44 Best Shrubs for Containers | Best Container Gardening Plants

Check out 44 Best Shrubs for Containers. You might know some plants and some may surprise you but one thing is sure– You’ll like to have some of these shrubs right away in your container garden.

Whether you have a small patio garden, a rooftop garden, a balcony garden, or a big backyard garden this list of best shrubs for containers will provide you so many options to choose from.

Have a look at the best container plants on tumblr here

Best Shrubs for Containers

1. Abutilon (Flowering Maple)


USDA Zones— 8 – 11

Climate— A subtropical shrub that can also be grown in cold climates, keep it indoors in winter.

It is also called “Indian Mallow” or “Flowering Maple”. Abutilon is a beautiful shrub that grows around 1 m tall when grown in containers and have beautiful hibiscus and hollyhock-like flowers.

2. Andromeda


USDA Zones— 5 to 9

Climate— It grows in temperate to subtropical climates. Growing requirements are similar to Azalea, which means it requires acidic soil to grow.

“Pieris Japonica” or “Lily of the valley shrub” is an excellent bush for container gardens. With some attention and care, it can grow up to 2 m tall.

3. Anisodontea


USDA Zones— 9 – 11

Climate— Beautiful shrub, suitable for both warm tropical climate and temperates. In colder regions, you can grow it from summer to fall (autumn).

This charming South African shrub grows in full sun and requires dry soil to thrive. A balcony, terrace (roof) or patio facing south or West is perfect for this shrub. It pleases the eyes with its almost continuous flowering.

4. Aster


USDA Zones— 3 – 8

Climate— Suitable for cool temperate zones with mild summers but can be grown in tropics in winter

Aster comes in a variety of colors and blooms prolifically. It is an easy to grow plant that blooms in summer and fall. Both annual and perennial varieties are available.

5. Aucuba Japonica


USDA Zones— 7 – 10

Climate— Subtropical and mildly temperate. In colder zones, grow it indoors.

Also called “Gold Dust” due to its speckled foliage, it is one of the best shrubs for containers. You can grow it for its beautiful foliage as its flowers are not as aesthetic. It is a low maintenance perennial plant that can grow up to 2 m (8-10 f) tall.

Also ReadShrubs that Bloom All Year

6. Azalea


USDA Zones— 4 – 9

Climate— Climate with adequate rainfall and moist summer.

Azalea is one of the most profusely blooming flowering plants. It requires moist soil, partial sun, and acidic soil to thrive.

7. Bougainvillea


USDA Zones— 9 – 12

Climate— Tropics, subtropics, grow it as a houseplant in colder regions.

This beautiful ever-blooming perennial shrub is so vibrant and colorful and almost require no care in tropical and subtropical areas. It needs full sun and dry soil to thrive, and it is not susceptible to many pests and diseases.

8. Brugmansia


USDA Zones— 9 – 11

Climate— Brugmansia is a tropical evergreen shrub, but it is also easy to grow in cold climates. To overwinter it, keep it indoors when the temperature starts to dip down below 50 F (10 C).

Brugmansia flowers smell well in the night and attract pollinators. Growing Brugmansia in a pot is easy. It is also called “Angel’s Trumpet”, and it is often confused with datura.

9. Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)


USDA Zones— 5 – 11

Climate— Butterfly bush can be grown in both temperate and tropical zones, wooly butterfly bush grows well in tropics.

More commonly known as the “Butterfly Bush”, buddleia offers abundant flowering panicles with white to red through pink to purple or blue colors. Grow a dwarf variety in a large and deep pot. Remember that due to its rapid growth, it requires regular pruning and fertilization.

10. Boxwood


USDA Zones— 5 – 11

Climate— Boxwood is the most versatile shrub, it grows almost everywhere in all the continents.

The most adaptable and easy to grow shrub, boxwood is landscapers’ favorite and without a doubt one of the best shrubs for the containers.

11. Calamansi


USDA Zones— 9 – 11

Climate— Like all citruses, calamansi is a tropical fruit tree. You can also grow it in colder zones in containers and keep it indoors in winters.

It has a bushy growth rather and doesn’t exceed a height of 2 m. Thus, a suitable shrub for container gardening.

Also Read: How to Grow Calamansi

12. Callistemon (Bottlebrush)


USDA Zones— 8 – 11

Climate— Bottlebrush grows in climates with mild winters, easily in tropics. You can grow bottle brush in colder zones in the pot, but it requires care in winter.

A Beautiful shrub that attracts pollinators and looks exquisite in its bright red blooms, it also comes in other colors like purplish pink, lemon yellow or white.

13. Camellia


USDA Zones— 6 – 10a

Climate— Camellia grows best in the climates with mild summer in temperates to subtropical zones.

It is a beautiful flowering shrub, but when grown in pots, it becomes demanding. Camellia requires humus-rich acidic soil and regular maintenance. You can read a helpful article on growing camellias in pots here.

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Check out 44 Best Shrubs for Containers. You might know some plants and some may surprise you but one thing is sure-- You'll like to have some of these shrubs right away in your container garden.


  1. Do podocarpus grow in planters? I have a wall along my driveway that I’d like some privacy. The plant would need to be in a planter.

  2. I love the Camellia. You say they grow well in mild summers but what about the winters? We have mild summers but the winters can be cold (up to -4). Will the plants need replaced every season or will they survive the winter?

    • You could get away with growing a camellia in a very sheltered spot in the ground in your area but for a container plant, you would have to winter it indoors in a cool but not freezing, well-lit room. Plants in containers are less hardy than plants in the ground because their roots are exposed to sub-freezing temperatures.

  3. I live in Canberra where the temp. can vary up to 43C in Summer down to minus 7C in the Winter. They are thriving under deciduous trees with plenty of Autumn leaves as ground cover. They flower well in season giving Winter colour and appreciating the Winter sunshine. I use when necessary a liquid fertiliser . They have been thriving and gradually turning into a hedge of 8 bushes over the 8 years since I first planted them.

  4. This is so informative, thanks for sharing! I’m looking for some shrubs to decorate my patio with and will definitely be using some of these ideas. I love the andromeda in particular. I think it would grow really well in my climate. What size of planter would you recommend? I’m notorious for not giving my plants enough space!
    Thanks for your help!

  5. I must say I’ve never heard of many of these plants! I live in a small town and in the Northwest. I thought the article was well versed but can’t see buying any soon.

  6. I have a very small garden and not much experience with shrubs ,can you recommend anything I can start of with.


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