Container Gardening with Unusual Plants

Container gardening with shrubs and perennials is not a new phenomenon. Many of the popular blogs and social media personalities have been planting with shrubs and perennials in their containers for a long time, however, they don’t always discuss the “do’s” and “don’ts” of container gardening with these plants.

Just like when planting annuals in your containers, plan ahead when choosing which plants to use. The shrubs or perennials you use should have the same light and moisture requirements as the annuals you will be choosing to complement them. Keep in mind that full sun plants should have at least 6 hours of sunlight, and plants that like to grow in dry conditions would best be combined with plants that do not need to be watered every day. Shrubs and perennials have a larger root zone, it is important to have a larger planter that is appropriate for the size of the plants you are using. While many of blogs will tell you that you can leave your shrubs and perennials planted in your container over the winter, this is not true! Many areas have this luxury, however, the roots of the plants would endure extreme damage from our bitter cold winters and would surly die if you leave the perennials and shrubs in the pots. If you plan on saving those plants you should plant them in the ground by mid fall.

So what do we like to use in containers? Check out some of our favorites:

  • Fine Line Buckthorn. We suggest only using these for one year as they can grow to be quite large!
  • Gold Pillar Barberry. Yes, they have thorns but the vibrant color will brighten up any container.
  • North Pole Arborvitae. The deep evergreen foliage is striking in a container and will be the height for your container mixes.
  • Ornamental Grasses. Any will do, but keep in mind high wind areas can cause the grass to get battered.
  • Coral Bells. Any variety will work so pick a color to match your color combination.