Annuals for containers are great for novice gardeners or anyone who wants to add interest and colour to their porch or patio. The most eye-catching arrangements combine contrasting colours, textures and leaf sizes for optimal interest.
Here are my top 10 suggestions for plants to include in container arrangements or hanging baskets:
Given a weekly drink of plant food, you’ll be rewarded with a strong flower show all summer long on wispy vines that trail down the pot or rise vertically on a trellis.
This emerald beauty has leaves that spread upwards and out in a fan shape presenting a fern-like appearance. Often grown as house plants, these tropical superstars provide visual height and drama in outdoor containers.
At 3’tall with tropical-like foliage and large flowers (red, orange, or yellow) that resemble irises, canna lilies are an ideal container centrepiece in a large pot.
A nonstop flowering, easy-growing pink petunia that never needs to be deadheaded. It’s gorgeous in a pot, delivering punches of color until fall frost.
Begonia explodes with prolific blooms that hummingbirds can’t resist. Colors hold best in afternoon shade, but some varieties tolerate full sun too. This is a ‘self-cleaning’ plant, meaning the flowers drop off as they fade so you never need to remove them.
A true showstopper with its unique vine-like sprawling appearance and opening flowers in rich tones of pink, orange, gold and purple that fade from hue to hue as the blossoms age. Flowers beckon butterflies and hummingbirds.
Also known as million bells, this cutie resembles a mini-petunia, with varieties offering a rainbow of color combinations and patterns.
A classic for containers and baskets, geraniums deliver strong color all season long. These plants love the heat but you’ll have to take a minute to remove any spent blossom heads to promote continuous blooming.
Uused for its shiny purple foliage (like Coleus), it makes a great contrast or backdrop for plants with bright-colored flowers (foliage color is best in part shade).
Sweet potato vine
This plant is loved for its unique chartreuse, purple or bronze foliage. It’s naturally trailing habit makes it the perfect ‘spill-over’ plant for hanging baskets.
Patricia is a long-time resident of the Alta Vista area of Ottawa with 30+ years of gardening experience. If you’d like to share your thoughts about this article or reach out for design and planting advice for your garden, please contact Patricia by email: OttawaPlantByNumbers@gmail.com or on Instagram: @ottawaplantbynumbers