30 Flowers That Can Be Grown in Containers for Small Spaces

Kasey Spencer
30 Flowers That Can Be Grown in Containers for Small Spaces

Gardening in small spaces might seem challenging at first glance, but with container gardening, it’s not only possible; it’s a game-changer. I’ve been tending to my plants and flowers for over 13 years now, sharing insights through my blog. Over time, I’ve learned that you don’t need a sprawling garden to experience the joy of gardening. Whether you have a tiny balcony, a small patio, or just a windowsill, container gardening opens up a world of possibilities.

Growing flowers in containers is a fantastic way to brighten up small spaces and add a pop of color to your outdoor or indoor living area. It offers the flexibility to mix and match different plants, experiment with arrangements, and even move your garden with the seasons or your mood.

In this post, we’re exploring 30 flowers that thrive in containers, perfect for gardeners looking to maximize their small spaces. From sun-loving blooms that bask in the daylight to shade-tolerant beauties that flourish in cooler, dimmer corners, there’s a flower for every spot in your home.

Sun-Loving Flowers for Containers

Let’s dive into the vibrant world of sun-loving flowers perfect for container gardening. These blooms are not just visually stunning; they’re also remarkably resilient and suited for those bright spots where the sun generously showers its rays.

1. Petunias

Petunias flower
Image: Envato Elements

Petunias are a gardener’s delight, known for their wide range of vibrant colors and simple care requirements. These flowers can turn any container into a centerpiece of dazzling hues. They’re quite forgiving, thriving in full sun and blooming abundantly from spring until frost. Regular deadheading will keep them looking their best, encouraging more blooms to appear.

2. Marigolds

Image: Envato Elements

Marigolds are the warriors of the flower world, boasting bright, sunny blooms that do more than just beautify spaces. These hardy flowers are celebrated for their pest-repellent properties, making them a natural protector for your container garden. Planting marigolds can help keep your outdoor space free from unwanted insects while adding a burst of gold, orange, and yellow to your arrangement.

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3. Geraniums

Image: Envato Elements

Geraniums are versatile blooms that bring a splash of color to sunny spots. Available in a spectrum of colors, these plants are particularly suited for containers in full sun, where they can receive around six hours of daylight. Their robust nature and continuous flowering make them a popular choice for gardeners looking for reliability and beauty.

4. Zinnias

Image: Envato Elements

Zinnias are like the sun’s best friends; they adore heat and reward you with a riot of colors. These flowers are excellent for adding a bold statement to your container garden, with their ability to thrive in hot conditions. Zinnias come in various shapes and colors, ensuring that there’s a type to suit every taste and design.

5. Begonias

Image: Envato Elements

Begonias are a testament to nature’s versatility, flourishing in both sun and shade. These flowers offer a kaleidoscope of colors, from soft pastels to vivid oranges and reds. Their adaptability makes them an ideal choice for gardeners looking to create a harmonious container display that transitions smoothly from one part of the garden to another.

6. Calibrachoa


Calibrachoa, often referred to as “million bells,” resemble mini petunias but pack a powerful punch in terms of floral display. They’re perfect for hanging baskets or as trailing plants in containers, where their petite, bell-shaped flowers can spill over the edges in a stunning cascade of color.

7. Portulaca

Portulaca flower

Portulaca, with its succulent leaves and vibrant flowers, is a champion of drought-tolerant gardening. These low-maintenance plants are perfect for sunny, dry spots where other flowers might struggle. Their ability to retain water within their leaves makes them an excellent choice for sun-drenched container gardens.

8. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums Flower

Nasturtiums offer more than just beauty; they bring zest to your garden and your plate with their edible flowers. Easy to grow and care for, these plants are ideal for gardeners looking for both ornamental and culinary rewards. Their peppery blooms can add a splash of color and flavor to salads.

