Plant Guide: Short Plants for Sun

These short plants crave the sun and will look great in a stylish container on your deck or patio.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios
Gold Carpet Fills Summer with Honey Hued Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Bidens ferulifolia

A short-lived perennial with open, starlike, bright yellow flowers at the ends of thin, wiry stems from summer to fall. Often grown in hanging baskets to snake through adjacent plants. 'Golden Goddess' has finer leaves and larger flowers.
Height: To 12 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Ornamental Cabbage Intensifies with Color in Cold DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Brassica oleracea

Ornamental cabbages were bred for their leafy colors, bright and brash in reds, pinks, purples, and white. The colors intensify with colder fall temperatures. Use them in rows of pots, to front a container display. Grow from seed in spring.
Height: To 18 inches
Spread: To 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Italian Bellfower has Starlike Bell Flowers DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Campanula isophylla

Use the perennial Italian bellflower in hanging baskets: its trailing stems, with star-like blue flowers, dangle effectively over the sides. Contrast it with white 'Alba' or 'Stella White'. Feed, but do not overwater, in summer. Bring under cover in winter.
Height: 8 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Ornamental Peppers are Brilliantly Colored DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Capsicum annuum

There are two kinds of ornamental peppers: the large, fleshy kind for roasting or using raw in salads, and the thinner, hotter kind for Asian cooking. Both are available in a wide color range. Sow seed in late winter, and grow in a sunny, sheltered site.
Height: To 30 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Golden Sedge Grows in Clumps of Arching Leaves DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Carex elata 'Aurea'

Bowles' golden sedge is a graceful, deciduous perennial that makes an effective clump of slender, arching yellow leaves with green stripes. Do not let the soil bake dry over summer, and stand where the sun highlights its color.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Crocus Bloom in Early and Signal End of Winter DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Crocus

Flowering after hyacinths and before tulips, crocuses can front large pots filled with evergreen shrubs. The late winter/early spring C. chrysanthus varieties include 'Blue Pearl' (pale blue with a yellow throat) and lemon yellow 'E. A. Bowles'.
Height: 3 inches
Spread: 2 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Dianthus are Hardy Perennials with Colorful Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Dianthus

Perennial pinks are ideal for stone troughs or old sinks. Old-fashioned kinds give the best scent, in particular the white, ragged-edged 'Mrs. Sinkins' and 'Brympton Red'. Deadhead for a long summer show; use sandy potting mix for good drainage.
Height: To 12 inches
Spread: To 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Hen and Chick Succulent Produces Multiple Offsets DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Echeveria elegans

An evergreen succulent with a rosette of thick, fleshy leaves, often with a powdery bloom, and tall flower spikes. E. elegans has pink flowers, orange inside. Stand several pots outside in front of a large container, but bring indoors for winter.
Height: 2 inches
Spread: 2 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Shrub Daisy Catches the Eye Wherever Planted DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Felicia amelloides

A blue-flowering shrubby daisy that flowers all summer; bring under cover in winter. Popular forms include the rich blue 'Santa Anita' (also with variegated leaves), 'Read's Blue' and 'Read’s White'. Fertilize in summer, but water sparingly in winter.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Blue Fescue is Popular for Rock Gardening DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Festuca glauca 'Blaufuchs'

The blue fescue is a clump-forming evergreen grass with late-spring flower spikes. Good cultivars include the silver-blue 'Blue Fox' ('Blaufuchs') and 'Elijah Blue'; 'Seeigel' is bluish green. Divide every two years to maintain fresh young plants.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Blanket Flower has Large Daisy Like Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Kobold'

A brash, fun annual with an outer ring of yellow around the red petals, and a dark red center. Pack in at the front of large tubs that need a color boost. Grow from seed in spring, and deadhead to maintain the supply of new flower buds.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Creeping Babys Breath Makes a Fine ground Cover DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Gypsophila repens

