Medium-Sized Plants for Sun

These sun-loving, medium-sized plants are great in containers on your patio.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios
Chinese Lantern has Showy Red and Yellow Blooms DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Abutilon megapotamicum

A shrubby plant covered in little red and yellow flowers and fresh green leaves in summer. Train the main, gently arching stems against a wall or tie to canes. Bring under cover at the end of summer. Prune sideshoots by two-thirds in spring.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Black Rose has Deep Dark Purple Leaves DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Aeonium 'Zwartkop'

A striking, fashionable plant with shrubby stems topped by a rosette of deep dark purple, almost black leaves. Grow in cactus mix set off by a top layer of gravel. Water freely over summer, letting it dry out between drinks. Keep dry in winter.
Height: up to 36 inches
Spread: up to 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Blue African Lily Best Displayed in Ornamental Pot DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Agapanthus

The blue or white African lilies are best highlighted in Versailles tubs or ornamental pots; they hate heavy garden soil. Even the hardiest dislike the cold, and might not flower, so stick to the Headbourne Hybrids. Water well in summer; feed monthly.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Aloe is Eye Catching Succulent with Yellow Flowers DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Aloe

An eye-catching succulent with yellow summer flowers on erect, branching spikes; the long, pointed fleshy leaves are gray-green. Stand outside in summer, then move under cover. Water moderately in summer, sparingly in winter; feed occasionally.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Tassel Flower has Long, Bright Showy Red Flowers DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Amaranthus caudatus

Theatrically called love-lies-bleeding because of the long, bright red flower tassels, this tropical annual makes a showy plant from midsummer into fall. Feed and water well. Sow seed in spring, and stand plants in a sheltered spot, tied to canes.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Chinese Spinach is Flamboyant Bushy Foliage Plant DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Amaranthus tricolor

Chinese spinach makes a flamboyant, bushy foliage plant that is lipstick-redat its flashiest, with quieter kinds in green, often with added bronze, gold or pink tints. 'Joseph’s Coat' is brash red and gold. Grow from seed sown in spring.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Golden Marguerite Gives a Cottage Garden Show DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Anthemis tinctoria 'E. C. Buxton'

The perennial golden marguerite gives a cottage-garden show with pale lemon yellow flowers in early summer. 'Beauty of Grallach' is orange-gold, 'Sauce Hollandaise' pale yellow. Cut back hard after flowering to force fresh growth from the base.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Daisy Like Blooms Make Splashy Show in Summer DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Argyranthemum foeniculaceum

An indispensable shrubby plant with white, daisy-like flowers that quickly perk things up. Nip out the growing tips in spring for a bushier shape, and deadhead to encourage a succession of flower buds. Bring under cover in fall; cut back hard next spring.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Wormwood has Silvery Mound of Feathery Leaves DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Artemisia 'Powis Castle'

With its dense, silvery mound of feathery leaves, this is a good \"contrast plant\" used with stronger, bolder colors, or as part of a gentle pastel scheme. Give it a hard spring pruning after shoots start appearing at the base of the woody stem.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Astilbes Light Up the Cottage Garden DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Astilbe 'Fanal'

'Fanal' has dark red flowers in early summer and dark green leaves. Alternatives include 'Purpurlanze', with purple-red late summer flowers; lilac-pink 'Hyazinth', and white 'Irrlicht', which blooms in late spring. Keep the soil moist in summer.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Cannas Add Instant Touch of Tropics to Garden DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Canna

Cannas make strong focal points. 'Wyoming' has brown-purple leaves with purple veins, 'Durban' has green- and pink-striped foliage; both have orange flowers. Cut off top-growth when frost comes; store the rhizomes in a frost-free place.
Height: up to 5 feet
Spread: up to 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

False Cypress is Favorite Among Homeowners DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Nana'

A mini-mound of a conifer, ideal for use in a trough, with sprays of light green foliage with a dash of silver beneath. Alternatives include yellow-speckled 'Plumosa Aurea' and 'Nana Aureovariegata', and 'Silver Lode' with white flecking at the leaf tips.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Most, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Spider Flower is Known for its Long Seedpods DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cleome hassleriana

