how to choose plants for patio pots

How To Choose Plants For Patio Pots

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Jeremy started building the house we live in now about the same time we started dating two and half years ago. Now we’re getting married here next month. It takes a lot of work to landscape around new construction. A lot of people find it difficult to complete landscape projects, especially if they are big projects. If this is the case for you then you might want to contact a landscaping company such as Legion Landscaping to help you finish the work. The house took almost an entire year to build and we moved in during fall. I did manage to get a few plants in the ground before winter came. Finding the perfect plants that could survive our changing weather would be difficult for any gardening enthusiast, but we are managing to pull it off. A little patience and a lot of research goes a long way, I even came across the best plants for San Diego that would be great for anyone who wanted to change up their garden. As for our garden, we’ve been finishing it a little at a time. I’m trying to get the yard and landscaping to look respectable before we entertain 100 of our closest friends and family for our big day. I’m planning on putting some teak garden furniture outside on the patio for extra seating which I think will look nice. I don’t want to weed and put out fresh mulch until closer to our date, but I am getting the patio pots on the back porch finished. Here are some tips on how to choose plants for patio pots, along with a glimpse of one of my many flower pots and how I’m prepping our yard for the wedding.

how to choose plants for patio pots

how to choose plants for patio pots

Scotts® EZ Seed® Sun and Shade

I love landscaping; it’s often one of the first things I notice about someone’s home. You can tell when someone takes pride in their yard, and I help take care of ours (sans mowing; Jeremy uses his dad’s riding mower for that). I thought landscaping this house might be the death of me…literally. Since the house was finished in the fall, we didn’t get to plant grass until the spring. There was a fresh layer of dirt and good ol’ red clay surrounding our house. It was almost like a moat when it rained. There were places that my feet would sink several inches when the ground was wet. With good intentions, Jeremy pulled out some leftover lumber and building pallets to create a path from the driveway to the back door. The combination of wet lumber and red clay nearly proved to be fatal. In early winter, I made a trip down the “path” to go to the car. I was near the end when I felt myself start to slip. It wasn’t your ordinary fall; the slope of the ground combined with muddy lumber created a luge of sorts. My feet nearly flew up over my head and I came to a crashing halt. The fall had knocked the breath out of me, covered me in mud, and re-injured a slipped disk in my back. I now highly prize grass and I’m envious of anyone with a true sidewalk. Jeremy just finished the deck on the back of the house and he has plans to put in a sidewalk soon. I wonder if Jeremy was inspired by Composite Deck Builder Catalyst group because of the great job he did with putting this deck together but I digress.

My favorite flowers are hydrangeas and peonies. If I could grow either successfully in a pot, I would. The bulk of flowers planted around the house are various varieties of hydrangeas, peonies, and lilacs. I have a few other flowers here and there, but most of the other flowers go into pots. Here are some of the hydrangeas we transplanted on the back of the house this week.



My peonies are just starting to sprout up.

peony sprout

I figure once I actually get all of the landscaping finished, it will look pretty nice, but I don’t anticipate being done any time soon. I’m always finding flowers to add to my collection; earlier today, I purchased some red peony bulbs.

The first thing you need to do is select your pot, ensure it has proper drainage, and if it’s very large, relocate it to where you plan to keep it. The large pots like the one shown in this post are nearly impossible to move once they are filled with dirt and flowers.

Before you select plants, you need to assess how much sun the pot will receive, and whether it is morning sun, evening sun, or complete shade. This will give you a better idea of what plants you can successfully plant in your pot.

If your pot will receive little sun, you’ll need to select shade plants. If your pot receives full sun, you’ll want to select full sun plants. If the pot is shaded for part of the day, you’ll want to select part sun plants. You have a little leeway with plants, but you should never try to plant a shade plant in full sun, or vice versa.

Here’s my short list of favorite flowers for containers:

  • Geraniums
  • Vinca
  • Violets
  • Violas
  • Snapdragons
  • Nemesia
  • African Daisies
  • Creeping Jenny
  • Rosemary
  • Spike
  • Herbs
  • Ivy
  • Marigolds
  • Sweet Potato Vine
  • Zinnia
  • Elephant Ears
  • Petunias

Most of the gorgeous patio pots that you see in home and garden magazines are staggered in height and texture. Depending on the size of the pot, you’ll want to pick a centerpiece plant which is generally taller than the rest, accent flowers, and some type of trailing plant. You’re looking at a 3 variety minimum, but I generally go with five.

Back of pot




Front of pot


B, C, D- Accent flowers/plants

E- Trailing plant

I will stagger the placement slightly.

The alternate plan is to place the centerpiece plant in the center of the pot, staggering accent flowers around it, and staggering the trailing plant around the outside.

In this planter, because it is huge, I used the following 6 plants:

  • Dwarf Snapdragons x1
  • Blue Ice Bog Rosemary x1
  • Variegated Spike x2
  • Goldilocks Creeping Jenny x2
  • Margarita African Daisy x2
  • Bleeding Heart x1 (will be transplanted into the ground later in the summer)

how to choose plants for potting

Margarita African Daisy

Blue Ice Bog Flowering Rosemary

dwarf snapdragons

choosing plants for potting

potted plants

We have beehives, so I select honeybee friendly plants too.


Use a good quality potting soil in your planter, as it will reduce the need for plant food and it will help hold moisture properly.

Loosen the plants from their containers, and gently break up the root ball before planting. Once you have all your plants securely in your pot, water them well. Use plant food if desired.

While I’m out working on my patio containers, I’m also filling the bare spots in our grass. I want get any spots filled before our wedding, so we have a lovely lush lawn before our big day. I’ve been using Scotts® EZ Seed® Sun and Shade. This all-in-one product is great for bare spot repair. Jeremy is notorious for driving vehicles in the yard, and it tears up the grass when the ground is soft. This size EZ Seed® covers up to 85 square feet.

Scotts® EZ Seed® Sun and Shade

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I found the Scotts® EZ Seed® Sun and Shade in the lawn and garden department at my local Walmart.

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I hope you enjoyed my advice on how to choose plants for patio pots. I’d love to hear what you’re planting this year, or what you’ve had success growing in the past.

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