Ideal for stone troughs, this pretty little perennial makes a mat of semi-evergreen growth with bursts of tiny, star-shaped, white or pink flowers in summer. 'Dorothy Teacher' is shorter, with bluish green leaves and dark pink flowers. Good drainage is vital.
Height: 8 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Limelight Licorice Plant has Silver Woolly Leaves DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Helichrysum petiolare

A tender, shrubby perennial, often grown as an annual for its trailing, branching stems and rounded, silver, woolly leaves. Keep the soil dry over winter. Place it where the stems can snake through adjacent plants.
Height: 16 inches
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Garden Heliotrope is Highly Fragrant Perennial DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Heliotrope

The small, shrubby heliotrope gives off a superb vanilla scent. The flowers are purple-blue ('Chatsworth'), violet (e.g., 'Lord Roberts'), or white ('White Lady'). Fertilize monthly in summer; bring under cover for winter and keep just moist. Renew by cuttings.
Height: To 18 inches
Spread: To 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Perennial Squirrel Tail Grass has Silvery Plumes DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Hordeum jubatum

The annual or short-lived perennial squirrel tail grass gives a relaxed show with its long, silvery plumes, often tinged purple at the tip. Use several around the perimeter of a large tub with taller, architectural plants within. Grow from seed sown in spring.
Height: 10 inches
Spread: 3 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Petal Packed Hyacinth has Rich Sweet Scent DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Hyacinthus orientalis

The waxy, petal-packed hyacinth spikes come in white, blue, pink, red,and yellow, with a rich scent onwarm, still days in mid- and late spring. Plant in front of a summer-flowering shrub, or with spring bedding. Excellent in window boxes.
Height: 8 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Tufted Hares Tail Grass Grown for Drying DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Lagurus ovatus

The annual, tufted hare's tail grass has fluffy flowerheads, which can be picked for drying before they have matured, and pale green leaves. Sow seed in spring or in cold frames in fall. 'Nanus' is a mini version, 5 inches high.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 10 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Edging Lobelia is Noted for Profuse Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Lobelia erinus

The species has numerous trailing forms, all easily grown from seed inspring. Cascade Series, ideal for hanging baskets, has a mass of flowering stems in white, blue, and red. Regatta Series flowers early; 'Rosamund' is red with a white eye.
Height: 6 inches
Spread: 4 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Parrots Beak Scarlet Flowers Add Color to Garden DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Lotus berthelotii

Parrot's beak is an exotic, shrubby trailer ideal for hanging baskets. It has a mix of black-centered, yellow-orange to scarlet flowers like lobster's claws, and needlelike, silver-gray leaves. Grow it outside over summer, and water and fertilize regularly.
Height: 8 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Silken Pincushion Cacti Creates Showy Clump DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Mammillaria bombycina

Visit a specialist nursery for the best choice of pincushion cacti; most are small, globular, and flower prolifically. M. bombycina has hooked spines poking through white down, creating a showy clump in summer; M.pringlei has red flowers.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Mint is Invasive and Should be Grown in Pots DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Mentha

Being a rampant spreader, mint is often best grown in a pot of its own. You won't go wrong if you stick to spearmint (M. spicata) and applemint (M. suaveolens). Bring under cover in winter and you will get early shoots next spring. Repot every few years.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: Indefinite
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Grape Hyacinth Make Gentle Spring Show DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Muscari armeniacum

The grape hyacinth bulb makes a gentle spring show. It has short spikes barnacled with tiny blue flowers, and grasslike foliage. When clumps get congested, lift from the soil during summer dormancy and gently separate; replant 4 inches deep.
Height: 8 inches
Spread: 3 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Narcissus is Popular Worldwide Flower DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Narcissus

The daffodil season kicks off with the rich yellow N. bulbocodium, then N. 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' and 'February Gold', and ending with N. poeticus var. recurvus. Remove dying flowerheads, but let the foliage die down naturally.
Height: To 18 inches
Spread: To 6 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Narcissus, Minnow, is Smallest Daffodil in Spring DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Narcissus 'Minnow'

