Growing flowers in pots is a very satisfying way to brighten up your porch or yard, and it’s a great way to get started with gardening. Here’s everything you need to know to get going.

The container itself is part of the design.

Shopping List

Here’s what you’ll need to get started planting containers.

  • Flower pot with drainage holes in the bottom: There are all sorts of materials available – pick what you like in a size you can handle (remember that it will be heavy when filled with soil and watered!). Water must be able to drain out, or your plants will drown. If you want to use a decorative planter that doesn’t have drainage holes, plant your flowers in an inexpensive pot that does drain, and sit it in the planter on top of a little gravel.
  • Bag of potting mix for containers: Potting mix is lightweight and rich in nutrients, and some kinds have fertilizer already mixed in. Don’t use soil from your yard – it’s too heavy.
  • Piece of screen, shard of pottery, or coffee filter: This is only necessary if the drainage holes are very large (over 1/2”). Put it over the holes to keep the soil from washing out.
  • All-purpose plant food: Optional.
  • Flowering Plants: The most important part!

Purple angelonia, white portulaca, and yellow coreopsis provide contrast.

Choosing Flowers

The best flowers for containers can be found in the “annual” or “bedding plants” section of the garden center. While they only live one summer, they’ll bloom the entire season. Other flowering plants (such as perennials, bulbs, and shrubs) may be blooming beautifully right now, but the flowers will be gone in a few weeks. Read the labels to be sure your chosen spot offers the right light and temperature conditions for the plants.

Some popular container plants include:


  • African daisies
  • Angelonia
  • Begonias
  • Ferns
  • Geraniums
  • Gerbera daisies
  • Herbs
  • Impatiens
  • Ivy
  • Marigolds
  • Perennials (ivy, coreopsis, or grasses)
  • Petunias
  • Portulaca
  • Sweet potato vine
  • Verbena
  • Vinca
  • Zinnias

Container Design

Here are some ideas for designing your container:

    New Guinea Impatiens

  • Single Accent: Fill a container with the same type of flower for a bright pop of solid color. A pot full of red geraniums is always a cheerful option for a sunny spot, or pink impatiens for a shady porch, or trailing petunias flowing out of a hanging basket. Another option is to choose just one large plant, such as Boston fern or tropical hibiscus, for a more formal look. Larger plants often come pre-planted and ready to enjoy.

Colorful mix in pot

  • Multicolor: You can also put several different varieties and colors of the same plant together. This gives you more color while keeping a fairly uniform shape and texture. Some plants (such as zinnias, portulaca, impatiens, and petunias) even come packaged as a “mix,” with a variety of different colors in the same tray. Be sure you can tell what colors you’re getting, so you can distribute them evenly in the container.

Spikes or grasses add height

  • Mixed: If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a mixed container. A well-planned mixed container has varieties of height and color. If you’ve never put together a mixed planter, you can’t go wrong with this basic formula: tall plants for height, bushy ones for width, and trailing plants that spill over the edges. Most any annual flowers can be planted together in the same pot, so be creative! Choose colors and textures you like that compliment each other.

Buying Plants

You’ll need enough plants to fill the container, with a couple of inches between them. Plants come in different sizes, and while smaller plants will take longer to fill out, any size is fine.

Gardening Tip

Many garden centers now have pre-planted mixed containers, often with interesting plants that may not be available individually. Use them as design inspiration, or bring one home for instant gratification!

Begonias are a popular choice for containers.

How to Plant Containers

Now it’s time for the fun part – planting your flowers!

  1. Start by covering your drainage holes (if they are large enough that they will allow soil to wash out), then fill the pot about two-thirds full with potting mix.
  2. Sit the plants in the container and decide on your arrangement. You can either do a round design (tallest plants in the center and shorter or trailing plants around the edges), or a front-facing design (tall plants in back and shorter ones in front).
  3. Gently remove your plants from their pots. If the plant is stuck, squeeze the pot a little to help push it out – never yank on the stem. Disturb the roots as little as possible, but if they are a hard-packed ball you can loosen them a little with your fingers. Then nestle the plants in the soil, keeping an eye on the depth to make sure they will be planted at the same level they were in their original pot.

