20 Perennials That Thrive in Pots for Limited Garden Spaces

Enhancing your outdoor spaces with potted perennials is a wonderful way to add vibrant colors, particularly if you’re short on garden space or wish to beautify a patio or balcony. If you need guidance on which perennials thrive in pots, you’ve come to the right place. This article will help you cultivate 20 stunning potted perennials suited to your specific requirements and space.


Hostas in Pot

Hostas are a fantastic choice for growing in pots. They thrive in shaded areas and add variety with their leaf shapes, colors, and textures.

You can find hostas in many sizes, from small varieties perfect for smaller containers to large ones that need bigger pots. This makes them flexible for various gardening spaces.

When planting hostas in pots, choose containers with good drainage and the correct size for the mature plant. This helps prevent waterlogging, which can harm their roots.

Use rich, well-draining soil to keep your hostas healthy. Regular watering and occasional fertilizing will help them stay vibrant throughout the growing season.

Keep hostas in a shady spot, as they prefer indirect sunlight. Too much sun can scorch their leaves, making them less attractive.

Hostas are not just limited to gardens; they can also enhance your patio or balcony. Their foliage creates a lush, green backdrop that’s hard to beat.

Some popular varieties include H. sieboldiana ‘Elegans,’ known for its large, crinkled leaves and fragrant flowers. This variety can grow quite large, so plan your pot size accordingly.


Lavender is a versatile potted perennial that adds a wonderful fragrance and attractive flowers to your garden.

Plant lavender in well-drained soil. A sandy loam mixed with some organic matter works well. Ensure the pot has good drainage to prevent root rot.

Keep the pH between 6.5 and 8. You can add lime to the soil if the pH is too low. This helps the lavender thrive.

Place your lavender pot in full sun. Lavender needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. This helps it grow strong and produce more flowers.

Water carefully. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can harm lavender since it prefers drier conditions.

Prune lavender regularly. Trim the plant in spring after new leaves appear. Avoid cutting back more than one-third of the plant at a time.

Repot your lavender every spring. Use a larger container and fresh potting soil to keep the plant healthy and promote more blooms.

Lavender is also hardy in USDA zones 5 through 7. If you live in these zones, your lavender should thrive with proper care. If you live in a different zone, provide additional protection during winter months.

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

If you like container gardening, Coral Bells are a great choice. They are low-maintenance and easy to grow. You can even use them to complement other plants in your garden.

Heuchera prefers morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Weekly watering is needed if the weather is hot and dry. Use mulch like pine straw or shredded bark to conserve soil moisture.

You can grow Coral Bells in various environments. They do well in woodlands, rock gardens, and containers. Their foliage comes in many colors like green, purple, and silver. Some leaves have marbled patterns and dramatic veining.

Coral Bells are not just pretty. They are also versatile and resilient. They are native to North America and can handle different soil types. They have evergreen to semi-evergreen foliage, providing year-round interest.

Sedum (Stonecrop)

Sedum, also known as Stonecrop, is an ideal perennial for pots. These succulent, herbaceous plants have fleshy leaves that can be flat or rounded.

Many species of Sedum, like the Hylotelephium telephium, stand about 2 to 2.5 feet tall and spread 1.5 to 2 feet wide. This species features star-shaped flowers in pink to purplish-red clusters.

Sedum SunSparkler® is a popular cultivar. It’s known for its showy leaves and striking flowers in shades of pink and red. This series is easy to grow and drought-tolerant. It makes a great choice for container gardening.

Sedum thrives in poor, sandy soils and requires minimal watering. This low-maintenance nature makes it perfect for busy gardeners.

You can propagate Sedum through stem cuttings in summer or by division in spring. A single leaf can regenerate into a new plant, making it both versatile and easy to grow.

For a unique twist, consider the Sedum sarmentosum. This mat-forming perennial has creeping, bright yellow-green leaves. It’s great for ground cover and equally suitable for pots.


Daylilies perform well in pots and bring bright, vibrant colors to any space. Known for their hardiness, daylilies can tolerate a variety of conditions and still thrive.

One key advantage of growing daylilies in pots is their adaptability. They do well in many soil types and light conditions. Their ability to establish quickly and grow vigorously makes them ideal for containers.

Daylilies bloom from summer until the first frost. Each flower lasts just one day, but the plant produces an abundance of blooms over several weeks. This ensures continuous color in your container garden.

You can choose from a wide variety of daylilies. They come in various colors, including yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, and creamy white. This variety makes it easy to find a type that fits your aesthetic.

When planting daylilies in containers, consider using smaller cultivars. They are more manageable and suitable for pot growth. Make sure the container is large enough to support the plant’s root system.

Daylilies also have the added benefit of being relatively pest-free. This makes them low-maintenance and simple to care for compared to other flowers.



