Best Plants for Mixed Containers & Planters!
As cooler temperatures are just ahead, and summer annuals and garden interest are fading, we are tackling the subject of container and planter gardening. Many perennials and shrubs thrive in a container setting for several years. By rotating seasonal annuals into planter pots, while keeping one or two perennials or shrubs in the container consistent, you can create fresh, year-round mixed plantings that add incredible variety and interest to a sidewalk, entryway or patio.
This week, we are recommending the BEST plants for mixed containers and planter gardening all year long. These are shrubs and perennials that perform exceptionally well in containers even during the coldest months of the year, depending on the severity of the weather for your zone. Consistent attention and watering is key with plants in containers, but on the whole, these plants are just as hardy and grow well for a long lifespan even in a planter box, pot or container garden. We have featured a few of our top picks for mixed container gardens and planters, PLUS we’ve included a list of over 15 plants that our team recommends for year-round container gardening.
Top pick #1: Abelia x grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’
At the top of our list is Abelia x grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ available right now in a 3 gallon. This plant is a showstopper in every season for its name-worthy kaleidoscope of changing colors. As a dwarf, variegated, semi-evergreen shrub, it performs exceptionally well in a container and is a year-round winner for contained planter settings where annual color and interest can be added. From a design perspective, Kaleidoscope is a mixed container gardener’s dream, providing an incredibly-diverse color palette to play off of all year long. Below are some examples of how Abelia x grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’ can work well in a mixed container or planter with other annuals.
Top Pick #2: Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' - 1 gallon
Yucca is a type of succulent plant that adds incredible structure to containers with its long, spear-shaped foliage. The overall growth habit is evenly distributed both up and out, adding a fanning element to a tall container that may include other lower creeping annuals, succulents, or pops of leafy color. Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ in particular is known for its variegated spear-like leaves and produces 3-4 foot flower spikes in the summertime. It works incredibly well as a stand-alone plant in a container as well. For this reason, we’ve added this Yucca variety to our top picks list. Call today to order!
Top Pick #3: Buxus x 'Green Mountain' - 3 gallon
For its consistency and year-round reliability in shape and color, Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’ or commonly called “Green Mountain Boxwood” is a wonderful shrub for mixed containers. Due to its more upright and even cone-shaped habit, this boxwood variety makes an excellent centerpiece to a planter, around which you can plant accent material that will endure cooler temperatures. Retaining its rich, green color during the cooler months makes it stand out from other shrubs, and its ability to be pruned, shaped and even sculpted into a topiary form is an additional perk.
Panoramic Farm’s List of BEST Plants for Mixed Containers
Below are our full lists and photo galleries of our top recommendations for the best container gardening plants. Each of these plants thrive in the confines of a container or planter space and provide exceptional base to other seasonal accents. All of these are cold hardy and able to withstand the cooler Zone 7 temperatures. Check your zone to make sure they will work for you. Many of these are becoming available in the upcoming months - some are available now, while others are coming available in October and November. Check our current, real-time availability on a regular basis to see when they are released or call now to place a hold on material that will be ready in the future.
Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' - 1 gallon
Juncus effusus, Common Rush - Quart-size in 15ct trays & 1 gallon
Juncus inflexus 'Blue Arrows' - 1 gallon
Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' - Quart-size in 15ct trays & 1 gallon
Carex oshimensis 'Evergold' - Quart-size in 15ct trays & 1 gallon
Carex oshimensis 'Everillo' - Quart-size in 15ct trays & 1 gallon
Carex flacca 'Blue Zinger' - 1 gallon
Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' - 1 gallon
Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki' - 1 gallon
Loropetalum chinense 'Cerise Charm' - 1 gallon
Ligustrum sinense 'Sunshine' - 1 gallon
Nandina domestica 'Gulf Stream' - 1 gallon
Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope' - 3 gallon
Buxus x 'Green Mountain' - 3 gallon
Available in October
Carex flacca 'Blue Zinger' - Quart-size in 15ct trays
Loropetalum chinense 'Crimson Fire' - 1 gallon
Distylium myricoides 'Vintage Jade' - 1 gallon
Available in November
Nandina domestica 'Lemon-Lime' - 1 gallon
Nandina domestica 'Muraski' Flirt - 1 gallon