Sometimes a person just doesn’t have the space for planting things in the ground. Perhaps you’ve only got a concrete yard, or you have a bit of patio that could use some color. Maybe you can’t spare any extra space in your garden box. Container gardening is the practice of growing things in containers or pots.

Whether those pots be plastic, metal, or terracotta, there are plants that thrive under these growing conditions. Mint, for example, is a spreading plant. It would take over if placed in a garden bed. Keeping plants that spread in a container will keep them isolated, and therefore thriving in your space.

Container gardens are a great way to add color, height, and texture to a space. If one so chooses, these plants can attract bees, aid in cleaning the air, or give off a lovely scent. In this article, we will be focusing on one type of plant per pot. Here is a list of some of the best plants to grow in a container garden.


Ivy is one of those rare plants that do well in both sun and shade. It also has the benefit of being very cold hardy, so does not require much attention during the winter months. It has a cascading effect as it grows within the container, which adds a lovely dimension to any space. Varieties such as English ivy also help filter toxins out of the air, so keeping it in a pot indoors where it can get some light would be a great idea.


Ferns are shade-loving plants that do best in moist soil. It would be an easy plant to remember to water often if kept next to a deck chair or by a door. The roots do not need a lot of extra space, so be sure to plant it in a shallow container that is not much wider than the plastic pot it came in.


Marigolds will add a beautiful pop of color to any container garden. They do like at least 6 hours of sun, and will do best in light potting soil with good drainage. Be careful not to overwater this plant, as they are susceptible to rot.  It is also believed that certain varieties carry a scent that repels mosquitoes and aphids.


Hydrangeas will add a beautiful burst of color and fluffy texture to a patio. They come in a variety of shapes and colors. They do best in a partially shaded area and can be kept small to fill in front space. For best results, keep the soil moist and make sure it is in a spot that gets morning sun.


If you would like to try your hand at vegetable container gardening, peppers are the perfect starter. They do require a deeper pot to allow the roots to grow, as well as good drainage. To really thrive, the pepper plant will need at least 6 hours of sun per day.


Another vegetable (or fruit, depending on who you ask) that does incredibly well when grown in a container. This can be grown in a variety of containers, but consider growing this in a recycled material fabric pot. Be sure that when choosing the best container for tomatoes, you choose when that gives its roots plenty of room to grow. Also, choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight. They can get quite tall, so keep that in mind as well.


Strawberries are spreaders, so growing them in their own container is wise. When planted in a strawberry planter, they can spread and cascade in such a unique way that it will add a beautiful addition to your space. They are also quick-growing plants that do best in a space that gets at least partial sun. They also like to be kept relatively moist.


Aloe is technically a succulent and does not need much attention to really thrive. Choose a pot that will give its roots plenty of room to grow, and it will consistently amaze you with the shapes it takes as it gets larger. It is best to get succulent soil when planting this one. Aloe can also flourish indoors and will act as an air purifier. It does need some sun exposure to grow; at least 4 hours of sun will suffice.

Above all, be sure to fill your patio and containers with flowers that will bring you joy.