Plants in the shade


Plants For Pots In The Shade

Showing 1–32 of 316 results

  • $19.95 Product Details

    Blechnum Silver Lady (Common Name – Dwarf Tree Fern) 175mm Pot

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    Cyathea Cooperi (Common Name – Tree Fern) 175mm Pot

    Out of stock

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    Gardenia Radicans (Common name – Dwarf Gardenia) 175mm Pot

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    Camellia Sasanqua Yuletide 175mm Pot (Semi shade variety)

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    Greek Oregano 125mm Pot

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    Sage 125mm Pot

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    Lemon Grass 125mm Pot

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    Parsley Curly Leaf 125mm Pot

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    Camellia Japonica Debutante 200mm Pot (Shade variety)

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    Camellia Japonica Lady Loch 200mm Pot (Shade variety)

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    Camellia Sasanqua Pure Silk 200mm Pot (Semi shade variety)

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    Camellia Sasanqua Rose Ann 200mm Pot (Semi shade variety)

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    Camellia Japonica Moshio 200mm Pot (Shade variety)

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    Gardenia Radicans (Common Name-Dwarf Gardenia) 250mm Pot

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    Acanthus Mollis (Common Name – Oyster Plant) 150mm Pot

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    Camellia Japonica Magnoliaeflora 200mm Pot (Shade variety)

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    Camellia Japonica Emperor of Russia 200mm Pot (Shade variety)

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    Camellia Japonica Kramer’s Supreme 200mm Pot (Shade variety)

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    Hydrangea 175mm Pot

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    Philodendron Xanadu 200mm Pot

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    Liriope Gigantea (Common Name – Evergreen Giant Liriope / Turf Lily) 175mm Pot

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    Iresine Herbstii (Common Name – Bloodleaf Plant) 125mm Pot

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    Iresine Herbstii (Common Name – Bloodleaf Plant) 150mm Pot

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    Liriope Gigantea (Common Name – Evergreen Giant Liriope / Turf Lily) 150mm Pot

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    Gardenia Grandiflora Star 175mm Pot

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    Begonia Big Mix 150mm Pot

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    Camellia Sasanqua Jennifer Susan 250mm Pot (Semi shade variety)

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    Philodendrum Selloum (Roystonii Compact Form) 175mm Pot

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    Thysanolaena Maxima (Common Name – Tiger Grass) 175mm Pot

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    Viola Hederacea (Common Name – Native Wood Violet) 125mm Pot

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    Hypoestes (Common Name – Freckle Face) 125mm Pot

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    Gardenia Augusta Florida (Common Name – Fragrant Gardenia) 250mm Pot

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8 Summer Flowers for Shady Gardens

Does your garden have a shady spot in need of some colour? Most flowering plants need good sunlight to perform well, which can create a problem in that gloomy corner. Fortunately, there are a range of plants that love dappled shade and even a few that will flower in deep shade, so the trick to success is clever plant selection. Here, are eight (8) summer flowers for shady gardens!

1. Hydrangea loves the shade

Hydrangeas grow best in dappled sun, part shade or a well-lit, full shade position. They prefer a rich, moist, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Keep them well- watered through the summer. When growing in pots, stand them in a saucer of water and water every day in hot weather.

2. New Guinea Impatiens bring vibrant colour

New Guinea Impatiens come in a wide range of vibrant, shimmering flower colours. Give them a fertile, moist soil and protect them from frost. Feed once a year with Searles Robust and water it in well. Great in pots, hanging baskets or mass plantings for high impact.

3. Gardenias grow well in deep shade

The delicious fragrance of gardenias is a summertime delight. Although known as sun- lovers, they can also grow well in quite deep shade. Give them a rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soil, feed with Searles Flourish Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia and keep them moist and well mulched.

4. Mona Lavender performs in part shade

Mona Lavender (Plectranthus sp.) flowers beautifully in full or part shade. Flowering from late summer into autumn, it forms a low bush 60cmW x 80cmH. Give it moist, well- drained soil and prune gently after flowering. Protect from frost.

5. Shade loving native Rose Myrtle

Rose myrtle (Archirhodomyrtus beckleri) is a native rainforest shrub, about 1.5 metres tall. It likes light shade to full shade, tolerates light frost and a wide range of soils. Great in containers or formal hedging, its perfumed flowers appear in late spring and summer, followed by colourful, edible berries. Its shiny foliage is aromatic when crushed. Attractive to birds and beneficial insects, feed in late summer with Searles Robust Native controlled release plant food.

