Container Plants for Full Sun: Choices for Colour, Foliage and Texture

I collect annuals from a variety of sources. I like to get a bunch of plants with different colors, shapes, and sizes before figuring out what to put in a container arrangement. I will visit nurseries, grocery store garden centre, and plant sales. I grow annuals from seed. I get a few trial plants. Container plants for full sun are my biggest grouping to work with. I need to fill pots for my driveway, the space by my front door, my deck, and the space in front of my garden shed.

I usually choose a clear colour theme. I like playing with multiple colors to see what I can come up with. When I am ready, I will set up an old plastic patio table in my backyard with lots of potting soil close at hand, pull out all my pots that need filling, and arrange the plants into their groups. I keep all the tags for the plants. I try to remember to fertilize frequently.

Pairing plants at my makeshift potting table.

I like my container plants for full sun.

I like to know which plants will go together. They will be moved around until I find their permanent summer friends. I think about shape and the plants that will serve as spillers. I like to sneak in some of my favourite herbs. I sneak the odd perennial, like heucheras, into my container arrangements because most of the plants I use are annuals. I will plant them in the garden at the end of the season so I can use them the following year or add them to an ornamental garden.


Gomphrena is new to me. The previous year at the California Spring Trials, I saw Ping Pong Lavender and grew it. I fell in love with the spherical blooms. I kept a few dried out in a vase last fall because they look great in cut flower arrangements.

Ping Pong Lavender Gomphrena and SunPatiens Compact Orchid make really pretty container mates.
When I planted Ping Pong Gomphrena in a summer container, it bloomed right through the fall!

The name is Verbena.

It ‘s one of those things that can be found in a container. It blooms throughout the season. You can get these lovely wreath of colour before the flowers bloom. It blends in when you wind the stems through parts of your arrangement.

This Superbena Stormburst verbena hybrid from Proven Winners is both heat and drought tolerant and will attract butterflies.


At least one variety of calibrachoa makes its way into my containers each year, but I ca n’t remember when I discovered them. They fill in nicely in containers cascading over the sides of the pot, mounding well in hanging baskets. Sometimes I will work my whole container colour combination around the calibrachoa. Superbells Doublette Love Swept Double Calibrachoa is a new knockout variety that I mentioned in my list of new plants.

Hollywood Star calibrachoa
Superbells Blue Moon Punch calibrachoas inspired a purple and yellow container combo!

There are petunias.

Petunias get so leggy in the heat of summer that they need deadheading, so I used to have mixed feelings about them. I find many of the lovely varieties hard to resist. I make sure to do the proper maintenance on them.

AMORE Queen of Hearts would make a great "thriller" in a full-sun container

Some of the characteristics gardeners love about petunias are being blended with other plants. SuperCal is a hybrid that combines the bigger petunia blooms with the interesting colors of calibrachoa. They do n’t turn to mush after a hard rain and are heat tolerant. There are a number of different types of Supertunias. The blooms last well into the fall.

Pink Star Charm Supertunias are strong contenders for summer pots.
SUCCESS! Pink Vein Petunia

There are Dahlias.

I look for plants that are on their way, but you could plant a tuber in a pot to give it room to grow in your arrangement. You can give it a head start indoors about a month before you plant outside. When buying a plant ortuber, be aware of how big the bloom will be. Do n’t try to grow a dinnerplate dahlia in a small pot.

Dahlias are a great option for containers, provided you check the projected bloom size on the tag or tuber package before you plant it in a pot!

Plants for full sun are found in container plants.

Not only do herbs add their obvious scent and colour to a container arrangement, they also offer their own unique texture. I sneak herbs like parsley, basil, mint, and pineapple. Also, and lemongrass.

There is a flower called Lemongrass.

When I give raised bed talks, one of my favorite tips is to plant lemongrass in place of your spike or Dracaena plant. You can eat it even though it loves the sun and provides the same height. When the crockpot comes out and I start to make my favourite chicken curry, I pull out some of the lemongrass that I dry for herbal tea.

Lemongrass replaces the dracaena in an outdoor arrangement of container plants for full sun.

It ‘s called Parsley.

I use a lot of parsley in my cooking, so I like to have lots of plants on the go. parsley is snuck into a lot of my summer containers I do n’t mind sharing with the swallowtail caterpillars because I have so many plants.

Curly parsley in an ornamental container arrangement

There is lemon thyme.

The variegated greeny-yellow leaves of lemon thyme make it great to grow in containers. It ‘s nice and bushy in the pot, and you can harvest it throughout the season. I will put it in the garden at the end of the season.

Lemon thyme is a great "filler" and "spiller" in ornamental containers.

There are colour combo ideas for container plants.

Yellow and red are the colors of the mouve.

A mauve, red, and yellow combination of container plants for full sun.

Burnt orange, purple, and white.

A white, purple, and burnt orange container combo

Green and Maroon.

Combine herbs in your ornamental combinations

There are red, white, and blue.

A red, white, and blue hanging basket combo makes great container plants for full sun.

There are some great annuals for containers in these articles.

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Container plants for full sun: Options for flowers, foliage, and texture, as well as thrillers, fillers, and spillers!

Category: Flower

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