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Five Flowering Container Garden Plants for Sun

Hard to kill container garden plants

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Have a sunny spot on your patio, deck or porch? Need an accent for a bright spot in your garden? These five plants are hard to kill and will thrive in container gardens in full sun. They are also lovely and common enough to possibly find in your supermarket. However, just because they're common doesn't mean you can't make them look spectacular with the right container.

1. Calibrachoa or Million Bells

container garden picture with calibrachoa or million bells
Photo © Kerry Michaels

If I could only pick one container garden plant to grow (though I shudder to think of that), it would probably be calibrachoa, also known as million bells. This plant comes in about a million spectacular colors that range from pure white to different shades of pink to deep purple.

Calibrachoa look great in almost any container garden. The prolific blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies and will go strong all summer with regular feeding.

Calibrachoas don't need deadheading but they do need consistent watering and good drainage - no soggy roots for these guys.

You can't go wrong with million bells in almost any container.

2. Verbena

container garden picture with pink verbena
Photo © Kerry Michaels

Verbena is a great container garden plant for sun because it will flower like crazy all summer long and into the fall. It plays well with others - looking good by filling in spaces and spilling over edges with it's densely clustered blossoms.

There are many colors of verbena to choose from - brilliant red to deep, dark blue. These profuse bloomers are extremely forgiving. They are drought tolerant and only need an average amount of water. They do need good drainage and like most flowering annuals, verbenas need to be fed every couple of weeks. Though deadheading isn't necessary for most common varieties, your plant will look much better if cut it back when blooms fade.

Verbenas are great for attracting butterflies.

3. Cape Daisy or Osteospermum

container garden picture with bright orange cape daisies
Photo © Proven Winners www.provenwinners.com

My first container gardens were pots filled with cape daisies or ostiospermum. I bought them in early spring and they survived several frosts - winning my undying love.

These plants are cheerful, forgiving (they are hardy to 25 degrees)and come in a variety of and handsome colors from a deep pink to melon, purple and white. My favorite is "Orange Symphony."

Though the tags say no deadheading is necessary, the plants certainly will look better if you do. Fertilize regularly, make sure they have good drainage and they will last well into fall. If they start getting leggy, cut way back.

4. Bush Violet or Browallia

container garden picture with Browallia or Bush Violet
Photo © Kerry Michaels
I love this flowering plant for its wonderful blossoms with their velvety texture, rich blue color and contrasting center. Browallia goes well with almost anything - and its height, 12-14 inches, is great for use in the middle of a mixed container garden. Browallia isn't fussy at all but needs protection from too much wind. Good drainage is important (ok, when is it not except in water plants?). With regular feeding this profuse bloomer will go strong all summer long.

5. Pentas

container garden pictuer with pentas, browallia, petunias and sweet potato vine
Photo © Kerry Michaels
Pentas rock in container gardens. The clusters of star-shaped flowers are large and spectacular. Pentas, also called Egyptian star flowers, attract butterflies and hummingbirds love the dark pink and red varieties. They don't need much care and will thrive, once established, even through heat and drought. With regular feeding, good soil and good drainage your pentas should bloom until fall.

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