Make the soil surface about 2” below the rim of the pot. Otherwise, water will spill out instead of soaking in.

  1. Add soil between the plants, firming it gently with your fingers. Be careful not to press hard enough to break the plants.
  2. Make sure everything is at the same level with no roots showing.
  3. Move your container to its chosen spot, and water the plant thoroughly until water runs out the bottom.
  4. Now, step back and admire your handiwork!

Caring for Containers

  • Water your container every 2-3 days. In the heat of summer, you may need to water it every day.
  • If you want to feed your plants, use an all-purpose or bloom-boosting plant food every couple of weeks according to package instructions.
  • As you water, remove spent blooms to encourage more blooming – a practice called deadheading. Don’t just pull off the dead petals – actually pinch off the little stem beneath the flower.
  • If your plants are looking spindly, pinch off the tips of the stems to stimulate them to produce more branches.

A single large tropical hibiscus makes a dramatic container plant.

Further Information

  • Garden Myth: Gravel in Pots and Containers
  • How to Repot Houseplants
  • How to Top-Dress Houseplants
  • How to Grow Houseplants in Artificial Light

I have to chuckle at this title….Planting Flower Pots 101….because truly…that’s about the highest level class I could conceivably be qualified to teach! 🙂 My SISTERS and my MOM, on the other hand, could teach MASTERS classes! I, on the OTHER other hand, have pretty much done the same thing for the last 15 years when it comes to my flower pots….so I guess I can teach a thing or two about that. But that’s about it.

It didn’t even occur to me to do a post about it until I was talking with one of my nieces at dinner last Sunday and she was talking about wanting to plant some flower pots but didn’t have the slightest idea what to do. That’s when I figured my limited, albeit LENGTHY, flower pot tradition, might be helpful to some of the beginning gardeners out there.

When I moved into my first house in Utah, my sister Rebecca gave me these three large faux terra cotta pots as a housewarming gift. As you can see, they have definitely seen better days. It was finally time to retire them this year.

Luckily I found these three wonderful replacements on clearance last fall for $11 each!

Anyway, I have basically been doing the same version of flower pots for my front entry for the last 15 years. When you find something you like…you stick with it. 🙂

Jillee’s Basic Rule of Planting Flower Pots:

Lots of ONE type of flower in ONE (or two) color(s) = IMPACT.

Opt for annuals that give you a lot of COLOR BANG for your BUCK. Petunias are the PERFECT choice, and I have been doing them for years, but this year I decided to give pansies a try. I’ve always LOVED pansies, but they aren’t nearly as prolific as the petunias!

Here is a picture of my petunia pots at the end of last summer. This isn’t even at their PEAK!

So basically what I do is decide on one type of flower and plant as many as I can fit into all three pots. Usually I stick with the same color as well. There have been a couple of times I have done different colors in different pots, but it loses some of its impact.

This weekend I found of bunch of these pansies that were all in the same general mix of colors and decided to plant them. I just LOVE the colors!

Start with some good potting soil. Doesn’t have to be Miracle Gro…but it was on sale…so I splurged. 🙂

Fill the pots ALMOST to the top. If you don’t put in enough soil…you won’t even be able to SEE the flowers…at least at first. They will be planted too low. Plus, you are going to be compressing the soil a bit when you plant each little plant.

Before planting….break up the compacted root ball of each plant.

Start in the middle and work your way out to the perimeter. I start with 3 in the middle and then plant a ring of roughly 9 more around that.

Once you have all your little plants in the dirt….sprinkle a few extra handfuls of soil in between each one and press down lightly…just to keep them in place.

You’ll also want to “deadhead” all the fading blooms. (Pinch off the dead stuff.) Trust me on this. Your flowers will LOVE you for it and will reward you with bigger, better blooms!

Finally…..give them a GENTLE watering-in…preferably with a watering can. You need to be careful with these babies at this stage. Once they’ve been watered several times and the roots have been established…you can use the hose on a slow flow rate.

And there you have it! They may not look like much NOW….but trust me on this one….soon enough they will be EXPLODING with color! 🙂

Hi, I’m Jillee!

