flowers in container

Choosing the best flowers for pots in full sun or partial shade can be an interesting experience especially if you like experimenting. This post looks at some of the popular as well as not-so-common flowers that you can grow in your pots successfully.

The best flowers for pots in full sun include Petunia, Million Bells, Ornamental Pepper, Verbena, Cape Daisy, Angelonia, Pentas, Roses, While the best flowers for pots on the porch (partial shade) include Coral bells, Euphorbia, Begonia, Coleus, Hydrangea, Flowers for small pots include Nemesia, Busy Lizzies, cosmos, Pansies, and Violas

Many flowers thrive in containers. Potted flowers and plants are a great way to bring the much-needed splash of color to your porch, patio, or deck. They can also be an awesome addition to your garden.

As for me, I am thinking of going in on potted flowers and plants because I can rearrange them easily. I can also change them up more easily like if am not feeling a certain flower, I can always pull it out and replant something else.

Pots are also great for those of us with limited space. Today there is a wide variety of pots that include small, medium, and large ones. You can also decide to choose hanging ones or not, the choice is informed by where you intend to place them.

Best Flowers for Pots in Full Sun


The Angelonia is also known as the summer snapdragon. It is not only heat-tolerant but also delicate. It blooms in the summer and can last all season especially when the spent blooms are plucked off. The flower doesn’t require deadheading.

The grower has a choice to select the most preferred color from pink, white, and purple including deep hues of blues among others.

The Angelonia also do well when mixed with other herbs, it does not need to be plated alone.  Examples of varieties that you could try include Archangel Purple, Wedgewood Blue, and Angel-face.

Ornamental Pepper

Ornamental peppers might not be the go-to-plant for some people. However, these fun plants are little and bushy. They also provide color all through the season as well as tiny showy fruits which turn from red to black as they mature.

The fruits produced by a majority of the ornamental peppers are edible, however, they are ultra-hot. It is a good idea to keep them out of reach for toddlers and pets. Varieties that you could try include the Black Peral and the Purple Flash.


The petunia is a versatile flower that loves the sun. It is a great choice to bring a splash of color in summer. There are different varieties of petunia that you can choose from including those that grow up to 10 inches as well as trailing varieties that are longer.

The flower also comes in many colors and hues including yellows, blues, pinks, and some multi-colored ones. Although the flowers love the full sun, they require regular feeding and well-drained soils. The petunias require deadheading.

Million Bells

Million bells are also known as the calibrachoa and are available in a wide range of colors from pure white, to different shades of pink all the way to deep purples. The flowers produce prolific blooms all through summer. The bloom production can be greatly enhanced through regular feeding.

The million bells look great in almost any pot. Also, the flowers don’t need deadheading but require constituent watering and well-drained soils.


Verbena is a commonly grown potted flower that enjoys the full sun which supports its growth. Many prefer the verbena because it produces blossoms all through summer and even extends into the fall. Flower lovers can choose from more than 250 species that come in many colors ranging from brilliant red all the way to dark blue.

The flowers require well-drained soils and feeding about every couple of weeks. Although the verbenas are a bit drought tolerant, they require moderate but regular watering. Many of the varieties do not require deadheading but it might help them look better.

The verbena flower is not only beautiful when grown in pots alone but it is also awesome as a space filler or for spilling over the edges.

Cape Daisy

The Cape Daisy is also known as the Osteospermum. I love these cheerful daisy-like flowers. They also come in a variety of vibrant colors including melon, pink, purple, and white.

The Cape daisies are hardy and do well in almost all climates. The flowers do well with deadheading and regular fertilizing. The flowers blossom in the summer and last well into the fall.


The pentas are also known as the Egyptian star flowers. They produce large clusters of star-shaped flowers. The spectacular blooms do not require a load of work and are resistant to heat and drought. If provided with sufficient nutrients and well-drained soils they can bloom well into the fall.


Roses are often used in landscaping. Many of the varieties are big, however, there are several shrub varieties that look great in pots. There are many varieties of roses that are divided into three categories and you can read about them in this article I wrote a while back.

Roses do well in full sun. You can plant shrub varieties in pretty pots and place them strategically as focal points not only on your yard or garden. Examples of varieties that are ideal for pots include At Last and Oso Easy.


Tulips are a great flower to grow out in full sun. However, due to their size, they require large pots. The flowers provide a great pop of color because of the bright blooms. The flowers are available in a variety of colors including red, orange, white, flashed green, and purple.