9. Snapdragon

Snapdragon spring flowers
Image: Envato Elements

Snapdragons stand out with their unique flower shapes and spectrum of colors. They bring height and dimension to container gardens, attracting eyes and pollinators alike. Plant them in a sunny spot to watch them soar and bloom from spring through fall.

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10. Lavender

Lavender field in summer.
Image: Envato Elements

Lavender is cherished not only for its soothing fragrance but also for its ability to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. This herb thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, making it a perfect addition to any container garden. Its aromatic presence adds a layer of sensory delight, elevating the gardening experience.

Shade-Tolerant Flowers for Containers

For those of us with gardens that enjoy more shade than sunshine, fear not. The world of shade-tolerant flowers is both diverse and dazzling, offering a plethora of options for your container gardens. These blooms prove that even in the cooler, dimmer corners of your space, you can cultivate a vibrant and thriving garden.

11. Impatiens

inpatient flower.
Image: Envato Elements

Impatiens are the go-to flower for gardeners looking to brighten up shady areas. Their shade tolerance is unparalleled, and they compensate for the lack of sunlight with bursts of vibrant colors. From deep pinks to bright whites, impatiens keep the shadowy parts of your garden lively and colorful.

12. Fuchsia

Pink Fuchsia
Image: Envato Elements

Fuchsia is truly unique, with its exquisite hanging flowers that seem to dance in the breeze. These plants thrive in cooler, shaded spots, making them perfect for covered patios or the darker sides of balconies. The pendulous blooms of fuchsia add an elegant touch to container gardens, bringing beauty and grace to shaded nooks.

13. Coleus

Image: Envato Elements

Coleus is celebrated not for its flowers, but for its vividly colored foliage that lights up the shade. With leaves that come in a wide range of colors, from lime green to deep burgundy, coleus adds a continuous splash of color to shady garden spots. This plant is a fantastic option for adding visual interest and texture without the need for bright sunlight.

14. Begonias (Shade Varieties)

 Begonias (Shade Varieties)

Begonias are incredibly versatile, with certain varieties flourishing in shaded areas. These shade-loving begonias offer a spectrum of colors and forms, from lush, leafy greens to flowers in hues of pink, red, and white. Their ability to thrive with minimal sunlight makes them a superb choice for adding floral diversity to your shaded containers.

15. Astilbe

Image: Envato Elements

Astilbe brings a soft, feathery touch to the shade garden, with its plume-like flowers standing tall above fern-like foliage. These plants are shade-tolerant and add a light, airy texture to container arrangements. The blooms, available in shades of pink, white, and red, create a visual contrast that can brighten up even the darkest corners.

16. Lobelia

Image: Envato Elements

Lobelia features enchanting cascades of small, vibrant flowers, making it ideal for adding a waterfall of color to hanging baskets and container edges. It thrives in cooler temperatures and can perform well in both sun and partial shade, although it truly shines in less sunny locales, where its blooms seem to glow.

17. Pansies

Pansies in a terracotta pot
Image: Envato Elements

Pansies are renowned for their cold tolerance and their ability to bring color to the garden during the cooler months. With a rainbow of available colors, pansies can brighten up shady containers with their cheerful faces. They’re a popular choice for early spring and fall when other plants might not be as vibrant.

18. Primrose


Primrose heralds the arrival of spring with its bright and early blooms. Perfect for shaded containers, these flowers come in a variety of colors and can light up the garden even on the gloomiest days. Their preference for cooler, shaded spots makes them an excellent choice for early-season color.

19. Foxglove

Image: Envato Elements

Foxglove stands tall with its majestic spikes of bell-shaped flowers, which add height and drama to any container garden. Preferring dappled shade, these plants are perfect for adding a touch of elegance and a vertical dimension to shaded spots. Their array of colors can complement any garden palette.

20. Hellebores


Hellebores, also known as Lenten roses, are one of the first flowers to bloom, often pushing through the last snows of winter. Their shade-loving nature and early blooming period make them a treasure in the shaded garden. With subtle hues ranging from white to pink to deep burgundy, hellebores add a sophisticated touch to early spring container gardens.

