Summer Container Gardens We're Obsessing Over
Plant a container garden for the summer season and add a dose of garden style to your porch, patio, or entry. These container gardening ideas are full of summer bloomers, they’re great in the heat, and they’re full of vibrant colors to add life to your seasonal gardening adventures. Borrow a few of our summer planter ideas for your home, and you'll have a gorgeous containers that will brighten your space and bloom all summer.
Made for Shade
Brighten a blank patio wall with a vertical garden. Choose a matching set of planters (we like Metal Flat Back S/3, $156; peacockretail.com). Drill drainage holes in the bottoms of the containers. Make three additional holes in the front of each, and then use tin snips to cut out triangular openings that are large enough to fit one plant. Fill containers with potting soil and plants before mounting. The following picks will withstand late-summer heat with regular water in part to full shade.
Left container: shrimp plant, ‘Aqua Marine’ pilea, variegated pteris fern, selaginella, sword fern, arrowhead vine
Middle container: asparagus fern, ‘Triostar’ stromanthe, ‘Neon’ pothos
Right container: ‘Neon’ pothos, arrowhead vine, selaginella
Roll With It
Take summer arrangements to new heights with a portable plant stand that can move inside and out. This version from Gardener’s Supply Company can wheel easily from potting shed to patio and from sunshine to shade. The space-saving, slim container fits comfortably on a small porch or apartment balcony. Instead of displaying a cluster of mismatched pots, place a mix of seasonal vegetables, flowers, and herbs in this single planter. Stash your gardening tools along with additional blooms on the shelf below.
Fill the stand with potting soil. We added ‘Yellow Crookneck’ squash, ‘Skyscraper Pink’ salvia, scabiosa, ‘Swizzle Cherry & Ivory’ zinnia, coneflower, creeping wire vine, rosemary, ‘African Blue’ basil, tomato, ‘Inca II Mix’ marigold, and fan flower (bottom rack). Give full sun and regular water.
Buy It: Demeter Mobile Planter Cart, $130; gardeners.com
Sunny SunPatiens Pot
In summer, when in doubt, go with SunPatiens. This sun-loving container incorporates 'Variegated Spreading Salmon' SunPatiens, foxtail asparagus fern (which adds some whimsy), and 'Neon' pothos. Keeping the color palette to two—peachy blooms for impact and bright, limey greens for substance—give the container a lively presence. There’s nothing sweeter (or more summery!) than a fern-SunPatiens combo.
Dress up your favorite hanging container with dianthus and petunias. Add extra oomph with the addition of English Ivy and baby’s tears spilling over the sides. Don’t be afraid of mixing colors and textures here. The more variety, the better.
Late Summer Fire
Spring gets all the press, but let’s give late summer its due. It needs a gorgeous container too. This container is filled with 'Rustic Orange' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), 'Compact Hot Coral' SunPatiens (Impatiens sp.), and 'Yellow Moon' wishbone flower (Torenia sp.). Plus, it’s as easy as can be to maintain.
Geraniums with Personality
Summer-blooming Calliope-series geraniums take center stage in this arrangement, which makes the most of their bright scarlet hues. Pair ‘Dark Red’ geraniums with varied greenery and plants that have interesting architecture, like the tall purple filler in the background of this container.
Combine caladiums, creeping Jenny, and white wishbone flower for a whimsical summertime container garden. Here, we used 'Celebration' and 'Florida Sweetheart' caladiums for a vibrant planter with a graceful spill of creeping Jenny from the elevated container.
When in doubt, add color. This subtle container (contained in a brick wall!) is enlivened with dianthus, petunias, and baby’s tears.
This stately container garden builds height in the plantings by thinking horizontally. Keep a dark, plummy filler planted low in the container, then build blush blooms atop the lowest layer. Finally, add the brightest, most showstopping plant at the highest point. Easy and elegant, it's as simple as that.
Unexpected Summer Mix
A container with lantana and impatiens will bring both color and butterflies to your space. Add in maroon Joseph’s coat, green coleus, and yellow creeping Jenny for a lively mix with all the eye-catching colors and textures of summer.
