Flowered Collection’ for some really impressive floral displays!

3. Petunias

Petunias have developed hugely in recent years, still available in simple, single colours that look amazing when planted in a single basket and hang down in huge drifts of colour, there are also some fantastic new varieties that really add a huge ‘wow’ factor to your summer displays. Petunia ‘Night Sky’ has become a firm customer favourite, an amazing variety that sports random white “stars” set against a deep purple background, no two flowers are ever the same and planted en masse they create their own galaxy! Two tone petunias are also becoming very popular too, the Petunia ‘Amore’ varieties where two adjoining petals form lovely heart shapes in different colours make a wonderful display, as do the customer favourite, Petunia ‘Frills and Spills Mixed’ with a riot of frilled, picotee and two tone blooms that fill a basket with cascading colour, even in our British summers!

4. Bacopa

Often used as a “filler plant” in mixed displays, Bacopa is a valuable plant in hanging baskets, it is easy to grow and will comfortably trail down well over 45cm, smothered in small blue or white flowers. These dainty looking yet incredibly tough plants are perfect for adding to colour themed baskets Bacopa ‘Snowtopia’ with its pure white blooms or Bacopa ‘Blutopia’ for a blue coloured or mixed display.

5. Lobelia

A full season of amazing colours come from annual lobelia, it cascades over the edge of hanging baskets and patio containers as if it was made for the task! The small flowers appear in such vast numbers on each plant that it can look like a single block of colour from a distance. Single coloured varieties, such as Lobelia ‘Regatta Midnight Blue’ create a dazzling cascade of violet-blue flowers, each with a tiny gleaming white eye while one of the newer varieties, Lobelia ‘Hot Pretty Heaven’ has been bred to keep flowering all through the summer and produces beautiful bi-coloured blooms of pale blue and white even in the hottest of weather!

6. Calibrachoa

A miniature version of the petunia often referred to as ‘minitunia’, these prolific flowering basket plants are becoming more and more popular every year. The long lasting and free flowering plants are just as vigorous as their larger cousins but are absolutely covered in much smaller, dainty flowers. Calibrachoa are tolerant to summer showers and will grow really well in both sun and shade, making them ideal for growing in a duller area of the garden that needs cheering up! Varieties such as ‘Mini Rosebud Romantic Peachy’ will delight you with its delicate flowers of peach and pink, each with contrasting veining and as a bonus, they don’t even need dead-heading, they literally look after themselves! For a true kaleidoscope of colour, try Minitunia ‘Kabloom Mixed’, which as its name suggests, explodes with colour during the summer months!

7. Geraniums (Pelargoniums)

A traditional summer bedding plant that is known by all gardeners, old and new, geraniums are drought tolerant, tough plants that grow well in hanging baskets where sometimes watering is ‘overlooked’. Often seen in their bright red form in varieties such as Geranium ‘Best Red’ F1 Hybrid , these easy to grow plants are now available in a variety of colours and have also been bred to trail well over the side of a hanging basket. Geranium ‘GeRainbow Mixed’ has cascades of colour and larger blooms and look incredible as they fill a hanging basket with bright blooms. The Geranium ‘Rosebud Collection’ will also trail down at least 45cm and are so named because the blooms never fully open and so always seem to look like rosebuds waiting to flower, a wonderful sight indeed!

8. Osteospermum

Osteospermum are naturally drought tolerant which makes them ideal for baskets and pots. Normal African Daisies can also be planted in hanging baskets as their spreading habit will make them spill over the edge of the basket and form more of a ball shape, planting up a basket with the Osteospermum 3D Collection will definitely give you a display of unusual and extremely attractive flowers!

9. Nasturtiums

For a plant that’s incredibly easy to grow from seed and can grow up to 100cm long, then why not try nasturtiums in your baskets? The colour variety is phenomenal from creamy white to deep maroon and loads in between, including some that actually change colour! Whilst some Nasturtiums, such as ‘Dwarf Compact Mixed’ will stay relatively small (although still enough to fill a basket!), others, such as Nasturtium ‘Troika Spotty Dotty’ will hang down over a metre and constantly produce golden yellow blooms with striking red flashes inside. For the truly unusual, try Nasturtium ‘Chameleon’ , whose orchid like blooms change from pale yellow to a pinky-red colour over a few days, it needs to be seen to be believed!

10. Verbena

Colourful displays are guaranteed with Verbena in your hanging baskets. These totally carefree, easy to grow plants, come highly recommended and can provide a stunning mix of shades in both pots and baskets. They tend to have a more compact growing habit and so will form masses of flowers that gently spill over the edge of their container. Verbena ‘Quartz Mixed’ look absolutely fabulous planted up in hanging baskets or for a more patriotic display try our Union Jack Mixed too!

