44 Best Shrubs for Containers | Best Container Gardening Plants

24. Gaura


USDA Zones— 5 – 9

Climate— Cool climate with mild summer is perfectly suitable for growing gaura. You can also try to grow it in a warm subtropical climate in partial shade.

It is also called “Bee Blossom”, “Wandflower” and “Whirling Butterflies”, whirling butterflies because it attracts butterflies and they hover over it like a cloud and whirl around it. Some of its species are considered as a weed. This wild North American shrub can grow up to 1.50 m high, depending on the variety. The best thing about this shrub is its long blooming period, it starts to flower in late spring and blooms until the late fall.

25. Pomegranate


USDA Zones— 9 – 11

Climate— It requires tropical climate, but it is possible to grow pomegranates in temperate climates if you plant it in a pot and do care in winter.

Probably the most suitable fruit tree or shrub for the containers. You should give it a try even on a balcony. Read our article on growing pomegranate in a pot.

26. Gooseberry


USDA Zones— 3 – 10

Climate— Can be grown in a variety of climates

There are only a few fruits that you can cultivate in the container without any difficulty, and gooseberry is one of them. This shrub is relatively easy to grow, it does not require much maintenance. You can even grow it on your balcony garden. It barely reaches a height of 1 m and starts to fruit heavily.

27. Hebe (Veronica)


USDA Zones— 6 – 10

Climate— A versatile shrub, can be grown in cool temperate to subtropical regions with mild summer.

This small, prolific shrub grows up to 1 m tall. Growing hebe in a container is easy. It is an excellent shrub for urban container gardens. Flowering occurs in summer for many species. Some cultivars produce flowers till fall.

28. Hibiscus


USDA Zones— 5 – 11

Climate— Fortunately, hibiscus grows everywhere. There are hardy hibiscus cultivars that thrive in colder regions (USDA Zone 5 – 8) and tropical hibiscus varieties (9 – 11).

Hibiscus is the most popular flowering shrub. Growing hibiscus in a pot is not difficult. It has one of the most abundant flowers that come in a variety of colors and patterns. It has shallow roots and, hence, it adapts well in pots or containers. Therefore, it is also grown as a houseplant.

29. Hydrangea


USDA Zones— 3 – 11

Climate— The most popular flowering plants are those that grow easily everywhere. Hydrangea is one of them, it grows best in warm temperate climates (best in zones 6 – 8). It is also possible to grow hydrangea in the subtropical region.

With clusters of colorful flowers and big, dramatic leaves, hydrangea a is a stunning addition to any container garden. Plant it in a large, beautiful pot and give it regular watering to enjoy beautiful blooms.

30. Holly


USDA Zones— 5 – 9

Climate— Cool climate with mild summer

Growing holly in containers requires care. It is better to choose a dwarf variety for a container garden.

31. Lantana


USDA Zones— 10 – 11

Climate— Hot tropical climate, it is possible to grow lantana in cooler zones as an annual.

This perennial evergreen shrub is one of the easiest to grow plants in a tropical climate. It thrives on neglect and blooms tirelessly throughout the year. Lantana flowers have fruity fragrance, they a come in a variety of colors.

32. Laurel Bay Leaf


USDA Zones— 8 – 11

Climate— It requires warm, subtropical conditions to grow.

One of the best shrubs you can grow in containers is bay laurel. It is also possible to grow this herb as a houseplant. Read our complete growing guide for more information.

33. Laurustinus (Viburnum Tinus)


USDA Zones— 7 – 11

Climate— A Mediterranean plant that requires warm weather and mild winters to thrive.

Viburnum grows well in containers. Its compact and bushy foliage makes it an excellent hedging plant. Its beautiful pinkish-white flowers are mildly fragrant and appear in winter. The blooming period ends in spring.

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  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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