I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!


Bright Ideas Gardening & Outdoors

How to Plant in Pots

To balance form and proportion in a pot, Ellen Zachos, owner of Acme Plant Stuff in New York City, which creates and maintains container gardens, relies on her own catchy recipe of “thrillers, fillers, and spillers.” Thrillers are tall plants that go in the center or back, fillers are medium-size plants that fill out the middle, and spillers gracefully trail or cascade over the edge to soften the pot’s hard edges.”Resist the urge to crowd in too many different things,” says Ellen ­Zachos, who likes to stick to three to five types, tops. “A lot of plants are fine, but a lot of different kinds of plants starts to look messy.”

Unless you need a deck decoration for a party next weekend, select plants that are relatively small and let them fill out. Avoid buying ones whose roots stuff the nursery container. Dense root balls shed water, so these plants may become parched once you repot them, even if you water often. Pair up plants that are suited to the same exposure, whether sun, part sun, or shade, and that have similar water requirements.

3. Deal With the Dirt

Since ordinary garden soil is too heavy and can introduce disease, be sure to use a bagged planting mix or a homemade equivalent. Products labeled “potting soil” contain sterilized soil and other ingredients, while “soilless ­mixes” consist mostly of peat moss or peat substitutes, compost, and perlite or vermiculite to keep it loose. Soilless mixes weigh less but dry out faster, but some plants, such as succulents, prefer them. For a homemade batch, mix five parts compost with one part builder’s sand, one part vermiculite or perlite, and one-quarter part dry organic fertilizer. Whichever medium you use, check to see if it contains slow-release fertilizer; if not, consider mixing in some granules at planting time.

Photo by Michael Skott

4. Planting and Maintenance

If you are growing shallow-rooted specimens in tall pots, you might want to fill in the bottom half with lightweight materials such as broken terra-cotta pot shards or Styrofoam packing peanuts. This promotes drainage and prevents waterlogged soil. Start planting in the center or with the largest specimen and work outward, scooping and filling as needed so that the plants wind up with soil at the same level that they had in the original containers—1 to 2 inches below the lip of the pot. Give plants a thorough drink, using a watering can or a soft-spray nozzle on a hose. Check the level of the soil again and add more if necessary. Keep watering often—whenever the soil is dry 2 to 3 inches below the surface—and fertilize regularly (if you haven’t used slow-release beads), following package directions. Clip off spent blossoms or branches that grow too long. With just this minimal maintenance, your container gardens will flourish all summer long, and—depending on what you’ve planted—even beyond.

Where to Find It

Horticultural services:

Gabrielle Whiton, Bainbridge Gardens


Ellen Zachos, Acme Plant Stuff

Containers and plants:

Bainbridge Gardens; Bainbridge Island, WA

Gardening gloves:

Atlas #370 Nitrile Soft Flex Gloves

Atlas Glove Consumer Products

Bellingham, WA


Forged flower shears

Lee Valley Tools

For further reading:

Down & Dirty: 43 Fun & Funky First Time Projects & Activities to Get You Gardening by Ellen Zachos

Storey Publishing

North Adams, MA

10 spring container ideas

With fresh growth and new flowers, there are lots of plants that can be used to create beautiful spring containers.


Some of the best plants for spring pots and containers are spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. Try combining them with small evergreens and bedding plants to boost the structure, colour and interest.

For full instructions on planting up the containers shown, just click on the link provided within each section.

Need more inspiration? Feast your eyes on some of our favourite plant combinations for spring colour.

Discover 10 of the best spring container ideas, below.

With fresh growth and new flowers, there are lots of plants that can be used to create ravishing spring containers. 1

Daffodils and violas

This daffodil display is incredibly easy to create. Just plant the bulbs in autumn, then finish off with smaller bedding plants in spring. Here are full instructions on creating this daffodil spring pot display.


Hyacinth and heuchera pot

This spring display is bursting with colour and fragrance from the hyacinths and early dianthus. Find out how to plant up this heuchera and hyacinth container.


Acer and bleeding heart container

For a more permanent container display, try planting up a large Belfast sink, or other large container. We used a Japanese maple, bleeding heart, ivy and tiarellas. Follow our steps to plant this acer and bleeding heart container.