Salvia is ideal for container gardening. These versatile plants thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. You can enjoy salvia’s vibrantly colored flowers and aromatic foliage. They come in colors like blue, purple, pink, red, white, and yellow.

Salvia attracts pollinators. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees are drawn to their blossoms. They are also low maintenance. Water them regularly but avoid overwatering.

Place containers in spots with at least six hours of sunlight. Mixing a slow-release fertilizer into the potting soil helps nourish the plants. Fertilize weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer.

Salvias flourish in various climates. They can tolerate some drought once established. Their flowers bloom throughout summer, extending into fall.

For propagation, use seeds, cuttings, or divisions. Cuttings root easily, making it simple to expand your collection. You can enjoy their beauty with minimal effort. Salvia is a rewarding choice for any gardener.


Coreopsis adapts well to container life and adds vibrant color to your potted outdoor space.

You can find varieties like the Broadleaf Coreopsis, which typically reach up to 4 feet in height. Another option is Thread Leaf Coreopsis, growing to about 2-3 feet tall.

These plants thrive in full sun, making them ideal for bright patios and balconies. They are drought-tolerant, needing less frequent watering. The yellow and gold flowers bloom from May to fall if your deadhead spent blooms.

For the best results, use containers at least 16 inches deep. This depth allows the roots to grow strong and healthy. Choose well-draining soil to prevent root rot. If the soil is too rich, the stems may become weak.

Coreopsis pairs well with other perennials that have different bloom times. This extends the display of color in your garden. Consider combining with early, mid, and late-blooming plants to keep your container garden lively throughout the season.

Caring for Coreopsis in pots is straightforward. Water them when the soil feels dry, and place them where they can receive ample sunlight. These plants are resilient and can tolerate poor soil conditions, elevating the beauty of your potted garden with minimal effort.


Astilbe in Pot

Astilbe plants are known for their beautiful, feathery flowers. They come in shades of white, pink, red, and purple. The showy blooms can add a burst of color to shaded areas.

Astilbe prefers moist soil and partial shade. Using containers makes it easier to control these conditions. Make sure your container is at least 16 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Larger containers are useful if you plan to plant multiple astilbes together.

Astilbe x arendsii are popular hybrids derived from various species. These include Astilbe chinensis, Astilbe japonica, and Astilbe thunergii. These hybrids typically grow 24 to 36 inches tall. Their flowers are excellent for cuttings or dried arrangements.

You can divide your astilbe every 4 to 6 years. This helps maintain the plant’s vigor. After dividing, water and mulch them well. This aids in their establishment.

Growing astilbe in containers allows you to move them as needed. If the sun exposure becomes too much, you can reposition them. This flexibility helps in achieving the best growth conditions.

One native variety, Astilbe biternata, is more striking with its height reaching almost 6 feet. Its large, fern-like leaves add to its bold appearance. This variety is often found in woodlands and provides a unique look compared to its cultivated relatives.


Dianthus comes in various forms. It can be annuals, biennials, or perennials. Varieties range from 2 inches to 3 feet tall. Typically, garden varieties grow between 10 and 20 inches tall.

Sweet Williams (Dianthus barbatus) are biennials or short-lived perennials. Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) are popular in bouquets. Pinks (Dianthus chinensis) are low-growing annuals.

Plant Dianthus in full sun to partial shade. It thrives in cooler seasons. Fragrant flowers bloom in spring or summer, lasting until the first frost. Jolt™ Pink Dianthus is a heat-tolerant variety with vibrant flowers.

When growing Dianthus in pots, choose pots with drainage holes. Avoid poorly drained mixtures, which can cause root problems. Stressed roots are vulnerable to root-rotting fungi.

The petals of Dianthus flowers are edible when grown organically. They can be crystallized with sugar for cake decoration. Be cautious, as the leaves can cause mild gastrointestinal distress if ingested.

Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemones are excellent perennials for pots. They showcase beautiful white or pink flowers on branching stems. These blooms reach two to three inches across, creating an elegant display in containers.

You should plant Japanese Anemones in well-drained soil. Soggy soil can cause root rot. Keep the soil moist during summer for the best growth. Winter care is simpler if the soil remains well-drained.

These plants are hardy to USDA zone 4. They can thrive in colder climates. You can divide or transplant them in spring or fall. This flexibility makes them ideal for pot cultivation.

Japanese Anemones can complement other perennials in your garden. Their lush foliage and delicate flowers can brighten up any space. They grow well under the canopy of trees and in borders.

Be cautious about their invasive nature. Japanese Anemones can spread and take over other plants. Regular maintenance and monitoring are necessary.

You can find these plants readily available in local nurseries. Fall is the best time to plant Japanese Anemones. This timing ensures they establish well for the coming seasons.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart, or Dicentra spectabilis, is a stunning perennial for pots. The flowers are heart-shaped and appear in shades of pink and white. This plant prefers partial shade.