A quick-multiplying Tazetta daffodil for mid-spring. Its flowers have soft yellow cups that gradually fade to off-white, and are surrounded by aray of six creamy \"petals.\" A good choice at the sunny base of a shrub in a wooden tub.
Height: 7 inches
Spread: 4 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Purple Ruffle Basil has Cinnamon Taste DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Ocimum basilicum

Some seed catalogs offer about 20 different kinds of basil, mostly green but some reddish. 'Purple Ruffles' has large, purple, curled leaves; 'Dark Opal' is red-purple. One of the best culinary greens is 'Napolitano'. Bring pots indoors in early fall.
Height: To 18 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Lilyturf Plants are Herbaceous Perennials. DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

An evergreen that looks like a black grass, lilyturf makes a small clump of straplike leaves, with sprays of mauvish white flowers in summer. Plant at the front of a display. Water freely and fertilize monthly in summer.
Height: 8 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Cape Daisies have Masses of Daisy like Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Osteospermum

Perennials flowering from late spring to fall, needing sun to open the petals. Typically white, pink, or pale yellow, they add a cottage-garden touch; 'Whirligig' has mini teaspoon-like petals. Bring under cover in winter, and reduce watering.
Height: To 18 inches
Spread: To 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Century Hot Pinks is Mistakenly Called Geraniums DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Pelargonium 'Century Hot Pink'

Grown for its lipstick pink flowers, and well worth mixing with the other reds, pinks, and white in the Century Series. Nip back any straggly growth just above a shoot to create a bushier, more flowery plant. A good ingredient for a mix of summer annuals.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Scented Geraniums Cascade from Hanging Baskets DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Pelargonium 'Clorinda'

A shrubby pelargonium with stiff stems and clusters of lovely soft pink flowers in summer. The lobed leaves are mildly scented. Summer cuttings root quickly: take as replacements when older plants become leggy and bare. Move under cover in winter.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Leaves of Curly Parsley Add Unique Garden Texture DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Petroselinum crispum

Both the ornamental curled and the stronger tasting flat-leaf parsley are best grown in large pots to prevent slugs from attacking young plants. Sow seed in plug trays or small pots in early spring—parsley hates being disturbed. Do not let the soil dry out.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 10 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Purple Petunias are Popular Bedding Plant DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Petunia

Versatile annuals for every container from baskets to tubs, petunias give a long, reliable show of summer color. There are punchy reds and blues, as well as pinks, pale yellow, and white. Water well over summer, giving a semi-weekly high-potash fertilizer.
Height: To 10 inches
Spread: To 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Cinquefoil has Creeping Habit with Coloful Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Potentilla 'Gibson's Scarlet'

A brash little perennial grown for its early to late-summer scarlet flowers, which are nicely set against the green foliage. Best grown at the front of a large container. It will grow happily in poor soil mixed with plenty of sand for fast drainage.
Height: To 18 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Snowball Rose is Miniature with Mass of Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Rosa 'Snowball'

A miniature rose, introduced in 1984, with a mass of white flowers, each as big as a thumbnail, which appear all through the summer. Cut back stems by half in early spring, and fertilize well over summer. At its best, it really does look like a large snowball.
Height: 8 inches
Spread: 8 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Cambridge Blue Salvia has Hairy Aromatic Foliage DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Salvia patens

The flowers of this rich blue perennial have an open mouth; 'Cambridge Blue' is paler. It fits a range of color schemes, and looks good with the maroon Cosmos atrosanguineus and yellow Bidens ferulifolia. Protect over winter; take spring cuttings.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Saxifraga is Shallow Rooted Flowering Ground Cover DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Saxifraga

Shallow-rooting, mainly alpine plants, most making spreading, ground-hugging growth, with rosettes of tactile, overlapping leaves. The spring flowers tend to be in the white-pink-lemon range. 'Tumbling Waters' has silver-green leaves and white flowers.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Pincushion Flowers Verge on Black for Unique Look DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Chile Black'