Bergenia and saxifrage

Both the bergenia and saxifrage used in this display are tough perennials that can be planted out in the garden once past their best. Discover how to pot up this bergenia and saxifrage display.


Primulas, sage and peony

This purple-themed pot contains plants with purple foliage and flowers, including purple sage and drumstick primulas. Check out how to plant up this primula and anemone pot.


Spring pot for shade

This container is planted with snake’s head fritillaries and Japanese tassel ferns – perfect for a damp, shady corner. Here’s how to plant up this fern and fritillary pot.


Stipa and muscari window box

For windowsills, window boxes are ideal. Bees will love the nectar-rich grape hyacinths planted in this stipa and muscari window box.


Snowdrop pots

This silvery pot display is at its best as soon as the snowdrops emerge in February, and will into March. Plant up this snowdrop container, or have a go at smaller snowdrop pots.


Heather, daffodils and daisies

Plant up this container for a cheery display of daffodils, heather, primulas and daisies. All the plants can go in the ground once the display is past its best.


Tulip container display

The huge variety of tulips to choose from means there are lots of different colour combinations to try out. Check out these easy steps on planting tulip bulbs in a pot.

Don’t forget foliage plants

Try to avoid relying solely on flowers to provide interest in your containers. Airy grasses and lush foliage plants can be just as beautiful in their own right.

Container Gardens

Transform your patio or deck into a colorful garden oasis! Find great ideas right here for you to create your own patio charmers!

Ever wanted to make your own hanging flower baskets or patio containers? This handout will guide you through selecting plants, potting them, and keeping your containers and baskets looking beautiful throughout the seasons.

Containers can be made for sun or shade, edibles, or a mix of colorful annuals and lasting perennials.

Be sure to see all our Monthly Container Design Pages by using the selectors at the bottom of this page.

Choosing the right plants for your pot.

When selecting your plants you will want to choose those that have similar sun or shade needs. Once you have decided on sun or shade and how much room you have in your container, the fun begins!

Sun or Shade

Obviously there are a lot of degrees of sun and shade. Every plant tag should tell you the sun or shade requirements of the plant. Generally, shade plants like bright indirect light and most of them enjoy the morning sun until 12. Part Shade plants really like to have some direct morning or midday sun. Part Sun plants are those that like to have at least 4 hours direct midday to afternoon sun. Sun plants need at least 6 hours of full direct sun- afternoon is best.

What happens when you put a plant where it doesn’t prefer to be? Well, sometimes it works out fine. However more often than not, they will be prone to burning, overwatering, and pest issues. Plants with bright, dark, or variegated leaves may turn back to green.

Room to Grow

Making sure that roots have enough space for the whole season, and having a nice full container are usually the tricks here. With annuals you usually want to use more plants, because they need to look good right away and will only last the season. Perennials need a little more root room if you plan to leave them in the container for more than a year.

Clearly, it depends on your container. In general, for a 14 inch wide hanging basket 5 plants in a 4”pot would work great. If you plan on having trees or shrubs, such as bamboo, in a container-you will need to plan on pulling out the plants and pruning the roots every few years.

Plant an Early Spring Container Garden

By Bill Marken, Suzanne DeJohn, The Editors of the National Gardening Association

Celebrate spring with blooming bulbs and attractive annuals in this colorful little mix perfect for an outdoor table or front doorstep. The design features a repeating theme from three types of narcissus and accents from a rainbow of annuals and perennials.

Anchoring the bowl in the center are stunning, tall, two-toned daffodils, set off by bright yellow mini-daffodils; a third type of bulb — fragrant paper-white narcissus — adds height and continuity. Effortless violas offer compact color, and the cheery and reliable primroses provide contrasting bright colors and richly textured leaves.

  • Container: Try a clay bowl or dish at least 18 inches across and 9 to12 inches deep. Classic terra cotta always looks good, but you may want a glazed ceramic bowl to match other decor or to add color.

  • Plants: Five paper-white narcissus, six daffodils, six miniature daffodils, six yellow or blue violas, and six yellow or blue primroses.