Bleeding Heart grows well in moist, well-drained soil. It does not like wet winter soil. Place it under taller plants or near the edge of your patio for a dramatic effect.

The foliage of Bleeding Heart is fern-like. It will go dormant in late summer, so pair it with other plants that can take over the display. Hostas and ferns are good companions.

Ensure you water the plant evenly. Avoid waterlogging. A well-balanced fertilizer applied in spring can encourage healthy growth.

To prevent gaps in your display, consider adding annuals. Impatiens can grow up as Bleeding Heart dies back. Containers with blooming annuals are another option. Keep an eye on pests, though Bleeding Heart generally has few problems. Occasionally, aphids may appear.


Hellebores in Pot

Hellebores are evergreen perennials known for their winter and early spring blooms. They are also called the Christmas rose or Lenten rose. These plants are a part of the buttercup family, and they thrive in Zones 4 to 9.

When growing hellebores in pots, choose a large container with good drainage. Hellebores prefer rich, well-draining soil. Place the pot in a spot with partial to full shade.

Water hellebores regularly, but do not overwater. Too much moisture can lead to root rot. Hellebores are generally low-maintenance and resistant to pests and diseases.t

Hellebores come in various colors due to hybridization. This allows for a diverse range of flowers that can brighten up your garden during the colder months. Most are hardy and can withstand cold temperatures.

Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)

Gaillardia, commonly known as Blanket Flower, is a vibrant choice for potted gardens. This plant features bright, daisy-like blooms in red, orange, and yellow.

Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia) are part of the Asteraceae family. They originated in North and South America. This makes them well-suited for sunny spots in your garden.

The hybrid Gaillardia x grandiflora combines traits from perennial and annual varieties. These hybrids provide a longer blooming period. They are typically short-lived but offer breathtaking displays.

To maximize bloom time, deadhead spent flowers regularly. Provide consistent watering but avoid waterlogged soil. Gaillardia prefers well-drained conditions, which helps prevent root rot.

Several cultivars of Gaillardia are available. For instance, Gaillardia ‘Tizzy’ features unique trumpet-shaped rays. Varieties like ‘Oranges & Lemons’ add diverse color options to your potted garden.

Blanket Flowers are also drought-tolerant once established. This makes them perfect for regions with occasional dry spells. Their heat tolerance ensures they thrive in warmer climates.

Consider mixing Gaillardia with other sun-loving perennials. This will create a colorful and dynamic potted garden.

Echinacea (Coneflower)

Echinacea (Coneflower)

Echinacea, often known as coneflowers, are popular perennials suited for growing in pots. These plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Coneflowers thrive in well-drained, moist loam. They can, however, adapt to various soil types. Growing in large containers ensures the drainage these plants need.

Using commercial potting media helps maintain soil quality. Apply a balanced, controlled-release fertilizer or high-quality compost each spring to encourage growth.

Echinacea’s purple petals and dark center cones add vibrant color to your garden. They also attract butterflies, enhancing your garden’s biodiversity.

Coneflowers are easy to grow and maintain. These plants require minimal care once established. Ensure they receive sufficient sunlight, as they prefer full sun conditions.

The genus name, derived from the Greek word “echinos,” means hedgehog, reflecting the prickly flower center. Echinacea species are native to the eastern and central United States.

Hardy Geraniums

Hardy geraniums are excellent choices for potted perennial gardens. They are true perennials, unlike annual geraniums (Pelargonium). You can find a wide variety of species in the marketplace.

These plants thrive in well-drained soil and tolerate partial shade. For the best blooms, ensure they receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Fertilize them with an all-purpose garden fertilizer like 10-10-10 before planting.

Notable Varieties:

  • Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’: Chosen as the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2015, this variety boasts white blooms with pink veins. It’s native to the Dalmatia region in Croatia.
  • Geranium maculatum: Also known as wild geranium, it’s native to Iowa woodlands and produces charming pink to purple flowers.

When growing hardy geraniums in pots, use containers with good drainage to prevent waterlogging. Choose terracotta or ceramic pots, which allow the roots to breathe. Water regularly but avoid over-watering.

Hardy geraniums serve well in hanging baskets, window boxes, or larger pots. Their compact size and pleasant blooms can brighten any outdoor space.

You can propagate hardy geraniums through cuttings or division. In the fall, transplant the cuttings into larger pots to ensure they develop strong root systems. Use sterile tools to prevent disease spread.


Yarrow is known for its vibrant blooms and feathery, aromatic leaves. Yarrow comes in various colors, including white, pink, red, yellow, and gold.

Yarrow prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It can grow between 18 inches to 4 feet tall, depending on the variety. Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and fern leaf yarrow (Achillea filipendulina) are two popular types.