6. Begonia, the classic and long-lasting flower

For long-lasting, colourful flowers in the shade, you can’t go past begonias. Easy to find in nurseries as well as to propagate from cuttings, begonias prefer a warm, sheltered position and a rich, well-drained soil. Although they like humidity they can also be quite dry tolerant.

7. Lily of Peace, Spathiphyllum

Spathiphyllum, also called ‘Peace Lily’ is one of the few plants that will flower without direct sunlight. Give it a brightly lit position for best flowering. Drooping leaves is a sign that it is getting too dry — but it will recover quickly when watered. A beautiful, hardy plant and a great problem-solver where nothing else will grow! Choose from knee-high to waist-high varieties!

8. Delicate Native violet

Native violet (viola hederacea) can grow and flower well in part or full shade. A great option for boggy soil or a damp, dark corner, it’s great as a lawn substitute where it’s too shady for grass. Flowering most of the year, it needs moist conditions to look its best.

By Rachel Liska

Proven Winners

SWITCH IT UP If you’re using a container “recipe,” just switch out one of the annuals in the diagram for a perennial instead.

If you plant containers every year, you probably have a list of go-to annuals at the ready. But why should annuals have all the fun? From stunning succulents to savory herbs, we’re learning that, as container gardening evolves, almost anything will thrive in a pot. That holds true for perennials in pots, too.

With literally hundreds of gorgeous varieties available for the planting, your options for creating the prettiest pots on the block are endless. And think of all the money you’ll save at the end of the growing season when you can transfer your container plants into the garden instead of throwing them out. Cha-ching!

Container Ideas: A few things you need to know before you pot up your first perennial beauty!

Bigger is better. You can definitely plant perennials in the containers you currently have, but if you’re buying new, shoot for something bigger. This way, you can plant more and offer plenty of room for the roots.

Take a lesson from Potting 101. As you would with any container planting, make sure the pot you choose has drainage holes and that it has been cleaned thoroughly if used before. And remember to use a
well-drained potting soil mix to keep your plants healthy and strong.

Know your zone. It’s true that perennials are tougher than annuals, so one advantage of using them in containers is that you can set out your pots a couple of weeks earlier than usual. But play it safe by selecting hardy plants. This is especially important if you plan to overwinter them in their pots or transfer permanently into a garden bed. (More on that below.)

Give ’em what they want. All plants have specific growing requirements. So before you buy, be sure you can fulfill them. If you plan to pot up a corydalis, for instance, make sure you have a shady spot for it—a covered porch or under a leafy tree. If you face gardening challenges—say, a windy, unprotected patio—planting a wind-resistant perennial like flax, feather reed grass or Russian sage might give you the backyard beauty you’ve been longing for.

Finding Mr. Right. Spend a little time researching pot-perfect perennials, or select from our list. Choose slow growers or varieties that have a more compact growing habit. Dwarf varieties and disease-resistant perennials may also offer you the best chance for success.

Less is more at planting time. Since perennials tend to grow larger than annuals, resist the urge to crowd them. Give them the elbow room they need by planting only one or two specimens. If you’re planting two varieties, pick a “thriller” and a “spiller.” Craving more color, fun or drama? Find a container that will up the cool quota.

Your space, your style. Similar to redoing your home’s interior, exterior decorating lets you express your personality. Want a romantic, cottage-y look? Pot up a fringed bleeding heart or some feathery astilbe. If you lean toward the modern and edgy, purple fountain grass and Japanese painted fern may be for you. Both are low maintenance and look dramatic planted in modern containers.

Think seasonal. For continuous bloom and color, plant a combination of containers that include seasonal showboats. For example, when the nodding bells of spring-blooming columbine are on their way out, have a butterfly-welcoming bee balm waiting in the wings. When that begins to fade, your dwarf aster should be ready to make its autumn debut.

Have fun with foliage. Annuals may be known for their showy flowers, but perennials boast some way cool foliage. Hostas offer an almost endless variety of green to blue hues and distinctive shapes, plus they’re tough and easy to care for. Just make sure you provide ample shade. Coralbells is another foliage all-star whose leaves come in a dazzling array of colors and patterns.

