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10 Exotic Plants for Summer Containers

Bring the tropics to your garden with containers of showy summer blooms.

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Photo: Longfield Gardens


Heat up your summer containers with vibrant red, yellow and orange crocosmias, showy exotics that bloom in the summer. Blue flowers like agapanthus make pretty companion plants, but crocosmias are vigorous growers that can take over, so keep an eye on your pots. Plant crocosmias corms in early spring and give them a spot that gets full sun. All crocosmias are hardy in Zones 6-9 and some are hardy in Zone 5. 'Lucifer' is shown here; it's hardy to Zone 5.

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Photo: Longfield Gardens


‘Leia’ is a pineapple lily, or Eucomis, that opens raspberry-pink flowers in mid-summer, several weeks earlier than other varieties. Its compact growth habit makes it a natural for containers. Hardy in Zones 8-10, the plants need sun and will bloom into fall. If you bring your containers indoors for the winter, let the bulbs stay relatively dry while they go dormant.

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The heat doesn’t bother Graceful Grasses ‘Prince Tut', a dwarf form of Egyptian papyrus. Topping out at 18-30" tall, and hardy in USDA Zones 10-11, this grass-like plant is not a true grass. Give it part to full sun and consistently moist sun, or try it in a bog or water garden. It's dramatic when it’s grown as a thriller element in a large container.

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