Channel a rolling French field filled with herbs by creating these elegant and natural containers. The waving height and the mix of colors is charming. Add your favorite herbs and other plants to the mix. Don’t be afraid to mix in edible ones too. Here, we worked with salvia, rosemary, coleus, and kale.
Why didn’t you think of it before? Incorporating lively plantings at the base of a citrus tree isn’t just beautiful. It’s equal parts stunning and functional. You’ll be happy to have oranges (or lemons and limes) when harvest time comes round. Keep the base plantings natural, wispy, and wild.
Elephant’s Ear Charm
Elephant’s ear is a too-often overlooked container garden addition that can add big impact to a little pot. Keep the container looking a bit unruly, with varied colors, textures, and heights. A few elephant’s ears emerging from the top add just the impact you’re looking for in your summer container.
This gorgeous container combines vibrant lime ‘Maui Gold’ elephant's ear, deep orange SunPatiens, purplish Persian shield, and a spill of angel vine for a tropical-inspired plant design.
These lush containers look intricate, but they couldn’t be easier to put together. Combine snapdragons, Penny violas, tulips, parsley, and ivy for an elemental, architectural mix.
Bring butterflies galore to your summertime container by planting it with lantana. Add other plants with complementary sun and water requirements, or keep it simple and plant only lantana.
These plants—orangey coleus and bright yellow lantana—stand up to even the hottest Southern summer conditions.
Take advantage of May-blooming tulips in this container, a perfect design for early summer. A lively combination of tulips, 'Tiger' fern, Lavender Blue' and 'Purple Wing' Plentifall pansies, acorus, heuchera, and variegated ivy. It’s a vibrant combination that adds some drama to your entry.
Keep your palette to two colors for instant elegance. Here, a coastal-inspired blue patio is elevated with deep greens and pops of fresh white blooms in multiple containers. (A "Meyer" lemon tree is also a fun addition.)
Choose just one plant to make a streamlined (but bold) statement in a container. Pretty pink petunias do the trick.
Pink and lime hues are a no-fail pairing when it comes to summertime container gardens. Plant purple coneflowers, Cora Cascade vincas, and sweet potato vines. Add another bold plant with height at the back to create some vertical interest.
Dazzling, Dangling Garden
Hang a container of impatiens, spider plant, blooming begonias, ferns and spilling ivy for a dramatic container that thrives in the shade.
What better time to incorporate vibrant violet hues into your space? Choose your favorite purple blooms and combine them with captivating, and architecturally interesting purple-and-green filler plants of all different textures.
These zinnia blooms lend cheery color to an indoor or outdoor container garden.
Je ne sais quoi Trio
It just has that something special. Together, 'Strawberry Sundae' twinspurs, violas, and kale are a winning combination.
We’ll happily take advantage of any excuse to incorporate snapdragons in a container. The cheery pinks and yellows of these containers add life, but don’t overwhelm the space. Adding two pots with single plantings grounds the vignette.
Dainty Lavender Hues
You need just a few ingredients for this garden dish. Combine hostas, violas, and blue phlox in your vessel for a dainty container garden with plenty of charm.
Double the Containers
This entry has a double layer of containers. Nearest the door, 'Blue Point' junipers, 'Ogon Gold' Acorus, and creeping Jenny adds height. Liberty snapdragons, marigolds, crimson dianthus, and more creeping Jenny add continuity and color in front to tie the scene together.
Perfect for a Southern summer, impatiens can stand up to the South’s notoriously hot weather. Add scale with large planters and plants. It’s a simple technique, but it creates major impact.
Charming and Subtle
This pretty, delicate container plays with shades of white, garden green, lime green, and cornflower blue to create a subtle, playful garden element.
Add some mega flora to your container design this year. Go big or go home in terms of scale, as we did with these elephant's ears.
This gorgous container packs a punch in a small area. It makes the most of its square footage by layering caladiums and dainty blooms.