Mother Earth Living

Native Plants for Easy Container Gardening

Whether you want to add some decorative pieces to a space or continue your gardening practice in a simplified manner, container gardening is an excellent way to do so. The containers themselves make for lovely accents for patios, porches, steps or anywhere you want some extra color. The best container gardens are the ones that are low maintenance.

Low maintenance container gardening means using plants that only need to be occasionally watered, and maybe some deadheading done to get the best look. The maintenance of the plant also requires little work. Plus, if you use native plants to where you live, the upkeep is even less because the plants are adapted to that area.

There is a reason for wanting plants which are low maintenance for container gardening. Low maintenance plants are perfect for people who love flowers but don’t have a lot of time to take care of them. They’re also great for seniors who may not move around well, as well as being perfect for people who like gardening but don’t have a lot of room around the home.

There are endless options, depending on your location, when it comes to choosing plants for your containers. The plants below are only a few of the ones you can choose which are native to the specified hardiness zone listed with them. This means that they will do well in those zones, in containers, if the proper care is provided.

Photo courtesy LawnStarter

1. Echinacea

Also known as purple coneflower, this robust and attractive plant can be grown in containers as well as in your garden. It’s a native of the central and southeastern United States. These plants can grow 2-5 feet high and up to two feet wide. The soil needs to be well-drained and echinacea loves full sun, as well as partial shade. Coneflowers will attract bees, butterflies, and birds. They come in an assortment of colors such as purple, crimson, pink, yellow, white, orange and; believe it or not, green.

2. Japanese Pieris

This is an excellent shrub to grow in a container and its deer resistant. It’s an evergreen, but likes all seasons. The spring growth varies from glossy red to a salmon pink before turning to a creamy white. The flower buds in the winter are dark red with shades of pink. The bloom in the spring is urn-shaped which is white, with a hint of scent. The branches of this shrub will drape gracefully over the edges of a container. It will grow in Zones 6-8, so check your Hardiness Zone before purchasing them.

3. Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses can be grown in containers in Hardiness Zones 3-10 depending on which grass you plant. For example, Bamboo Muhly can be grown in containers in Zones 8-11 which is the southern half of the United States. While, Blue Lyme grass grows in Zones 4-10. Check what zone you live in before purchasing an ornamental grass for your container.

Photo courtesy LawnStarter

4. Succulents

A few examples of succulents are aloe, sedums, cacti, and smaller ornamental ones such as, the desert savior. These plants grow in Hardiness Zone 3-9 and are native to dry, desert climates, which you need to mimic as best as you can in your containers. These plants need less water than most in containers, as long as the containers aren’t clay since clay pots dry out too quickly. Succulents actually do better with a bit of neglect; it’s better to underwater them than to overwater them. If they are overwatered, succulents will get mushy and rot. When they appear a tad limp, then they need to be watered.

5. Fuldaglut Sedum

This plant will grow in Zones 4-9 and has bronze-red leaves which turn to red in the winter. It will grow in partial shade, but it loves full sun. It does have larger leaves than most sedums do. Its scalloped foliage gives it a delicate appearance. The flower bloom will last about three weeks in the summer. The plant is about 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide and looks lovely as a cut flower in a small bouquet.

Container gardening can be just as rewarding as planting in a larger garden plot. Just make sure that you choose plants for your container that will grow in your location’s climate, or bring your gardening indoors.


Birds and Blooms
Fine Gardening

  • Published on Dec 6, 2017
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