16 Top Filler Plants

Explore a variety of plants—new and old—to fill your container gardens with steady color.

Photo By: Image courtesy National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Photo courtesy of ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Image courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Image courtesy of ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: Courtesy of Proven Winners

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Photo courtesy of ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image courtesy of ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Photo courtesy of ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Scarlet Coleus 'Kong Jr.'

This foliage favorite brings a blend of pink, burgundy and green to containers. Expect plants to reach about 18 inches tall by 30 inches wide — an ideal size for giving a pot a lush, full look. Designed to brighten shade, this beauty also puts on a show in a sunny spot in cooler summers.

Sundaze Blaze (Bracteantha (Xerochrysum) ‘Flobrabla’)

Make strawflower your go-to bloomer for heat- and drought-tolerant beauty. Orange papery petals surround gold centers. Plants grow 10 to 14 inches tall and wide, spreading neatly to fill out container designs. Snip flowers for bouquets or air drying.

‘Double Zahara Strawberry’ Zinnia (Zinnia marylandica ‘Double Zahara Strawberry’)

For non-stop flowers, choose this lushly petaled zinnia. Deep rose blossoms blanket plants all summer long and never need deadheading. Flowers make nice additions to bouquets and beckon butterflies. Expect plants to reach 16 to 20 inches tall and wide.

‘Toffee Twist’ Sedge (Carex flagellifera ‘Toffee Twist’)

Bronze tinted grass like leaves give this plant a striking appearance and textural appeal. This sedge can fill the role of filler with larger plants, or you can use it as a thriller by pairing it with spiller plants. ‘Toffee Twist’ grows 18 to 24 inches tall and wide and is winter-hardy to Zone 7. At the end of the growing season, lift plants from the pot and tuck into a planting bed for winter, then shift back to a pot the next year.

‘Fireworks’ Gomphrena (Gomphrena globosa ‘Fireworks’)

Hot pink blossoms stage floral fireworks with tiny yellow stars that explode from the round flowerheads. Blooms are perfect for bouquets, air dry easily and also beckon butterflies. Plants grow 24 to 36 inches tall. The flower stems are airy and loose, making an ideal filler plant in larger container designs.

Diamond Frost Euphorbia (Euphorbia ‘Inneuphdia’)

When it comes to sheer flower power, it’s tough to beat this annual. Its easy-growing personality thrives in sun but adapts to light shade. Expect a blizzard of bloom all summer long. Plants grow 12 to 18 inches tall and wide, forming a cloud in a pot.

Lantana Luscious 'Citrus Blend'

Lantana is a butterfly magnet wherever it’s planted. This tropical bloomer opens flowers that change color as they age. The result is a multicolored floral fest in your containers. Plants have a spreading growth habit, reaching 12 to 24 inches tall and wide.

‘Patio Deep Blue’ Gentian Sage (Salvia patens ‘Patio Deep Blue’)

Beautiful blue blooms climb along flower spikes in this summer flower. Plants grow 12 inches tall and wide, with flower spikes adding another 6 inches to overall height. Butterflies and hummingbirds visit plants daily, as do bees. The show may seem slow at first, but once summer heat arrives, the flower display is breathtaking.

Twisted Dart Juncus (Juncus tenuis)

This filler plant brings a blue-green tint to a container design, along with outstanding textural interest. Plants produce a mix of twisted and straight stems that add a quirky look to pots. This juncus grows 18 to 30 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide. Plants are winter hardy to Zone 5.

‘Butterfly Deep Rose’ Pentas (Pentas lanceolata ‘Butterfly Deep Rose’)

Sparkling rose blooms explode on plants all summer long. Butterflies and hummingbirds can’t resist these flowers, which perch prettily atop deep green leaves. Plants grow 18 to 24 inches tall and 10 to 15 inches wide.

‘Black Pearl’ Ornamental Pepper (Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’)

Nearly black leaves earn this pretty pepper its name. It’s a multi-award winning plant that shrugs at heat and humidity. Small peppers ripen from black to red. They’re edible, but hotter than even hot pepper-loving folks can stand. Plants grow 14 to 18 inches tall and 12 to 16 inches wide.

‘Molten Lava’ Oxalis (Oxalis vulcanicola ‘Molten Lava’)

Eye-catching leaves open in shades of deep orange and bronze, shifting to golden green as they age. Yellow blooms accent plants all season long. In shady spots, leaves tend to chartreuse; in sun, they glow orange. Plants grow 6 to 10 inches tall and 10 to 12 inches wide.

‘Archangel Dark Rose’ Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia angustifolia ‘Archangel Dark Rose’)

Angelonia sends up flower spikes all summer long, and this variety stages a show with deep pink shades. Butterflies mob blooms, which also perform strongly in the vase. Plants grow 12 to 14 inches tall and wide.

Intensia Blueberry Phlox (Phlox ‘USPLX60306’)

Blueberry phlox is the perfect addition to container gardens, tossing open flowers all summer long. You don’t have to deadhead these beauties to keep the flower show going strong. Butterflies love this bloomer, as do rabbits. Net phlox in plantings that bunnies can reach. Plants grow 10 to 12 inches tall and wide.

‘Bonanza Harmony’ French Marigold (Tagetes patula ‘Bonanza Harmony’)

Marigolds make the perfect filler plant in container gardens. Choose from a variety of flower colors and forms. ‘Bonanza Harmony’ opens 2- to 2.5-inch-wide blossoms with gold centers edged with mahogany petals. These sturdy plants grow 10 to 12 inches tall and wide.

‘Sparkle White’ Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Sparkle White’)

Butterflies love this bloomer, which adds an airy touch to container designs. Long flower stems make perfect additions to garden bouquets. Plants grow 12 to 24 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide and are winter hardy to Zone 5. Shift plants from containers to planting beds for perennial color.