A small clump of the annual spider plant is eye-catching in a large container. The upright, scented petals come in a range of colors (white, pink, lilac, and purple), but note the vicious spines at the junction of leaf and stem. Raise from seed.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 16 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Morning Glory Bush Grown as Showcase or Backdrop DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Convolvulus cneorum

A compact shrub that performs all summer, with yellow-centered white flowers opening from pink buds, set against silver-green foliage. Use well-drained, gritty potting mix. Stand in full sun but give shelter in winter. Lightly prune for shape after flowering.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Chocolate Cosmos have Unusual Deep Maroon Blooms DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cosmos atrosanguineus

Chocolate cosmos is well worth growing for its unusual, deep maroon flowers on top of long, thin stems held well clear of the foliage. On hot, sunny days, they smell like chocolate. Bring under cover over winter, and water it occasionally.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Cosmos are Easily Grown from Seed in Spring DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cosmos bipinnatus

A colorful annual, easily grown from seed in spring, with white, pink, or red flowers on top of stems with filigree leaves. Selections include the compact Sonata Series and 'Sea Shells', which has unusual rolled-up petals. Deadhead for more flowers.
Height: up to 36 inches
Spread: up to 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Court Jester has Color Formed in Concentric Rings DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Chrysanthemum carinatum 'Court Jesters'

Easily grown from seed, this annual produces an open-rayed flower, usually white or yellow with a hint of red around the purple eye. Fast-growing and quick-branching, it creates a summer-long show.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 9 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Dahlias Give Brilliant Color to the Garden DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'

Highly rated, with scarlet flowers and black-red foliage. When leaves are blackened by frost (or in mid-fall), slice off stems at the base and stand tubers upside down for three weeks in an airy, frost-free place. Store over winter in bark chips.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Dahlia Variety Offers Bicolor Purple Pink Pattern DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Dahlia 'Hayley Jane'

A bicolor in white with purple-pink edges, ideal for pastel schemes or to brighten up stronger colors. Insert strong canes in the soil when planting in spring. Growing dahlias in pots helps stop slugs from savaging new growth. See D. 'Bishop of Llandaff'.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Rich Purple Dahlia has Strong Presence DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Dahlia 'Hillcrest Royal'

This rich purple dahlia has a strong presence. Nip out the main growing tip after four weeks to promote bushier growth and more flowers; keep deadheading. Give a tomato fertilizer from midsummer to promote new buds. See D. 'Bishop of Llandaff'.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Smaller Dahlia Variety Good for Garden Borders DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Dahlia 'Moonfire'

A useful small dahlia that gets off to a quick start, with rich yellow flowers and bronze leaves. Grow it in front of taller, more richly colored dahlias, or use to encircle a large barrel featuring more dominant plants. See D. 'Bishop of Llandaff' for growing tips.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Burning Bush Shrubs put on Fall Foliage Show DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Euonymus alatus 'Compactus'

This dwarf, dense form of the deciduous winged spindle has dark green foliage that flares deep red in fall. The branches are corky; pale red fruit follows insignificant light green summer flowers. Do not let the shrub bake dry in summer.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 30 inches
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Most, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Blue Fescue Grows in Low Silvery Blue Mounds DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Festuca glauca

With its porcupine spines in silver blue, the evergreen grass blue fescue adds a distinctive note to any scheme, especially those with strong sculptural forms. There are spikelets of flowers in early and midsummer. Bright blue 'Blaufuchs' is an excellent cultivar.
Height: up to 12 inches
Spread: 10 inches
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Bicolored Fuchsia is Striking Free Flowering Plant DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fuchsia 'Checkerboard'

Often grown as a standard, this striking, elegant fuchsia has red and white flowers. Replacement buds appear all summer, when it will need regular fertilizing. Cut back in spring to promote new growth. Bring under cover in winter and keep just moist.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Thalia Fuchsia Bears Abundant Blooms of Orange Red DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fuchsia 'Thalia'