  • How to plant: Buy and plant the daffodils in fall. Then, when the bulbs pop up in spring, buy six-packs of violas and primroses. Space individual seedlings alternately around the rim.

    If you miss the early bulb planting in fall, you can cheat and wait to find sprouted and budded bulbs for sale and plant everything all at once later in spring.

  • Special tips: The daffodils may need a bit of help to keep them from flopping over. Use slender stakes to tie them as soon as you detect trouble. Feed plants with liquid fertilizer monthly throughout the blooming season.

25 Flowers for Container Gardens

Flowers for the balcony garden come in almost every color and shape imaginable. Many flowers do well in small containers and bring splashes of color to balcony container gardens. The following 25 beautiful flowers are popular and easy plants to consider for your balcony container garden. Click on the flower’s name to learn more about its care. To learn about more flowers that thrive in containers, peruse’s Fact Sheets.

1. Azaleas

Azaleas are flowering bushes that have impressive, showy flower blooms in the summer. Their large, colorful flowers last for weeks, and they look beautiful when cut and displayed in a vase inside. Popular in Southern-style gardens, the azalea plant is often grown as a large bush. In balcony container gardens, however, these bushes will need to be pruned – they can actually be pruned to resemble small flowering trees. There are many species, varieties and hybrids of azaleas, and you are likely to find any color and flower shape to suit your balcony garden’s conditions. Learn more about azalea flower care>>

2. Calla Lilies

Calla lily flowers, also called trumpet lilies or Lily of the Nile, most often have waxy-white flowers that gracefully twist and curl, ending in a delicate point. Calla lily flowers can also come in pink, orange or red, and the dark green, heart-shaped foliage can also be variegated with white spots. Calla lily plants are native to marshlands of South Africa but have gained popularity in gardens in the United States as marginal pond plants and container plants. It is a popular flower for weddings and Easter, and cut calla lily flowers last a long time in floral displays. The calla lily grows to 2 feet tall and can be grown in plant containers, and there are also miniature calla lily varieties that you can keep. Learn more about calla lily flower care>>

3. Celosia

Celosia flowers, also called woolflowers or cockscombs, have unusual flowers that can bloom up to 10 weeks. These flowers can have red, pink, purple, gold or bicolored blooms. When many celosia flower blooms are next to each other, they collectively resemble fire, which is why the genus name Celosia, meaning burning in Greek, was chosen. The common name of cockscomb comes from the bloom’s resemblance to a rooster’s comb. Not all celosia flowers look this way – there are many shapes, colors and sizes (from 6 inches to 2 feet). And each blossom is made up of many tiny flowers, which is why this flower will produce numerous small seeds and keep sprouting in your plant containers with no extra effort on your part. Celosia flowers also look great in vases and bouquets, so you can bring their beauty indoors. Read more about celosia flower care>>

4. Chamomile

Chamomile is a beautiful little white-petaled flower that can be dried and made into a fruity-tasting herbal tea. If you are growing chamomile in your balcony garden to make tea, get the German chamomile variety and not Roman chamomile. This container plant can is usually only about 9 inches tall, but it can grow to 2 feet, and it spreads up to 2 feet across. Chamomile flowers look like dasiies and are about 1 inch in diameter. Read more about chamomile flower care>>

5. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemum flowers, also called mums or chrysanths, come in many varieties and colors that are suitable for a balcony container garden. The two main chrysanthemum variety types are hardy and florist chrysanthemums. Hardy chrysanthemum flowers (aka garden hardy) do well in cooler weather and can be overwintered outside in the container garden. Florist (aka exhibition) chrysanthemums do well in mild need more attention (i.e., staking, overwintering indoors) and are more delicate, but they produce some of the most beautiful flower blooms. The late-blooming chrysanthemum flowers give gardens color throughout the fall season and are often the last flowers to bloom before winter. Learn more about chrysanthemum flower care>>

6. Daffodils

Daffodills, also called Narcissus, are hardy flowering plants that mostly flower in spring, but several species (such as Narcissus tazetta, commonly called paperwhites) flower in Autumn. All daffodil flowers have a trumpet surrounded by six floral leaves (outer three are sepals, and the inner three are petals). Most common daffodil flower colors are yellow, white or a mixture of the two. The daffodil flower has a pleasant sweet smell. Daffodils are great flowering plants for balcony container gardens. Learn more about daffodil flower care>>