Reuse and recycle. Perhaps the best thing about potting perennials is that you can add them to the landscape instead of tossing them when the growing season ends. Pull your perennials from their pots—and divide if necessary—in late fall. Planting them then still gives the plants enough time to acclimate to their surroundings before winter sets in. If you don’t have room in your garden bed or your container plantings don’t fit in with the theme of your landscape, consider creating a holding bed to overwinter plants until you can dig them back up and repot.

Walters Gardens Lungwort


Bleeding heart
Coral bells
Dwarf aster
Hardy geranium
Ornamental grasses

Shade Container Garden: Plants For Creating Shade Containers

Container gardens are a fantastic way to add color and beauty to tough spots. A container garden for the shade can brighten up the dark, difficult corners of your yard.

Plants for Creating Shade Containers

If you are trying to think of ideas for a shade container garden, this means that you will need shade plants for containers. A few annuals that are good ideas for a shade container garden are:

  • Coleus
  • Impatiens
  • Begonias
  • Caladiums
  • Fuchsia
  • Wishbone flower

Some perennial shade plants for containers are:

  • Bleeding heart
  • Ferns
  • Forget-me-not
  • Hosta
  • Hardy geraniums

Ideas for Shade Container Garden

When assembling your container garden for the shade, it is best to keep in mind a few standard tips for containers.

  1. The plants for creating shade containers should be three heights: tall, middle and low. The tall plant, such as a fern, should go in the center. Around that, the middle plants, such as fuchsia and hosta, and the low plants, such as impatiens and forget me not, should be placed. This will add visual interest.
  2. Use at least three shade plants for containers in one container to add visual interest.
  3. In your container garden for the shade, put plants with similar water needs in the same container.

Some other ideas for a shade container garden include:

  1. Fuchsia (the color) and white help make the colors of other plants for shade container gardens look brighter. Use one of these colors at least once in your shade container.
  2. Shade containers are often located under large trees and structures, which means that rainfall may not make it to them. Be sure to check if your container garden for the shade is getting enough water, even if it has rained recently.
  3. Also, a container garden for the shade is more susceptible to over watering as they are not in the direct line of the drying sun. Be sure to check if your shade plants for containers and their need for water before giving them water.
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When we think of shade plants, we often picture lush plants with deep green foliage and very few flowers.

The truth is: there are some very showy, colorful and easy care shade loving plants that will add much needed vibrant colors and cheerfulness to a dark shady spot, such as a covered patio, or the north side of your house.

Here are 30+ stunning shade plant garden combinations, with complete plant lists for each of them, and designer tips! Just write down your favorite ones and have fun plant shopping! 🙂

If you have a sunny location, here are 30+ stunning planting lists of sun loving plants!

30+ stunning planting lists of sun loving plants!

If you plant a colorful container, tag us on instagram @apieceofrainbow. We always love seeing what you create! =)

1 & 2. So many beautiful colorful shade plants!

All the plants in both of these containers below are perfect for full shade ( in hot sunny climates like California ) and partial shade ( in less sunny places like Pacific Northwest ).

Plant List 1: Start from top – Pink Fuchsia,Pink Begonia, Coleus mixed varieties , green Sweet Potato Vine

Plant List 2: Cordyline fruticosa / Hawaiian Ti plant , Caladium ‘Rosebud’, Dragon Wing Begonia, Lobelia ‘Techno Blue’ ( Source: 1 | 2 )

3 & 4. Choose the best shade plants for your locations

Look at the color of the wall and surrounding environment. For example, red foliage would not be as showy in front of a red brick wall as green foliage.

Plant List 3: Boston Fern, Maranta leuconeura / Prayer Plant, Heuchera ‘Key Lime Pie’, Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ / English Ivy ( from the beautiful portfolio of Laura Berman at Green Fuse Photos )

Plant List 4: Coleus mixed varieties , green Sweet Potato Vine, purple Sweet Potato Vine ( Source )

5 – 8. Planting design: secrets of three

Choose a combination of shade plants so you have dramatic focal point, fillers, and trailers. You will see these 3 design elements used in many of the planters here!

Plant List 5: Colocasia esculenta /Elephant Ears, Purple Plectranthus, Orange Impatiens, Red Stem Pilea

Plant List 6: Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum / Peace Lily, orange Kalanchoe, Croton, Tradescantia zebrina / Wandering Jew, Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ / English Ivy ( Source: 5 | 6 )

Plant List 7: Diffenbachia / Leopard Lily, Actaea racemosa, Caryopteris ‘White Surprise’, Red Begonia tuberosa, Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ / English Ivy, Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny (via Deborah Silver)

Plant List 8: Myer’s Asparagus Fern, Imaptiens, Pathos ( Source )

9 & 10. White looks great in shade!