A non-blowzy fuchsia, 'Thalia' has thin red tubular flowers set against olive green, red-veined leaves. It has a vigorous, upright shape, but nip out the stem tips in late spring to make it bushier. Fertilize through summer; bring under cover in fall.
Height: up to 30 inches
Spread: up to 30 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Golden Flower has Cornflower Like Yellow Blooms DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Grindelia chiloensis

A summer-flowering shrub (evergreen in mild winters), with cornflower-like yellow flowers, held on stout, single stems, well clear of the bushy growth and gray-green leaves. It needs plenty of sun and well-drained soil. Cut off any frost-damaged parts.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 30 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Hebe Welcome in Garden with its Compact Shape DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hebe vernicosa

A small rounded evergreen shrub from New Zealand with shiny, dark green leaves. Slender spikes of white flowers (which might initially be pale lilac) appear at the start of summer. Give a gentle pruning if required, to smarten it up after flowering.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Common Hydrangeas Come in Mopheads or Lacecaps DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hydrangea macrophylla

Common hydrangeas (H. macrophylla) have two forms: mopheads, with rounded flower clusters, and lacecaps, with flattened heads. Acidic soil forces lilac flowers; alkaline promotes pink (whites stay white). Grow in a sheltered position.
Height: up to 5 feet
Spread: up to 6 feet
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Lavender is Actually an Herb and Not a Flower DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Lavandula

Shrubby, scented lavender attracts butterflies and bees. L. angustifolia has gray-green leaves, 'Hidcote' is more silvery with purple flowers, while 'Loddon Pink' is pale pink. French lavender, L. stoechas, has dark purple petals like rabbit’s ears.
Height: up to 3 feet
Spread: up to 3 feet
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Tobacco Plant is Grown for Vibrant Colorful Blooms DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Nicotiana alata

A tobacco plant grown for its pink, greenish yellow, white, and purple summer flowers with evening scent. It has large, distinctive leaves. Give it a prominent position as it comes into flower, and grow from seed every year in spring.
Height: up to 36 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Mock Orange has Pleasant Fragrance and Sweet Bloom DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile'

One of the best-scented midsummer shrubs, with a rich aroma of vanilla and bubblegum. Give it a sunny, sheltered spot and a large pot for plenty of root and top growth. Water freely in summer; fertilize monthly. Prune to a new bud after flowering.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: up to 6 feet
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

New Zealand Flax is Colorful Spiky Focal Plant DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Phormium 'Sundowner'

Grown for its striking shape, 'Sundowner' has stiffly upright, bronze-green leaves with pinkish edges: a good choice in architectural schemes. Yellow-green flowers appear in summer, high above the foliage. Well-drained soil is vital.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Oriental Arborvitae Excellent Choice for Hedges DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Platycladus orientalis 'Aurea Nana'

A rounded mini-conifer with flat sprays of light yellow-green leaves in winter, followed by much brighter yellowish new leaves in spring, which hold their color well until fall. A good architectural pot plant.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

China Rose is Large Showy Cultivated Rose DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Rosa x odorata 'Mutabilis'

A beautiful shrubby rose with a mass of pinkish red new stems and leaves in spring, followed by summer-long flower clusters. Flowers open buff-yellow, turning pink and pale crimson before falling, giving a mixed tapestry. Prune by half in late winter.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Blue Salvia Features Stems Loaded with Blooms DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Salvia x sylvestris

One of a trio of salvias — with S. x superba and S. nemorosa — that make extremely attractive rounded bushes. Spikes poke up above the foliage with clustered, pale blue flowers with a hint of pink through early summer. 'Rose Queen' is soft pink.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 9 inches
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun

Japonica Stands Out in Winter with Reddish Buds DK - Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'

It stands out in winter with its clusters of tiny, reddish brown buds—set above dark green leaves—on red stalks. White flowers open from mid-spring, and females will have berries if you plant this male close to them. Trim lightly for shape after flowering.
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 4 feet
Hardiness: Full hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil
Sun Preference: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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