7. Dahlias

Dahlia flowers do best in plant containers that are at least 1 by 1 foot, and low-growing and dwarf dahlia varieties are best for container gardening. There are so many dahlia flower varieties that every gardener can find something for their garden. These flowers come in every color imaginable for a flower except for blue. A blue dahlia flower has never been produced, even after the Caledonia Horticultural Society of Edinburgh offered a cash prize for the first person to grow a blue dahlia in 1846! Learn more about dahlia flower care>>

8. Daisies

Common daisies are beautiful flowers found in many flowerbeds and vase arrangements. The white-petaled daisy flower with its yellow center does well in plant containers and is easy to grow and care for in balcony gardens. Daisy blooms are most commonly white, but they can also be light pink to purple-red, depending on the variety. Daisy blooms should appear from early spring to late autumn. Many other flowers go by the name “daisy,” but the common daisy is usually what gardeners picture when thinking of the typical daisy flower. Daisy flowers bloom close to the ground (it only grows to about 6 inches tall) and are rather small (about 2.5 inches in diameter). Learn more about daisy flower care>>

9. Dianthus

Dianthus flowers are perfect for plant containers and will bring a splash of color to any urban balcony garden. Dianthus flowers come in many colors, either it be a solid white, red, purple, pink and sometimes yellow, or with two colors or marks in the petals. The height of this flower ranges from 6 inches to 3 feet, and there are so many Dianthus varieties that any gardener can find a beautiful Dianthus species to fit his or her balcony garden. Learn more about Dianthus flower care>>

10. Foxgloves

The common foxglove plant produces beautiful cascading trumpetlike flowers that range from purple to gray to white. Depending on the species and variety, foxglove flowers can be different colors (yellow, pink, red, etc.) or have spots inside of the blooms. Its flowers inspired the plant’s genus name, Digitalis, meaning fingerlike, and a human finger can fit easily into one of the flowers. Learn more about foxglove flower care>>

11. Geraniums

The common geranium flower blooms from mid-spring to early fall. Its 4- to 5-inch-wide flower clusters come in many colors – pink, purple, red or white. This gorgeous flower is a staple in balcony gardens and grows well in plant containers. Learn more about geranium flower care>>

12. Impatiens

There are many species in the Impatiens genus, but the varieties that you’ll find at your local garden shop are annual hybrids (some Impatiens species are perrenials). This commonly used flower usually shows up in flowerbeds, but they also look great in windowboxes, plant containers and hanging containers, and will even do well in a shady balcony garden. Learn more about impatiens flower care>>

13. Lavender

The aromatic lavender plant has beautiful purple-blue flowers and adds height to a container garden. It makes a great companion plant with vegetables and herbs, and it will attract beneficial insects to your garden, including butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Learn more about lavender flower care>>

14. Marigolds

These beautiful gold, orange, yellow or white flowers (and a mixture of these colors) are often planted in butterfly gardens. They attract butterflies, but ward off other undesireable insects with their pungent odor. Plant these flowering container plants next to your tomato, eggplant, chili pepper and potato plants, as marigolds deter some pest insects that can harm these plants. Learn more about marigold flower care>>

15. Morning Glories

The morning glory flower is a climbing vine with heart-shaped leaves blooms in the mornings. Morning glory blooms, which only last one day, come in a variety of colors (pink, purple, red and white, while blue is the most common) and usually bloom in mid-summer to late fall. Morning glory flowers can begin to bloom in March in warmer climates. These beautiful flowers grow well in plant containers on balcony gardens. Balcony gardeners can attach fishing line or durable string from the balcony railing to the roof and train the morning glory plant to grow along the string. This growth will provide dappled shade (you can intersperse white Christmas lights on these lines if there is an electricity outlet outside). Learn more about morning glory flower care>>