Perennial Flowers for Year-Round Containers

Creating a year-round container garden with perennials offers both beauty and sustainability. These plants return season after season, providing consistent structure and color to your garden spaces. Let’s explore some perennial flowers that not only thrive in containers but also bring unique attributes to your garden throughout the year.

21. Echinacea (Coneflower)

Image: Envato Elements

Echinacea, or coneflower, is renowned for its drought tolerance and ability to attract pollinators. These sturdy perennials display vibrant flowers that come in shades of pink, purple, and white, making them a standout addition to any container garden. Beyond their visual appeal, they are a magnet for bees and butterflies, enhancing the biodiversity of your garden space.

22. Heuchera

blooming purple heuchera
Image: Envato Elements

Heuchera is particularly valuable for container gardening because of its versatility and tolerance to a range of light conditions, from full sun to shade, depending on the variety. This makes it an ideal choice for adding consistent color and texture to your garden, no matter the season. Heuchera’s robust nature also means it can withstand cooler temperatures, making it a great perennial choice for year-round interest.

23. Sedum

Image: Envato Elements

Sedum, or stonecrop, features succulent leaves that make it exceptionally drought-tolerant. This plant comes into its own in late summer, offering blooms that continue into the fall. With varieties ranging in color from deep reds to bright yellows, sedum adds texture and interest to your container arrangements, making them look vibrant even as the season changes.

24. Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy

The classic appearance of the Shasta daisy, with its bright white petals and sunny yellow centers, brings a cheerful simplicity to container gardens. These hardy perennials are easy to care for and can withstand various conditions, making them a reliable choice for gardeners seeking a traditional yet striking floral display.

25. Russian Sage

Russian Sage
Image: Envato Elements

Russian sage is prized for its airy blue flowers and silvery foliage, which add a touch of elegance and contrast to container gardens. Its drought tolerance makes it a perfect choice for areas that receive full sun. The delicate blooms and fragrant leaves of Russian sage can elevate the aesthetic of your garden from summer through fall.

26. Coral Bells

Coral Bells

Coral bells boast decorative leaves in shades ranging from green to dark burgundy, with delicate flowers that hover above the foliage on slender stalks. This plant is valued for its texture and variety, adding visual interest to shaded or partially shaded container gardens. Coral bells are a versatile choice that complements both flowers and foliage plants.

27. Peonies

Purple flowers: peonies
Image: Envato Elements

Peonies are beloved for their large, fragrant blooms that make a statement in any container garden. While they require a bit more care, including a well-drained container and protection from the hottest sun, the payoff comes in late spring to early summer when they burst into a display of lush, aromatic flowers.

28. Daylilies

Image: Envato Elements

Daylilies are a favorite among gardeners for their vibrant colors and easy-care nature. These perennials bloom profusely throughout the summer, with each flower lasting just a day. The wide range of colors and patterns available makes daylilies a versatile choice for adding continuous interest to your container garden.

29. Chrysanthemums

Pink chrysanthemums.
Image: Envato Elements

Chrysanthemums, or mums, are the quintessential fall flower, offering a final burst of color as the season changes. Their wide variety of colors and bloom shapes can complement any container garden theme. Mums are hardy and, if properly cared for, can return year after year to signal the arrival of autumn.

30. Hydrangeas (Container Varieties)

Hydrangea flowers
Image: Envato Elements

Specific varieties of hydrangeas have been cultivated to thrive in containers, providing large, showy blooms and shade tolerance. These plants can add a dramatic flair to any garden with their big, bold flowers ranging from blues and pinks to whites and greens. With adequate water and protection from the afternoon sun, container-grown hydrangeas can flourish and bring joy for many seasons.

Incorporating these perennials into your container gardens not only enhances the beauty and diversity of your outdoor spaces but also establishes a sustainable, year-round garden that evolves with the seasons.

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