15 Summer Container Garden Recipes

Kiss boring container combos good-bye with these goof-proof container recipes.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Sakata Ornamentals

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company


Photo By: Photo courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Sakata Ornamentals

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Sakata Ornamentals

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Sakata Ornamentals

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

SunPatiens and Calipetite

Color your summer scenes with candy cane shades of red and white. This combination features red sun-tolerant impatiens (sold as SunPatiens) accented with white million bells (calibrachoa). It’s a sun-loving duet that looks good as temperatures soar. Tuck in a blue scaevola for a patriotic pot. Recipe for 10-inch pot (1 each in 4-inch pots): Red SunPatiens and white Calipetite calibrachoa.

Precious Opal Container Recipe

You’ll find striking summer container recipes like Precious Opal at ProvenWinners.com. This combination brightens shady settings, courtesy of colorful leaves and a flounce of pretty flowers. Recipe for 14-inch pot (use plants in 4.5-inch pots): 1 Pegasus begonia hybrid, 1 ‘Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Purple’ sweet potato vine, 1 ColorBlaze Dark Star coleus, 2 Catalina Pink wishbone flower (torenia).

Pinball Container Recipe

Playful and petal-packed, this pretty pot sizzles dressed in white with a pop of purple. The name comes from the round-headed Pinball gomphrena, but it also describes the way the pot looks when butterflies and bees flock to its bloom, bouncing around like pinballs. Recipe for 12-inch pot (1 plant each in 4-inch pots): Pinball White & Pinball Purple gomphrena, white Calipetite calibrachoa and Double White Profusion zinnia.

SimplySalad ‘Summer Picnic’

Keep your summer bowl in the green—and red!—with this pretty blend of leaf lettuces. Leafy greens dress up containers with eye-catching good looks, and growers design this blend to deliver. Heat-tolerant lettuces ensure you’ll be harvesting fresh greens all summer long. Use a cut-and-come-again technique for longest harvest. Recipe: Buy one 4-inch pot and plant it into an 8- to 10-inch container.

Sunny Summer Days Container Recipe

Shades of orange and yellow showcase how beautiful a container can be when it’s planted with flowers in the same color family. This railing planter is a butterfly garden in miniature, opening blooms those winged beauties prefer. Recipe for a 14-inch pot: 1 spike dracaena (often sold in 2- to 3-inch pots), 1 4-inch pot each of gold lantana and yellow calibrachoa, 1 4-cell pack of French marigolds in bicolor orange hues.

Calibrachoa Calipetite Mix

Sometimes million bells (Calibrachoa) can be tricky to keep looking their best when they’re mixed in a pot with other annuals. Take the guesswork out of raising beautifully blooming million bells by growing them solo in a container. Look for the mounding type branded as Calipetite to grow a really lush, full container. Recipe for a 14-inch pot: 2 pots each of red, mid-blue and white Calipetite calibrachoa.

Blue Magic Container Recipe

Want a splash of true blue at the height of summer? This is the container recipe for you. The pretty blue blooms on evolvulus absolutely sparkle and thrive in heat. The euphorbia mounds, while the blue-flowered evolvulus trails. These habits shine in a standard or taller, footed pot. Recipe for 10-inch pot: 2 4.5-inch pots of Blue My Mind dwarf morning glory (Evolvulus), 1 4.5-inch pot of Diamond Frost euphorbia.

‘Ice Cream Mix’ Celosia

Fill your pots with colorful ice cream that won’t melt in the summer sun. ‘Ice Cream Mix’ celosia blooms in fruity ice cream flavors of banana, cherry, mango, orange, peach and strawberry. The feathery flowers of this cockscomb stand up to summer heat, humidity and rain, and beckon butterflies. Recipe: Purchase the number of cell packs needed to give your pot a lush, full look. A rough guide is one 4-cell pack per 12-inch pot.

Red Velvet Cake Container Recipe

Bring the richness of red velvet cake to life with this exquisitely matched combination. The dark throat and veins on the White Russian Supertunia echo the darker shades on the other plants. You’ll eat up the compliments you get when you grow this mix of annuals. Recipe for a 12-inch pot (using plants in 4.5 pots): 1 Sweet Caroline Raven sweet potato vine, 2 Black Cherry Supertunia and 2 White Russian Supertunia.

‘Blueberry Lime Jam’ Petunia Fuseables

When it comes to annuals, petunias are traditional favorites. In this combination, they get a modern color makeover with the pairing of Sophistica Lime Green and Dreams Midnight petunias. Seed sellers create this mashup, growers raise it in the greenhouse, and you can buy the perfectly proportioned result. Look for it in 4- to 10-inch pots. Recipe: Buy a pre-planted pot and drop it into your own container. Aim for one to three plants per 10-inch pot.

‘Festival Mix’ Gerbera

For a picnic or al fresco open house, a container overflowing with colorful gerbera daisies earns rave reviews. This simple daisy flower form unfurls in spectacular jewel tones and pastels. Look for a mix of gerberas that are sold as a unit, already assembled by the grower. It’s a color mix that’s guaranteed to look good and win compliments. Recipe for 12-inch pot: Buy three gerberas in 5-inch pots for a lush, full container.

‘Under the Sun’ Coleus Fuseables

Colorful and versatile, this coleus blend definitely brightens any setting—sun or shade. These adaptable foliage favorites feature a custom combination designed by seed producers, which means you get a picture-perfect color blend every time. Look for it in 4- to 10-inch pots. Recipe: Buy a pre-planted pot and drop it into your own container. Aim for one to three plants per 10-inch pot.

The Dream Container Recipe

Who needs rose-tinted glasses when you can dress your views with visions of pink? This combination serves up a dreamy pink parfait with plants that bring on the color as the temperature climbs. Plant them in a hanging basket or pot—you’ll love the look in either setting. Recipe for 12-inch pot (plants in 4.5-inch pots): 2 pots each of Flamingo Supertunia and Pink Wonder scaevola, and 1 Pretty Much Picasso Supertunia.

Zinnia Profusion Mix

Known as the go-to zinnia for disease resistance, Profusion zinnia is also celebrated for its non-stop flowers. It provides a ready-made spiller plant for mixed containers, or tap into the grower-created mix and plant a pot of nothing but these outstanding bloomers. The plants spread and cascade, so you don’t need many to create an overflowing pot. Recipe: Purchase the number of cell packs needed to give your pot a lush, full look. A rough guide is one 6-cell pack split between two 12- to 14-inch pots.

New Day Strawberry Shortcake Mixture Gazania

For summer heat survival, little tops gazania. It flings open sparkling blooms no matter how high the mercury climbs. What’s unusual and fun about this mix is that it delivers pretty pastel shades in a heat-tolerant package. This blend is created at the grower level, so you’re guaranteed to get a good-looking combination when you tuck it into pots. Recipe: Purchase the number of cell packs needed to give your pot a lush, full look. A rough guide is one 4-cell pack per 8-inch pot.