The Best Flowers for Pots in Full Sun
If you have sunny spots crying out for color, tuck some of these plants into pots—and get ready for a season-long show.
Photo By: Ball Horticultural Company
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Photo By: Ball Horticultural Company
Photo By: Image courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden
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An old-fashioned favorite, zinnia’s had a makeover. Zahara zinnia (Zinnia marylandica) unfurls non-stop flowers (no more deadheading) and leaves packed with disease resistance (no more powdery mildew). Drought-tolerant Zahara forms a mound 12 to 18 inches tall and wide. Look for varieties that open blossoms in a rainbow of hues.
Diamond Frost Euphorbia
When you plant Diamond Frost euphorbia, you’re planting one of the most award-winning plants ever developed. This easy-care gem forms a blizzard in a pot, opening white flowers non-stop all season long. It grows best in sun, but flowers well in part shade, too.
Grow a touch of the tropics with bright mandevilla vine. Give it a drink of plant food weekly and you’ll be rewarded with a strong flower show. Showcase it alone in a pot, or pair it with other tropicals, like this majesty palm and pink Tropic Escape hibiscus, for a sizzling south-of-the-border container garden.
This charmer is Supertunia Vista Bubblegum, a type of non-stop flowering, easy-growing petunia. It never needs to be deadheaded and still keeps blooming—and growing. Plants form a pretty mound 12 to 24 inches high with stems trailing up to 3 feet. It’s gorgeous in a pot, delivering punches of color until hard fall frost.
Hailing from the Andes Mountains, this pretty tuberous begonia (B. boliviensis) explodes with flower power. Long, arching branches burst with colorful bell-like blooms. Fiery petal hues beckon hummingbirds like crazy, but you can also find flowers in pastel shades. Best of all, plants form tubers you can overwinter in a dormant state (keep soil on the dry side in a dark place). The tuber will resprout in spring.
For sunny spots and high heat, it’s tough to beat the flower show that summer snapdragon stages. Also known as Angelonia, this annual unfurls flower spikes in shades of purple, pink, white and bicolor blends. Blooms beckon butterflies all summer long and make perfect additions to garden-fresh bouquets (the flowers last and last).
A classic for container gardens, geranium delivers strong color all season long. To keep the flowers coming, remove spent blossom heads by snapping the stem as close to the base as possible. Look for geraniums in a rainbow of hues, including red, white, pink, purple, coral and two-tone blends. This red geranium is paired with red-leaf coleus and gold Superbells Dreamsicle calibrachoa.
If you crave blue tones in your full sun pots, make room for scaevola. Also known as fan flower, this low-maintenance annual tumbles out of containers—a perfect spiller plant. There’s no need to deadhead scaevola, either. It just keeps blooming.
Lantana is a true showstopper in container gardens, opening flowers that fade from hue to hue as flowers age. Colors tend to be rich tones of pink, orange, gold and purple. Flowers beckon butterflies and hummingbirds. Lantana loves heat, and once temperatures start to sizzle, the flower fest really starts—and never stops until fall frost. Here it's paired with variegated yucca and white scaevola.
It’s tough to beat the delightful hues of calibrachoa. This cutie resembles a mini-petunia, with varieties offering all kinds of color combinations and patterns, including gold and hot pink, flaming orange and deep red, and red with near-black throats. There’s definitely a calibrachoa to suit your taste and color palette. The secret behind all that flower power is a big appetite. Keep the blossoms coming by giving plants liquid plant food every two weeks through the growing season. In this urn, calibrachoa forms a flowery skirt for a tuft of grass-like Toffe Twist sedge.