44 Best Shrubs for Containers | Best Container Gardening Plants

14. Cistus


USDA Zones— 8 – 11

Climate— Cistus grows best in frost-free subtropical and tropical climates in sandy and rocky soil. This European shrub also grows in the Middle East. You can also try to grow it in more temperate regions.

Also called “Rockrose”, this evergreen Mediterranean shrub is tough and drought tolerant and thrives on neglect. There are so many cultivars to choose from, it is suitable for pots and thrives in a sunny location. You can also grow it in a rock garden

15. Lemon

how to grow lemon in pot

USDA Zones— 10 – 11

Climate— A tropical fruit tree that is not restricted to tropics. Lemons are planted in pots everywhere. If you don’t live in a warm climate plant a lemon tree in a pot and keep it indoors in winter.

Choose a sunniest location that is sheltered from drafts. Read our guide on growing lemon tree in a pot for more information.

16. Cotoneaster


USDA Zones— 5 – 8

Climate— A cold hardy shrub, thus a cool temperate climate is perfect for this plant

Cotoneaster is a sprawling shrub that  comes to the variety of height. It is usually grown as a ground cover or in hedges in the gardens but it can also be grown as a container plant. Choose a large and wide container as this plant spreads a lot.

17. Daphne

Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance'

USDA Zones— 4 – 8

Climate— Areas with extreme winters and cool summers are most suitable for growing this fragrant shrub.

Keep the plant in part shade and water it well in the summer as it loves moist soil.

18. Elaeagnus (Silverberry)

elaeagnus_x_ebbingei (2)

USDA Zones— 2 – 11

Climate— There are about 50 species of silverberry plant and these are hardy for almost all types of climates. From a hot tropical weather to bone-chilling cold, it comes for every zone.

If you’re searching for a tough drought tolerant shrub that loves to grow without maintenance, it is Elaeagnus. It is also good for planting in coastal areas.

It is a large shrub with beautiful foliage and fragrant flowers that smell like a mix of gardenia and orange. When grown in pots it doesn’t grow above 2 m height. Here’s an interesting article you can read to get more information on growing Elaeagnus.

19. Escallonia

Escallonia 'Donard Seedling'

USDA Zones— 8 – 10

Climate— Escallonia grows in warm climates, and also thrives near seaside areas. If you’re growing it in cooler zones, grow it in full sun.

Beautiful decorative and fragrant foliage and tube shaped small flowers that come in white, pink or red colors. Growing escallonia is not difficult either when grown in pots it requires well-draining soil. Keep it in partial sun in warmer zones and in full sun in cooler zones.

20. Forsythia

Forsythia in pot

USDA Zones— 4 – 9

Climate— Forsythias are suitable for temperate climates with mild summer.

Grow dwarf forsythia varieties in containers. They are not fussy about soil types but require well draining soil. Keep this fragrant plant in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sun daily.

21. Fuchsia


USDA Zones— 6 – 11

Climate— Fuchsia is a frost tender subtropical shrub that also grows in temperate climates.

From summer to fall, fuchsia decorates the gardens, patios, balconies and interiors thanks to its beautiful bell-shaped flowers that comes vibrant colors. Moreover, it is easy to maintain and one of the most favorite plants of balcony gardeners. Grow its trailing varieties in hanging baskets.

22. Wintergreen

Wintergreen Plant Indoors (Gaultheria procumbens)

USDA Zones— 3 – 8

Climate— Cool temperate regions with mild summers are suitable for growing wintergreen shrub.

Gaultheria procumbens, which is also called wintergreen is low growing American shrub that spreads by runners. It grows in acidic soil in a location that is cool and moist. Its foliage releases mint-like fragrance when crushed. The plant blooms in summer, beautiful small white flowers turn into red bright berries that attract birds.

23. Gardenia

Gardenia Tree in small fragrant garden

USDA Zones— 8 – 11

Climate— Warm subtropical and tropical climate

One of the most fragrant flowers. Growing gardenia requires regular maintenance. You can read our guide on growing gardenia tree in a pot here.


  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?

  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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