The flower also produces handsome leaves which are also great to look at. Although the leaves differ from one variety to another, some have silver-blue-green leaves. An example of varieties ideal for pots includes Uncle Tom, Princess Irene, Jimmy, and Recreado.

Best Flowers for Pots on Porch or Partial Shade

Flowers in pots

Coral Bells

The coral bells are also known as the Heuchera. The flower is a perennial which produces little flowers in the summer. Although the flowers produce small blooms, they also have large volumes of beautiful foliage.

The leaves are available in many rainbow colors ranging from peach to deep burgundy.

Examples of varieties that you could try include the Dolce Cinnamon Curls and the Harvest Burgundy.


Euphorbia produces a Baby Breath-kind of effect when mixed in with other flowers in a pot. The flower produces tiny white blooms which look frilly. Although the flower looks delicate, it is tough and can survive different conditions including drought and heat. Examples of varieties you could try to include the Glitz and the Diamond Frost.


The begonias have showy flowers that produce beautiful flowers. The plants also have a variety of leaf shapes and have blossoms that range in color from white to brilliant orange. The flowers are also hardy and versatile. They can grow in a variety of conditions but hate getting too wet.

They make beautiful flowers for hanging pots. Examples of varieties that you could try include the Santa Cruz and the Dragon Wing.


The browallia is also known as Bush Violet. They produce beautiful blooms with a velvety texture. The blossoms are rich blue in color and have a light-blue center which brings a beautiful contrast.

The flower is great especially when planting a mixed pot because they have a height of about 14 inches making them ideal to go in the middle of the pot.

Other than being susceptible to too much wind, the flower does well without too much care. The flower blooms all through summer, especially with regular feeding.


The coleus produces leaves in many different colors which are a beauty in addition to the flowers. The flower is drought-tolerant and does well under different climatic conditions. The flowers are available in different varieties including those that are upright, trailing, or mounded.

Examples of varieties that you could test include the Redhead and the Trusty Rusty.


There are dwarf varieties of hydrangeas that are perfect for pots. The flowering shrubs don’t grow more than two or three feet in height. The majority of the dwarf hydrangeas produce small blooms that begin as white or white with shades of pink and turn purple, lime-green, or different hues of pink as they mature.

The hydrangeas can be dried and put on display all through the winter. Examples of varieties you could try to include the Bobo and the Little Quick Fire.

Best Flowers for Pots Small Size


Succulents are perfect for small pots because they can be propagated to form miniature plants that experience limited growth for months and even years. It is important to use the right offshoots, leaves and miniature plants when establishing the succulents. Click here to get beautiful succulents. 

  • Echeveria, there are different varieties of echeveria available that can be planted in small pots. examples include Mexican Snowball, plush plant, lipstick Echeveria, blue rose, and black prince. 
  • The Zebra plant is also known as the zebra haworthia is also an ideal succulent for small pots. The plant has dark-green, thick leaves which are smooth on the inside and have white horizontal stripes on the outside. 


Best flowers for pots

The nemesia is perfect as a vertical accent either on its own or in a mixed pot. The plant produces upright stems with perky little flowers. The flower produces blooms in summer and sometimes even in mild winters.

The flower is available in different colors including cranberry, purple, pink, yellow, white, and orange.  Examples of varieties you can try to include the Dazzle-me Lilac and the Juicy Fruits.

Busy Lizzies

The Busy lizzies are also known as the Impatiens walleriana. They produce beautiful flowers in different shades of pink. The flowers are not only good for small pots but they also do well in shady places. The flower requires plenty of deadheading which helps it flower well into autumn.


The cosmos provides a daisy-like effect. The dwarf cosmos fit perfectly in small containers and produces small flowers. The cosmos can be paired with plants with silver foliage, which acts as a great background for the blooms.

Pansies and Violas

The pansies and violas are available in different colors including yellow, white, shades of purple, and blue. When planting them, you can grow a single color in each pot or mix them up for that color pop. The pansies and violas are also versatile and can be mixed with late-blooming flowers for a lasting effect throughout the season.

The flowers bloom in spring and fall. Some varieties are also able to extend into the first frost and even rebound during spring. Examples of varieties you can try for small pots include the Coll Wave and Anytime.

Final Thoughts

When choosing the best flowers for pots that you intend to establish it’s good to note that even the same flowers differ significantly based on the variety and the cultivar. Also, how the flowers turn out, in the end, is heavily dependent on how you manage them.

This list of best flowers for pots is not comprehensive, for example, I have not included any cactus which are common potted plants. However, I hope you found some interesting ideas on plants you add to your collection. 



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