Some shade plants have white foliage or highlights, which can really brighten up a shade location.

Plant List 9: Caladium ‘White Christmas’, Boston Fern, Red Begonia tuberosa, Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny ( The Garden Diaries )

Plant List 10: Boston Fern, green Sweet Potato Vine, White Petunia, White Daisies ( Botanical Blitz )

11 – 18. Foliage as colorful as flowers

Lots of shade plants have showy foliage with bright colors While flowers may last a few weeks these colorful leaves last year round!

You will find foliage colors ranging from hot pink, red, chartreuse, to orange, deep purple, and more!

Plant List 11: Cordyline fruticosa / Hawaiian Ti plant , Coleus ‘Rustic Orange’ ( viola nursery )

Plant List 12: Caladium, Pink Impatiens, green Sweet Potato Vine ( decor chick )

Plant List 13: Petunia mixed varieties , Coleus mixed varieties , green Sweet Potato Vine

Plant List 14: Cordyline fruticosa / Hawaiian Ti plant , pink Begonia tuberosa, Coleus, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ / Golden Japanese forest grass, Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny ( Source: 13 | 14 )

Plant List 15: Aspidistra elatior / Cast-iron plant, green Coleus, red Caladium, Asparagus Fern, Hedera helix ‘Variegata’ / Variegated English Ivy ( Source )

Plant List 16: Coleus mixed varieties , green Sweet Potato Vine, purple Sweet Potato Vine ( Source )

Plant List 17: Coleus ‘Rustic Orange’, orange Impatiens, yellow Calibrachoa

Plant List 18: Japanese Maple, Gartenmeister Fuchsia, green Sweet Potato Vine ( Source: 17 | 18 )

Plant List 19 – 34: You can see 16 more beautiful and easy care shade loving plant containers and plant lists here –

See more plant containers and plant lists here !

If you have a sunny location, here are 30+ stunning planting lists of sun loving plants!

30+ stunning planting lists of sun loving plants!

Happy garden planning! See you in a week!

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Sometimes shade can be tricky in the garden. Here are some great planters filled with shade loving plants you can easily find at your local nursery or online. Shade loving plants in containers makes them easy to care for and move if you need to.

Do you have a shady patio or porch? Want to fill it with containers full of color? I have some beautiful ideas for you of shade loving plants in containers.

We all know about sunny loving plants for containers like these window boxes overflowing with petunias all along the deck rails.

or these hanging baskets that are lush and spilling.

Do you love painting in bright colors?

But sometimes what we need are great examples of eye catching color that thrive in lower light and shade.

Shade loving plants with colorful foliage

Beautiful coleus, Rex Begonias, Caladiums, and Creeping charlie provide colorful foliage that makes flowers seem superfluous.

Get hayracks to place under windows on shaded porches. Fill them with all the foliage and tuck in some impatiens and fuchsias for a few blooms.

Shade loving spiller plants

The Creeping Charlie, Sweet Potato Vine, Creeping Jenny and Vinca make some some great spillers.

These are packed so tightly you will need to give them plenty of liquid food to keep them all happy. Worm casting tea with each watering would do the trick.

Stack them for height in your shade garden.

You have to love the bright greens and vibrant reds playing nice to together in tiered planters. This planter has lamium in it too. The leaves have a silvery sheen.

There are so many brightly colored foliage plants that you rarely miss the flowers.

But then there are also many shade loving flowers.

Some of these I have growing as ground cover and just need to dig up and plop into pots and display them on the porch. That bright red begonia is on my list to buy again this year. I had one last year but failed to over winter it in a warm spot and it didn’t make it but it was well worth the $4 bucks I paid for it as it was gorgeous all summer long.

What do you like to grow in shade spots?
Here is a video of more shade plants you may like.
Until next time!

More you Will Enjoy!

Gorgeous Groundcovers I Grow
Ten Rose Care Garden Myths Debunked!
Favorite Shade Loving Plants for the Porch

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Container plants for shade

If you’re looking to plant up a container for shade, a cleverly planted pot might be just the solution you need.


