Do you grow perennials in pots?

fnboyd(z8 AL)April 9, 2008

As I was shopping for plants to put in my pots this year I thought that maybe there were some perennials that would grow well and survive winters in pots. That way they would not have to be replaced every year.

I don't want to bring them inside because I hate the mess that plants make indoors.

Have any of you done this in similar zone? If you have what plants did you use.

I just hate having to repot annuals every year.


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Yes, you can do this. Remember, though, that plants in pots are more vulnerable to freeze damage than plants in the ground. Even when I lived in zone 9b, I had to bring some plants in for really cold weather. I can see where hosta could be grown in pots, bulbs, and also something like rudbeckia, coneflower, dwarf shrubs like azalea, gardenia. If the weather turns cold and you don't want to bring the pots in, you could group them together and put some insulation around them. You could string some holiday lights and intermingle that in amongst them. If the weather was not going to be too cold, I would mass the pots around the house, which was warmer than out on the patio, for example. You have to watch out that the next day doesn't get too warm, because you have to uncover the plants or they'll burn up. So if you are going off to work, say, when it is still very cold, but once you return it's warm, that could pose a problem. Let's see, I've grown lantana and veronica in pots also.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 2:25PM
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Hello! I posted some on this forum last year, which was basically my second year to garden. I'm still pretty much a newbie, but maybe I have learned a little from all of you in the past year!

Anway, just wanted to say that I did manage to overwinter some lantana, a few different hostas, sedum, and even a little twig of a rose in pots. The rose was a dying twig that someone had planted in the deep shade in our backyard before we bought our home, and has actually done quite well in the pot. I am beginning to think it is a climber, the way it is growing. The lantana and sedum were left on the deck all winter, with no real expectations of having them return, and the hosta were in pots that I carried into the store room for the cold weather and comletely forgot about- no water or anything for a few months! Yet they are all coming back. I am astonished! I would like to try more flowering perennials in containers this year.

(Oh, not to mention that I had morning glories and petunias in pots that apparently reseeded and are also coming back! Yay!)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 3:21PM
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Yep I did it and today went shopping and got a ton of perennials to put in pots. I am going to fix them and then post. My framing shop does it every year and theres look so good all winter and then each summer that I decided to do it. I will post by the weekend. Good luck c

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 6:02PM
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libbyshome(z9a BC)

Don't forget you can plant bulbs in pots.

You could always plant a container of perennials and sink it in the ground over winter.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 7:37PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I grow Agapanthus in containers, they don't seem to come back for me if planted in the ground, too wet I think, this way I can move them to a more protected location for the winter. I grow the minor bulbs in clay pots which I place out in different spots in the garden for a touch of color, after blooming I put them in an out of the way spot to to die down.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 7:53PM
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treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)

I keep my scented pelargoniums in pots, some aloe and mints...not much else, though, because I don't care for the cluttered look that develops when there are lots of pots sitting around on the patio and porch.

I wish I'd left the agapanthus in their pots now. Wonder if I should repot them...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 9:29PM
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I have a minature rose, heuchera, creeping jenny and nepeta in pots. Mine are all sitting on a flagstone patio next to the house in a sheltered east location with morning sun.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 9:54PM
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Vikki1747(z8 VA)

Lots of good info for you here. Like you I grew tired of replanting my containers with annuals every year. I have several perennials in pots now. I've just deconstructed one pot that had canna, holly fern, and creeping jenny planted in it for the last 2 years. I left it in the middle of one of my flower beds (far from the house) for the past two winters and all the plants did just fine. Like Annette, I have agapanthus in a pot and usually bring it into the garage for the winter but I didn't this winter. I don't see any new growth yet but it's still early. A couple of years ago I planted a large pot with dwarf yellow lilies. They did great the first season they bloomed but I was disappointed in the next year so I planted them in the ground and haven't seen them since, lol. I encourage you to give perennials in a pot a try.

Hey, have you seen any growth on your amsonia yet? Mine have new shoots coming up!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 10:16PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I am just planting more perennial pots.
Loads are sedums. I love sedum pots mixed with hens & Chicks.
Some are herbs such as a rosemary with a golden thyme planted all the way around it.
Others are purple/chartreuse combs like golden acorus, purple heuchera, "dark Dancer" oxalis (the only non-hardy thing), creeping jenny, black scallop ajuga...

I have one more pot to do, I'm shopping for some extra juicy sedums for that on Monday at a specialty supplier! Working at a nursery with a business number has it's perks!!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 10:53PM
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BecR(zone 9 CA 19)

How 'bout confederate jasmine (ie star jasmine), mints, or heavenly bamboo (nandina domestica)? Am fairly certain these are okay in your zone---but not sure! Becky

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 2:08AM
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eduarda(Z10 - Portugal)

I grow all sorts of things in pots. Big shrubs/small trees like strawberry tree. Roses. Kalanchoe, sedums and other succulents. Verbena and pelargoniums. Ivy. Dwarf conifers. Muscari and cyclamen. This year I'm experimenting with a couple of calla lillies to see how they fare. Like you, I don't want to go all the trouble to plant annuals in pots each year. I do add some annuals(pansies, portulaca) but as a complement to the more permanent planting. Of course, being in zone 10 helps, but the drawback is that keeping pots watered is a real challenge in Summer.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 4:47AM
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I'm in a similar zone but a different area and I grow all manner of perennials (and larger plants) in containers year round. Most perennials are hardy to well below zone 8 and I've never found the need for any winter protection except for succulents that don't like our winter wet or tender perennials that won't tolerate the cold. But then these won't survive inground either :-)

You do need a good, freely draining potting soil and will need to pay attention to watering and fertilizing, as you would with anything grown in a container. Because these tend to be longer term container plantings than seasonal annuals and because many perennials will produce big root systems, you need to size the containers appropriately for the plants and consider when and how often to divide. Like Annette, I grow my agapanthus in containers only but they like to be rootbound and seldom need to be divided.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:11AM
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fnboyd(z8 AL)

Yes Vikki my amsonia is coming up. I was just impatient as usual. My New Gold Lantana is also coming up. I was worried about it as well.

I have a couple of Holly Ferns that are not doing very well where I have them planted. I may put them in pots and try to overwinter them.

I had never thought of putting Canna Lilies in pots. I don't like them in the garden because they spread so fast but I could contain them in a pot. Thanks for that idea.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:13AM
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Hi, Faye, I grow Dianthus in pots with great success. They are one of the first plants to green up around here. They are beginning to put out flowers. Sometimes my Petunias will come back for a second year. I have a couple of roses planted in large pots. I've grown allysum and forget-me-nots in pots. They self-seed readily, producing new plants year after year. Chrysanthemums are perennial and do well in pots. Some herbs are perennial, and suitable for potting.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:23AM
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faltered(Hamburg NY Z5/6)

I'm in a much colder zone than you. But I love lilies in pots- both asiatic and oriental. They do well for me as long as I protect the pots from the coldest weather. Dianthus has done well for me for several years; also sedge (carex) and various herbs like mint, oregano, etc.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 7:40PM
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Vikki1747(z8 VA)

Faye, Here are a couple of pictures of my container with the Canna Lily (I just took it apart last week). 2007 was the second year for this pot. Get a BIG pot if you plan to do Canna.

June 15, 2007

July 25, 2007


    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 8:00PM
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