16. Orchids

Phalaenopsis orchids, aka moth orchids, are the most commonly kept orchid flowers in the gardening hobby. There are thousands of orchid hybrids, and many are almost impossible to care for. If you choose a cheap orchid that you find in the grocery store or local garden shop, the odds are that it is an easier variety. These varieties are easy to keep alive, as long as the gardener realizes that orchid care is much different than most container plants that we keep. Learn more about orchid flower care>>

17. Pansies

Pansies are hybrid flowers that were developed in England in the early 1800s. Because pansies have been selectively bred by humans, they are hardy and bloom quickly. Flower colors include yellow, gold, orange, purple, red and white, and pansy flowers often have “faces” (think of the singing flowers in Alice in Wonderland). Pansy flowers are easy to care for and do well in container gardens. Learn more about pansy flower care>>

18. Peonies

Peonies are easy flowers with large, colorful and wonderfully scented blooms have large, deep root systems, so when growing them in plant containers, make sure to give them a lot of extra room. They can grow down at least 1 foot, so provide a large container for these flowers. Once established, peonies require little maintenance. There are many peony varieties to choose from, and flowers, which bloom in late spring or early summer, can be white, pink, red, yellow, orange, or purple. Learn more about peony flower care>>

19. Petunias

This classic flower for plant containers comes in many colors, mostly blue, white, and shades of pink. There are a few different petunia flower varieties: large flowers (grandiflora), ground cover (hedgiflora), smaller flowers good for baskets (multiflora), or small flowers that do well in harsh weather (milliflora). Learn more about petunia flower care>>

20. Primroses

Blooming in early spring, the primrose flower is one of the first flowers to bloom after winter. And, luckily, the primrose treats container gardeners with a flowering encore and blooms again in the fall. There are many varieties of primrose that can grow in plant containers, and flower colors include blues, pinks, reds, yellow, orange and purple. Many primrose plants have a bright yellow color in the flower’s center. These are easy container garden flowers that will delight you with beautiful blooms twice a year. Learn more about primrose flower care>>

21. Roses

There are many rose flower varieties that grow well in plant containers – you can choose a color, size, shape and fragrance that suits you and your balcony garden space. But because there are so many rose varieties, you should read books about roses, join an online forum discussion, a local gardening or rose club, or ask a knowledgeable staff member at your local garden shop about what varieties will work for you. Learn more about rose care>>

22. Snapdragons

Also known as the dragon flower, snapdragons are small but fragrant flowers that are easy to grow in plant containers. Snapdragon flowers are colorful and dominant, often having so many blooms that the plant’s foliage below is hidden. Snapdragon flowers come in many varieties, including dwarf (8 inches tall) to tall ones (3 feet) and in an array of colors, including pastel colors, reds, pinks, yellows and even bicolored flowers. These beautiful flowers can be cut and displayed indoors. Learn more about snapdragon flower care>>

23. Sunflowers

Ten-foot giant sunflowers really can be grown in plant containers (even in small 3-gallon nursery pots). These beautiful native American flowers must be planted in full sun, or they can topple over while trying to reach sun. But growing these beauties in your balcony container garden will attract attention from the people in your neighborhood, as well as a lot of wildlife. The sunflower’s floret patterns (what eventually turn into seeds) are displayed on the circular flower head in an amazing spiral pattern. This, in addition to making a beautiful flower display, ensures that the most seeds are crammed into the sunflower’s flower head as possible. Learn more about sunflower care>>

24. Tulips

Tulips (up to 12 inches) can have pink, purple, red, dark red, orange, red orange or yellow flowers. The sweet-smelling flowers appear in early spring after periods of cold temperatures, which are necessary for tulips to thrive. These flowers are great for container gardens in colder climates: Tulips survive frosts and freezing temperatures. Learn more about tulip care>>

25. Zinnias

Zinnias are beautiful flowers that are great for butterfly gardens. Zinnia flowers come in white, light green, yellow, orange, red and purple. There are many different Zinnia species, but the most common is Z. elegans. Zinnias have different flower petal arrangements – some have a single row of flower petals, while others have multiple rows that give the flower a more full, dome shape. These easy-to-grow flowers are great for plant containers in urban balcony gardens. Learn more about zinnia flower care>>


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