These pot and container ideas for shade are perfect for brightening gloomy spots – especially handy if you’ve got a north-facing garden or are surrounded by high walls.

Containers are also perfect for areas with higher-than-average rainfall, as you can plant a pot that’s suited to your conditions.

Related content:

  • How to plant up pots for shade
  • 20 plants for dry shade
  • Five tips for planting in shade

Discover beautiful container plants for shade, for colour, scent and foliage, below.


This clever design technique shows how to create impact by using the same plant in several different containers. Here, hostas are the filler of choice (ideal for a shady spot) with a selection of terracotta pots completing the scene. This display will last all summer. You could also try other dramatic shade-lovers, including ferns like Dryopteris wallichiana.

Lysimachia, false shamrock and begonias

A reclaimed metal container is softened with the dark, dramatic foliage of Lysimachia ‘Midnight Sun’ and Oxalis triangularis, along with the vibrant blooms of Begonia sutherlandii. These plants thrive in dappled shade, putting on more growth as the summer progresses – they’ll perform until the first frosts, too. Here’s our step-by-step guide to creating it.

Begonias, bleeding heart and heuchera

Classic begonias including Begonia Botanica Mix and Begonia semperflorens combine with perennial bleeding heart, here Lamprocapnos ‘King of Hearts’, to create a display that’s full of colour, texture and interest. Mix blooms and leaves of complementary shades to create a modern, designer style for summer-long impact. We also used Heuchera ‘Cappuccino’ to complement the other plants used. Here’s how to pot it up.

Madagascar periwinkles, lilyturf and anemones

Create late-summer interest with a container crammed with the blooms of Catharanthus roseus, Liriope muscari and Anemone ‘Pretty Lady’ that perform at the end of the season. Everything in this pot will still look good after September, with the added bonus of thriving in a shady location. Stipa tenuissima is planted at the back to give this container some movement.

Carex, heucheras and heucherellas

Fill a rustic crate with striking foliage plants including Carex comans bronze-leaved, Heuchera ‘Blackout’ and Heucherella ‘Gold Strike’ to create a display that will come back every year. Combine contrasting colours and add an ornamental grass for movement. Rehome plants in the garden if they outgrow the crate.

Salvias, begonias, dahlias and coleus

A mix of lush foliage and glamorous blooms creates a display with a tropical vibe. Most of the plants come into their own in late summer, with an impressive show well into the autumn. A white-glazed container brightens the overall look. We used Salvia ‘Painted Lady’, Begonia ‘Surefire’, Dahlia ‘Happy Single Flame’, Coleus ‘Dipped in Wine’.

Astilbe, hosta and milium

This bold display combines the shade-loving perennials Astilbe ‘Sprite’, Hosta ‘Wide Brim’, Milium effusum ‘Aureum’, in a galvanised container for a stylish, contemporary look. While the foliage will perform all year, the flowers will appear in mid-summer, and come back the following year. Here are our instructions for planting it.

Dryopteris, verbena, false heather and blue daisies

Mix ferns like Dryopteris affinis and other perennials with summer bedding plants to create a container that can be given a different look year-on-year (just swap the bedding). A decorative box adds interest – perfect for making the most of a bare wall. The other plants used were Verbena ‘Blue Violet’, Cuphea ignea, Felicia amelloides ‘Variegata’ and Glechoma hederacea ‘Variegata’.

Dryopteris, ivy and geraniums

Simplicity is key here, with three container plants for shade used. Dryopteris affinis and Hedera helix ‘Sagittifolia’ provide the ideal foil for delicate geranium flowers, here Geranium ‘Wargrave Pink’. This container has a woodland feel, with the barrel adding to the rustic look. Cut back the geranium after flowering to encourage more blooms.


Looking to fill sunny areas with colour and fragrance? Take a look at our feature on container plants for full sun.

The best plants for amazingly low maintenance garden pots

May 21st, 2017 Posted In: Container gardening

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What are ‘low maintenance garden pots’? After all, how low can you go?

Can you go away on holiday for a fortnight without asking anyone to water your pots?

Er, no. Not unless you invest in a watering system. The first thing to make clear is there is no such thing as the ‘no-maintenance garden pot’. All plants need some care.

But my friend Debs has a charming arrangement of pansies on her terrace. They flowered from October to May. She waters them, and feeds them once the growing season starts. I call that low-maintenance.