Container plant combinations for a sunny spot

Many container plants thrive in a sunny spot – and for the best effect, it’s best to combine several different plants that complement each other. It’s not easy to get right, so we’ve done the hard work – with nine stunning combinations for you to try.


Some of the plants recommended here are not only suited to a sunny site but also to windy conditions, where compost is prone to drying out. These are useful if you’re battling with an exposed plot, including coastal and higher altitude gardens.

For more plants suited to exposed conditions, take a look at our top 10 plants for windy sites.

Discover beautiful, full-sun planting combinations for dazzling summer displays, below.

These are useful if you’re battling with an exposed plot, including coastal and higher altitude gardens.

Curry plant, catmint and sea holly

The beautiful silver foliage of Helichrysum italicum softens the edge of this wooden planter, while the flowering plants (Eryngium varifolium and Nepeta x faassenii) provide height and interest at the back of the display. This is a tough combo that will withstand the elements.

Salvia, plectranthus and euphorbia

Restricting the colour palette to pink and silver gives this container a country feel with a contemporary twist. We used Salvia ‘Savannah Salmon Rose’, Plectranthus ‘Silver Shield’ and Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’. The plants will mingle as the season progresses, putting on a display until the first frosts. A pale terracotta pot completes the look.

Pelargonium, petunia, lobelia and busy Lizzies

This haphazard mix of traditional summer bedding creates a display that will produce flowers for months on end. Aim for a range of shapes, colours and textures, and use a dark-glazed pot to let the blooms stand out. We went for dark red pelargonium, pink and purple petunia, dark pink busy Lizzie, violet trailing lobelia.

Dianthus, verbena and fescue

Perennial blooms of Dianthus ‘Devon Dove’, Verbena rigida and an ornamental grass, Festuca glauca, make the perfect team in a display that’s tough and perfect for an exposed spot.

Bidens, coleus, tulbaghia and euphorbia

A dark terrazzo trough allows the yellow blooms of Bidens aurea and lime foliage of Coleus ‘Lime Wizard’ to really zing. Large leaves will make an impact, and create highlights of colour with a trailing plant that has intense, vibrant blooms. The other plants used are Tulbaghia violacea ‘Silver Lace’ and Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’.

Fleabane, feathergrass and sea holly

Three tough perennials combine to create a pot that will hold its own in hot and windy conditions. Stipa tenuissima provides movement, while Erigeron karvinskianus will flower all summer. All plants can be transferred to the garden. We also used Eryngium variifolium.

Marguerite, feathergrass and pansy

This vibrant colour mix of container plants for full sun has a refreshing feel. Plenty of flowers, including Argyranthemum ‘Madeira’ and yellow pansy give it a pretty edge, and the ornamental grass (Stipa tenuissima) provides a textural backbone to the whole scheme. This display will last all summer, too.

Dahlia, pelargonium and verbena

A compact dahlia (Dahlia ‘Terracotta’) provides a big flower hit in this display and creates the centerpiece of the container. The interesting foliage and complementary blooms of Pelargonium ‘Occold Shield’ and Verbena ‘Peaches ‘n’ Cream’ accompany it, while a traditional terracotta pot completes the look.

Houseleeks, aloe vera, sempervivum and sedum

A contemporary metal container sets the tone for this display. The succulent plants ensure that the scheme needs very little maintenance. Aeonium arboreum ’Atropurpureum’ provides the backbone, with smaller Aloe vera, Sempervivum calcareum, Sedum spurium ‘Tricolour’, Aeonium arboreum and Sedum ‘Ruby Glow’ around it.


Looking to perk up shady spots in the garden? Our feature on container plants for shade is packed with ideas.

  • Various herbs in pots, including parsely, rosemary and chives
  • Bougainvillea – Bougainvillea spp.
  • Purple petunias
  • Red geraniums – Geranium pelargonium
  • Mexican orange blossom – Choisya ternata
  • Chinese wisteria – Wisteria sinensis
  • New Zealand flax – Phormium tenax
  • ‘Hen and Chicks’ succulent – Sempervivum
  • Potted cumquat – Kumquat fortunella
  • Ixora – Ixora chinensis
  • Clivia – Clivia miniata
  • White/pink daphne – Daphne odora
  • White Camellia japonica
  • Pink azaleas – Azalea magnifica
  • Ponytail palm – Beaucarnea stricta
  • Red begonia
  • Rhapis palm – Raphis excelsa
  • Potted fern
  • Dark pink Cymbidium orchids
  • China doll – Radermachera sinica

Many people love growing plants in pots, but potted gardens can be a lot of work.

Choosing the right plants is half the battle. Some plants (such as roses, most Australian natives, most fruit trees and most vegetables) hate growing in pots. They will always struggle and they will never look good. Others love having their roots contained, so they thrive and flower well in pots.