The pincushion has small, dark red flowers (verging on black) with white specks, which will leap out of a pastel group or perk up a hot color scheme. It is a short-lived perennial, but spring cuttings take quickly.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 9 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Stonecrop Sedum has Succulent Starry Foliage DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Sedum

Two of the best stonecrops are the mat-forming kind (S. spathulifolium), with tiny leaf rosettes and yellow flowers, ideal for alpine troughs, and the taller, deciduous perennials (S. 'Herbstfreude') with pink summer flowers. Add sand to the soil.
Height: 4 inches
Spread: To 30 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Houseleeks Useful in Rock Gardens or Window Pots DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Sempervivum

Perennial houseleeks make shapely rosettes of pointed, fleshy leaves, themost striking in mahogany and reddish shades. After the summer sprays of star-shaped flowers, the rosettes die but are replaced by new growth. Grow in alpine troughs.
Height: 6 inches
Spread: To 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Senecio Pulcher has Large Magenta Daisylike Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Senecio pulcher

Best grown in pots to avoid winter weather, it has red-purple flowers in early fall. Most leaves, roughly oval-shaped at the base, and lancelike on the stem, hang on over winter. Water moderately in summer, with the occasional drink in winter.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Coleus Plants are Known for Colorful Foliage DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Solenostemon

Grow coleus for the flamboyant leaves, which range from black to yellow with red speckles. Many are annuals, but named ones, like S. 'Display', are short-lived perennials. Pinch out early growth, and give high-nitrogen fertilizer semi weekly.
Height: To 24 inches
Spread: To 24 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Marigolds Give Off Pungent Odor that Deters Pests DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Tagetes

Small, easy-to-grow French marigolds come in mahogany, orange, and yellow, and have a long flowering season. The Signet Gem series includes 'Lemon Gem', 'Little Gem' and 'Tangerine Gem'. Sow seed in spring and keep deadheading.
Height: 12-16 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Evergreen Thyme is Good Small Space Ground Cover DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Thymus

Evergreen thymes offer contrasting shapes and leaf color. Tiny-leaved T. herba-barona spreads across the soil surface, while forms of T. vulgaris can be snipped into mounds; 'Silver Posie' has gray/silver markings. Well-drained soil is vital; trim often.
Height: To 12 inches
Spread: To 18 inches
Hardiness: Most are fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Nasturtiums Virtually Carefree Once Established DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Tropaeolum (trailing)

Grow trailing nasturtiums so that their stems scramble through adjoining plants and spill out of hanging baskets. The vigorous annual T. majus has orange, red, and yellow flowers; the perennial T. speciosum is bright red.
Height: To 12 inches
Spread: To 11 feet
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

China Pink Tulips Give Long lasting Spring Show DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Tulipa 'China Pink'

The flowers are an exquisite shade ofsatin pink, fading to a white blotch in the center of the cup, giving an elegant, long-lasting, late spring show. An old favorite (raised in 1944) that is still a big seller. Use informal, stately schemes.
Height: 20 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Parrot Tulips are Splashed and Striped with Color DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Tulipa 'Flaming Parrot'

A fun, eccentric showoff for late spring, with strong feathered red lines against a creamy yellow background. Try grouping it with multicolored tulips like the red and white 'Estella Rijnveld' and 'Carnaval de Nice' for a lively, pantomime mix.
Height: 22 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Verbena has Trailing Habit Good for Hanging Basket DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Verbena 'Sissinghurst'

This pink-flowered perennial can be theatrically trained up a pyramid of short canes wrapped with string, or planted with silver-leaved plants. Grow it in hanging baskets to dangle over and down the sides. Water freely in full growth; fertilize monthly.
Height: To 8 inches
Spread: To 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Violas Early Spring Plants with Striking Blooms DK - <i>Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios</i> &copy; Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Viola

Hardy pansies have a huge color range, many with striking markings, others intricately beautiful. Some flower in winter/early spring (a sunny spot is vital), and others in late spring and summer. Most are annuals. Keep deadheading regularly.
Height: To 10 inches
Spread: To 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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