They’ve been flowering for six months on minimum care. I particularly like the way Debs has chosen just one colour of pansy for all her pots – it lends a bit of style to a humble pot plant.

This post is sponsored by Phostrogen plant foods and Baby Bio Pour & Feed ready-to-use plant food.

However, all opinions are my own, and based on my own experience. My definition of ‘low maintenance garden pots’ are pots that only need watering and feeding.

And all plants in pots, however low maintenance, do at least need watering and feeding!

Find out more about feeding and watering plants in pots here. .

Links to Amazon are affiliate (see disclosure).

Large pots are more ‘low-maintenance’ than small ones…

I once offered to look after a friend’s plants while she was away. She had about thirty very small pots scattered around in ones and twos in her courtyard garden and up the steps from her basement flat.

I put all the pots together in the bath, and gave them a good soaking. Then I put them all in one corner together. This helps prevent them from drying out so quickly.

If I hadn’t done that, I’d have had to go in every day to water them. Even so, they had to be watered three times that week, whereas my big pots do fine on one good watering a week.

Large pots, such as these ultra-light fibreglass pots from Capital Garden Products, retain water for longer. So they need less maintenance than having lots of little pots.

You can minimise how often you need to feed and water pots by mixing the compost with a water-control products, such as Phostrogen Slow Release Plant Food & Moisture Control. You could water less and wouldn’t have to feed at all for the rest of the season.

It’s a mixture of moisture-retaining granules and slow release plant food granules. You mix it in with your compost when potting your plant up, so you don’t have to feed the plant for six months. Phostrogen say it reduces watering by 75%, which means you could probably water your pots once or twice a week instead of three or four times.

I’m also using it with my tomato plants in pots this year, as tomatoes like their compost to stay fairly evenly moist. They don’t like drying out, then suddenly getting drenched.

Phostrogen Patio Plant Foood, Phostrogen Slow Release Plant Food and Baby Bio Pour & Feed Ready to Use Plant Food ready for use in the Middlesized Garden.

However, small pots will dry out faster than a large pot, even if you do use moisture control granules.

Although succulents may be the exception…

Everyone always says that succulents are perfect for ‘low maintenance garden pots.’ I am not quite convinced, as mine get ratty-looking very quickly.

These succulents look so charming in this Whitstable garden. But I suspect the garden owners are better gardeners than I am, as I have never succeeded in getting pots of succulents to look that good.

Succulents certainly need less water than most pot plants, and less food, too. Most pot plants need to be fed every two weeks, but you can feed succulents once a month.

But they can be picky in other ways. They don’t like getting wet feet, for example, and need plenty of drainage in their pot. I think mine have rotted because their pots get saturated when it rains.

They have been brilliant on a plant stand, however. My mother had a 1960s plant stand (pictured below). She used to grow blue trailing lobelias (which, coincidentally, she fed with Phostrogen).

I inherited the plant stand, but have found it very difficult to make a success of it. My mother was happy to water plants in pots every day. I am not. The pots dry out so quickly in the air.

Most plants on a stand like this dry out very quickly, so it’s ideal for succulents.

Box is my No 1 low maintenance garden pot plant

I know everyone is worried about box blight and box tree caterpillar, but my box plants go on and on in their pots.

I may have to change my mind, however. The box tree caterpillar is heading my way, as it is now common in London and the South of England, according to an RHS survey.

I’ve been offered BUXatrap ® Box Tree Moth Trap to try out. It’s a pheromone trap, which captures the moths, and so breaks the life cycle, preventing the moth from laying more eggs. Fingers crossed!

This topiary spiral from Bellamont Topiary has been here since September 2015. I haven’t had to trim it, but I water it once a week and feed it once a fortnight with Phostrogen Patio Pant food.

In theory, you should take your box out of its pot every two years, give it a root trim, then replace it in fresh soil. It’s certainly worth doing for an expensive plant like the topiary spiral, but I haven’t for my less elegant box cones in pots.

I have had these box cones (below) in the same pots for seven years (Sorry, that’s a terrible admission. Do not follow my example!). They are watered once a week (more often in very hot weather), and fed once a fortnight.

Make a note of when you feed your plants

Do note when you feed pot plants in your diary – by the end of the summer, one session blurs into another. I can never remember whether I fed the plants last week or the week before.

This cone is trimmed once a year and watered once a week.

If you’re looking for an alternative to box, I’d recommend yew or another slow-growing evergreen.