Here is the Burke’s Backyard list of the 10 best pot plants for full sun, and the 10 best pot plants for shade. Don has chosen plants to suit a range of climates. To find out which ones grow best in your area, check with your local nursery.

10 best pot plants for full sun

Herbs: try basil, coriander, parsley and chives. Herbs are readily available from nurseries and garden centres. Expect to pay about $4.75 for 150mm (6″) pots.

Annuals/ bedding plants: try petunias for summer, and pansies from winter to spring. Petunias (Petunia x hybrida) are available for planting now. They cost from $4.25 a punnet.

Pelargoniums and geraniums: try regal pelargonium, zonal geraniums and ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum). Pelargoniums are very hardy and they love hot, dry positions. They will grow in all areas of Australia except for the tropics. You’ll pay around $10 for 200mm (8″) pots.

Mexican orange blossom (Choisya ternata) is similar in appearance to murraya (Murraya paniculata) but is a better choice for cooler areas. It has glossy green foliage and perfumed white flowers. Plants in 200mm (8″) pots cost about $19.

Bougainvilleas love full sun and some varieties (particularly the dwarf Bambino range) do very well in pots. ‘Raspberry Ice’ is also a good one to try. Expect to pay from $12-20 for bougainvilleas. Bougainvilleas are very hardy and grow in all but the coldest areas of Australia.

New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) is an excellent accent plant for a container. Dwarf varieties are available, and there are new varieties in a wide range of foliage colours. Ask at your local nursery for advice on the best ones for your climate. You’ll pay around $18 for a 200mm (8″) pot.

Succulents are the most fashionable plants in Australia today. Try agave, echeveria and bromeliads. As well as having interesting form and foliage colour, some succulents produce attractive flowers. Prices range from about $7 to $15.

Wisteria does well grown as a potted standard, and potted wisterias are not as rampant as wisterias planted in the ground. Try Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) or Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda). Expect to pay from $12 to $95.

Citrus trees have glossy green foliage, fragrant white flowers and delicious fruit. Cumquats and ‘Meyer’ lemons are well suited to pot cultivation. Expect to pay about $30 for plants in 250mm (10″) pots. Citrus grows in all but the coldest areas of Australia.

Ixora (Ixora chinensis ‘Prince of Orange’) flowers during spring and summer, and needs a frost-free area. New varieties are available with improved flower colour and size. 200mm (8″) pots cost about $18.95.

10 best pot plants for shade

Clivia (Clivia miniata) has dark green, strap-like foliage and orange flowers. New varieties are available with red, cream and yellow flowers. Prices vary depending on the variety, but the new varieties are the most sought after and the most expensive. Clivias grow everywhere in Australia except for the mountains.

Daphne (Daphne odora) actually does better planted in pots than in the ground, because it is susceptible to root rot and pots provide the perfect drainage it needs. It is grown mainly for its fabulous perfumed flowers. Daphne grows best in the cooler areas of Australia. Expect to pay around $18.95 for a 200mm (8″) pot.

Camellias will flower and grow happily in pots for many years. Sasanquas grow well in part-shade to full sun, while japonicas prefer a shaded position.

Azaleas, particularly the smaller varieties, are well suited to pot culture. Your local nursery can suggest the best varieties for your area.

Ponytail (Nolina recurvata) has a curious swollen base. It makes an attractive pot plant and will also take full sun. 150mm (6″) pots cost around $12.95. The ponytail plant will grow everywhere in Australia, except for the mountains.

Begonia varieties will grow in all areas of Australia. They have beautiful flowers and they often have interesting foliage. They do best in a shady position.

Palms including rhapis palm (Rhapis excelsa) and kentia palm (Howea forsteriana) can be grown in pots in a shady position. They are readily available from most nurseries and cost from $18.95 for 200mm (8″) pots.

Ferns of all kinds do well in pots. They thrive in shady, moist, humid conditions.

Orchids need an open, free-draining potting mix and a sheltered position. The most popular orchid grown is the cymbidium, but many other kinds are available including cattleyas, dendrobiums, slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum) and moth orchids (Phalaenopsis). Orchids in pots can be brought inside the house when in flower for a beautiful, long lasting display.

China doll (Radermachera sinica) is a Chinese native with glossy, dark green leaves and an elegant growth habit. It does best as a garden plant in the warmer areas of Australia, but also makes an attractive pot plant. China doll is readily available in 200mm (8″) pots for around $18.95.

Other tips

When you buy a new plant, always repot it into a larger sized pot than it was growing in. Most potted plants grow best in good quality potting mix (orchids require orchid mix). Most potted plants need to be kept very well watered but should have excellent drainage. For best results check that drainage holes in pots are adequate and install a micro-irrigation system for potted plants. To improve drainage and to keep plants well contained, always elevate potted plants slightly using chocks or pot feet.

Further information

Staff at your local nursery or garden centre will be able to advise you on the best pot plants for your climate and particular situation.

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