Container Gardening Combinations

Dow Gardens Containers

What Plants Go Well Together In Containers?

Without a doubt, container gardening is one of the most popular aspects of gardening. Not only is container gardening ideal for those with limited space, but it’s perfect for adding color, texture, and shape to traditional garden spaces …

While it’s relatively easy to determine which plants do well in Zone 5 & 6, it’s a little trickier to mix and match plants in containers. After all, some plants just don’t coexist well with others, so to maximize the health and beauty of your containers, here’s a handy overview …

Flower Chick container gardening combinations

Here are five tips for successful container gardening:

1). Choose a variety of height in your plants

2). Consider the shape and texture of leaves to provide an interesting visual

3). Choose plants with a long flowering season (recommendations below)

4). Use high quality potting soil and make sure your containers have adequate drainage

5). Most importantly, combine compatible plants with similar sun and watering requirements

Container combos

Now let’s take a look at which plants do well with others for various container locations, like full sun, partial sun and shade, and shade. We’ll also cover combining perennials with annuals in container gardens …

Full Sun Container Gardens:

Flower Chick's Container Gardening TipsCombine petunias, verbena, coleus, and miniature roses. Be creative and choose a colorful mix and match. Go with a pastel theme or a vibrant palate of bright colors …

Another great full sun container combination are zonal geraniums with sweet potato vines and calibrachoa. This provides not only a beautiful splash of color, but depth and texture as well …

Partial Sun And Shade Container Gardens:

Many containers work well at the end area of a traditional garden by forming a colorful natural barrier. The near or far side of your garden may be partial sun and shade, so try these combinations …

Ageratum, salvia, snapdragon, and trailing lobelia work extremely well together, as do begonia, Dusty Miller, pansy, and scaevola. Yes, you can use any combination of these plants, as all will thrive in a partial sun and shade container.

Be sure to provide enough container room for each species to spread out a bit … while you want a full and vibrant container, you don’t want to overcrowd your plants either …

Full Shade Container Gardens:

Try a combination of all or some of these plants … double impatiens, hostas, lobelia, and sweet alyssum. Another excellent mix is begonia, fuschia, ferns, and star jasmine.

Perennials Combined With Annuals


Don’t be terribly concerned about mixing perennials and annuals in your containers. I’ve had very good results mixing in miniature roses with hostas and fountain grass to my container arrangements. At the end of the season, you can treat them all like annuals and discard, or remove the perennials and plant them in the ground.

Remember, the key to successful container plantings is to put plants together with similar light and water requirements.

Any of our combinations listed above take the guesswork out of your decision process.

Have a Little Fun – Add Some Whimsy!

Flower Chick's container gardening tipsNext, have a little fun and don’t be afraid to experiment. Add a touch a whimsy with a garden tchotchke in the pot. With container gardening, each new growing season is another opportunity to see what works best!

I’ve always found that choosing colors you most enjoy is a great way to start. You’ll quickly discover which colors blend in the most eye catching way … in addition to all the compliments you’ll receive!

Deadhead, deadhead, deadhead …

Another practical tip to keep your container gardens looking good all season long … make sure to deadhead spent flowers. Pinch back any plants that get leggy or try to overtake their container counterparts…especially in mid to late summer. And, of course, pay particular attention to hot and dry spells and make sure your plants are watered adequately.

Container Gardening by Flower Chick