Common yarrow grows up to 3 feet tall and has flowers ranging from white to pink to red. Meanwhile, fern leaf yarrow can reach 4 feet and typically produces yellow or gold blooms. Both types dry well, making them excellent for dried arrangements.

Another type, woolly yarrow (Achillea tomentosa), stays compact at 6 to 12 inches high. It has gray, fuzzy leaves and yellow flowers. This variety is excellent for edging stones or as ground cover.

Yarrow is an excellent wildlife plant. It attracts butterflies and other pollinators. Yarrow also grows well in rain gardens and can naturalize in fields and along roadsides. The plant’s versatility makes it suitable for different garden designs.

To grow yarrow in pots, ensure the container has good drainage. Water moderately, and avoid overwatering. Yarrow is drought-resistant once established. It’s a low-maintenance plant and can enhance your garden with its ornamental value and ecological benefits.

Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisies are hardy perennials perfect for pots. They don’t need too much care. Their striking white blooms with yellow centers brighten any space.

Plant Shasta Daisies in full sun. They tolerate light shade. Use well-drained, fertile soil. Mulching helps retain moisture and keep the soil cool.

Your Shasta Daisy can grow from 1 to 3 feet tall. There are many varieties, including single, semi-double, and double-flowered types. Container-grown Shasta Daisies need regular watering but avoid waterlogging.

Shasta Daisies bloom from late spring to summer. They flourish with consistent moisture. Deadheading spent flowers encourages more blooms.

These plants are occasionally damaged by deer. They are excellent for perennial borders and cut flowers. They can be enjoyed in containers on a patio or balcony.

For more robust growth, consider planting Shasta Daisies in average to dry, well-drained soil. This creates an eye-catching potted plant with plenty of vibrant blooms throughout summer.


This large, glossy, evergreen perennial thrives well in shady areas and rock gardens. Its low-growing habit, reaching up to 12 inches high, makes it suitable for container gardening.

The leaves of Bergenia are thick, leathery, and dark green. They can grow up to 10 inches long and 8 inches wide. These characteristics make Bergenia an excellent option for adding texture and visual interest to your potted plants collection.

In early spring, Bergenia produces clusters of small, pink blooms on erect stems. These flowers not only add color but also attract pollinators to your garden. The plant’s foliage often turns a reddish hue in the colder months, providing seasonal interest.

Bergenia prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soil. It can tolerate a range of light conditions from full sun to partial shade. Regular watering helps it thrive, but make sure not to over-water, as this can lead to root rot.

You can place Bergenia in a decorative pot to enhance your patio or deck space. Its hardy nature and low maintenance needs make it a practical choice for beginner gardeners.

Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan)

This striking plant exhibits bright yellow petals with a characteristic dark center. It brings vibrant hues to your garden space or patio.

These flowers thrive in containers. They grow well in a mix of potting soil and compost. Ensure your container has good drainage.

Black-Eyed Susan reaches heights of 24 to 36 inches. The compact variety, Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, is particularly well-suited for pots.

Rudbeckia is easy to care for. Water regularly but avoid overwatering. Place the pot in a sunny location. This plant prefers full sun for the best blooms.

A balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks keeps them healthy. Be cautious, though, as too much fertilizer can result in fewer blooms.

Deadhead spent flowers to encourage new blooms. Trim back after flowering to maintain shape.

Consider Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) for its bright yellow daisies. Another option, Rudbeckia triloba, offers smaller yet notable flowers, native to eastern North America. Learn more about these varieties here.

This plant not only beautifies your space but also attracts pollinators. Butterflies and bees love it. It’s also a hardy plant, easily surviving into cooler months.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses add texture, color, and movement to your garden. These grasses are versatile and low-maintenance.

You can choose from a variety of species. Popular options include Maiden Grass, Feather Reed Grass, and Fountain Grass. These grasses thrive in containers and enhance the visual appeal of your space.

Planting ornamental grasses in pots provides flexibility. You can move them around to optimize sunlight exposure and create different layouts.

Watering is simple for potted ornamental grasses. Most of them require moderate watering. Ensure the soil is well-drained to prevent root rot.

Pruning ornamental grasses is minimal. You should cut them back to 6-8 inches above the ground in late winter to promote new growth. This keeps the plants healthy and attractive.

Soil preparation is crucial. Some grasses don’t need heavily amended soils. Use a well-drained potting mix for best results.

Ornamental grasses bring unique elements to your garden. They create movement and sound, unlike many other plants. This makes your garden more dynamic and engaging.

Incorporating these grasses into your garden design is easy. They are suitable for water gardens, rock gardens, and container gardens. Experiment with different arrangements to find what works best for you.

Ornamental grasses are also great for indoor and outdoor decorations. Their long vase life makes them perfect for floral arrangements.