How to Select Annual Flowers for Containers


Placing one type of annual flower in your container makes a pretty display, but why not try mixing flower heights? You could choose a flower or vine that trails over the side or add tall plants for balance or use short plants to add bulk. If you choose spring flowers, plan summer flowers to take over as the spring blooms fade.

Flower containers come in all shapes and sizes. You can choose from round, square, or rectangle, and in various heights. Flower containers are typically made of clay, plastic, or ceramics for easily movable plants. Wood, stone, or concrete containers, because of their weight, are for plants that will remain in one spot indefinitely.

When mixing different flowering plants, if any are fragrant, make sure that their combined fragrance is not overwhelming or unappealing. The suggestions listed below are lightly scented, unless noted otherwise.


    As they grow, trailing plants tumble down the sides of the container. Trailing plants can be vines or cascading flowers.

    Candytuft (can also be a short plant)
    Ivy (variegated, English, German)
    Petunia, "Wave" Variety
    Sweet Potato Vine


    Obviously, tall plants add height to your planter, but it's that height that makes it look more spectacular.

    Marigold (some varieties can also be short)
    Snapdragon (can also be a short plant, depending on variety and on surrounding flowers)
    Spider Plant
    Zinnia (some varieties can also be short)


    The bulk of your planter will be the shorter plants, all of which can be (maybe "should be" depending on your perspective) flowering plants.

    Candytuft (can also be a trailer)
    Dust Miller
    English Primrose
    Johnny Jump Up
    Marigold (some varieties can also be tall; short varieties can give off a strong aroma)
    Zinnia (some varieties can also be tall)

Tips & Warnings

  • Succulents can also be used for planters.

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  • Photo Credit DavidK-Oregon @ Flickr; Creative Commons
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