Buy it at the size you want it, then trim it when it gets too big. If you buy a small one, hoping for it to grow, it will take a long time to get to where you want it. Or, if it’s fast-growing, it will need constant trimming once it gets to the size you want.

I’d advise against using privet (ligustrum) for low-maintenance pots – I have two lovely privet standards trimmed into lollipops, but they need trimming at least four times a year. Not low-maintenance!

Topiary in pots – high drama, low-maintenance

Topiary in pots gives the garden structure.

Give your garden instant structure with a dramatic piece of topiary in a pot. It’s expensive – but cheaper than buying garden-sized topiary, and I’ve found topiary in pots are very easy-care.

Cloud-pruned topiary in pots. Very smart. Topiary seems to grow more slowly in pots, so it needs less clipping. Or is that my imagination?

Nepeta and heuchera – two easy-care garden plants for pots…

Before the topiary spiral arrived, Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ made dramatic show in just one season. Then they stayed in these pots for nearly three years before they gave up the ghost. I fed and watered them, but didn’t change the soil. I used to chop them back in September, and they grew back again with charming grey-blue foliage.The heucheras in the pots in the foreground were extremely low-maintenance too. They lasted two years in the same compost before they were eaten by vine weevils.

Hydrangeas in pots for easy, late-season gorgeousness

Several of my friends swear by hydrangeas as the ultimate easy-care plant for garden pots. They don’t like being short of water, but otherwise seem remarkably unfussy and have a great winter presence.

Hydrangeas in pots: easy to look after. And you can also have blue ones, even if your soil isn’t right as you can put ericaceous compost in the pot.

Friends swear by Hydrangea paniculata as ideal hydrangeas for pots.

Plectranthus is good for low maintenance garden pots

This photograph, taken at Doddington Place Gardens, is one of my favourites from last year. The silvery-grey plectranthus looked so simple and elegant all summer long in the copper pots. And the plectranthus is very forgiving, even surviving a shortage of water.

The plectranthus in these lovely copper pots at Doddington Place Gardens even survive being a bit short of water.

Grasses are brilliant for low maintenance garden pots

I’d suggest buying the right size grass for the pot, however. I bought some panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ eighteen months ago. They’ve looked a bit forlorn in the middle of a large pot, although I surrounded it with petunias.

Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’, surrounded by petunias, in its first year in the pot. I had to deadhead the petunias, but the panicum was fine with weekly watering and a fortnightly feed.

I should probably have started them off in a smaller pot, then transferred them up in size. But that sort of fiddling-around breaks the ‘low-maintenance’ barrier.

In theory, I should lift and divide my grasses every two years, replacing them in new container soil. I may allow them to get thoroughly congested, as I’ve seen a congested Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ look fabulous when it was bursting out of its pot.

Grass at the centre of a large planter at Doddington Place Gardens – very easy care.

Grasses in pots look good in the winter, too. I left mine until around February, and it only took ten minutes to give the four pots a haircut. I think that grasses are probably the lowest of the ‘low maintenance garden pots.’

Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ adding a fountain of grasses to our winter garden.

About Phostrogen plant foods and Baby Bio Pour & Feed

Phostrogen All Purpose Plant Food is a balanced plant food for all garden plants, including shrubs, bedding plants, pots, vegetables and hanging baskets. It can be used either dissolved in water or sprinkled directly on the soil.

Phostrogen Slow Release Plant Food & Moisture Control will feed your pot for 6 months and reduces watering by 75%. Mix it in with your compost when you’re planting the pot up.

Phostrogen Patio Plant Food is for a balanced plant food for pots, containers and hanging baskets, including vegetables, hanging baskets and indoor plants. Use as a dilute solution or sprinkle directly onto the soil.

Baby Bio Pour & Feed is a ready-to-use balanced plant for all container plants. Just measure into the cap and pour around the soil. You can use it for indoor or outdoor plants.

The ultimate low maintenance garden pots

Leave the pot empty! Empty pots can look wonderful. Although I have discovered that empty pots are soon colonised by ivy or other plants, which often looks even nicer.

There are more container plant ideas on the Middlesized Garden’s Container Gardening Pinterest Board.

And discover 25 inspiring ideas for pots and planters here.

You can shop my favourite garden tools, books and sustainable garden products on The Middlesized Garden Amazon storefront. Links to Amazon are affiliate (see disclosure).

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