Which Container Garden Plants to Pick – and Why

woman transplanting vegetables and flowers between pots as she picks container garden plants

When you’re planning your container garden, it’s important to pick the right kind of container garden plants. But what are the right type of plants to pick for your garden? And why is that?

You can grow many types of vegetables, herbs, a few types of fruit, and many kinds of flowers in a container. After some quick research, however, it seems that most people choose to grow edible plants in their deck gardens because most of us see flowers or houseplants a different sort of gardening.

In fact, most people just think the term container gardening refers to growing edible plants, so that’s what we’ll focus on here. So even though growing flowers is technically gardening, it’s not generally classified the same way. So let’s talk about the edible kind of container gardening for our home and garden, shall we?

The Best Container Garden Plants by Type

Ready to chat about the best plants for your container garden by variety? Let’s do this.

Herbs are the most commonly grown (and thought of!) edible plant for containers. Vegetables come in second, and fruit isn’t planted in containers as often – probably because a lot of people think it would be too challenging to produce fruit in containers. So let’s go in that order, okay?

Don’t let Herb take over your garden – plant herbs in a container!

Many varieties of herbs do well in containers. In fact, many types of herbs need to be grown in containers. Why? Most herbs will grow like crazy – and take over your garden unless grown in a defined space like a container!

Here are some commonly grown herbs:

  • Parsley is perhaps the most popular herb for container growing.
  • Want to grow mint? Grow it in a container – or it will take over your garden!
  • Basil and chives are also extremely popular for growing in containers.
  • Cilantro can be grown successfully in containers.

In fact, most herbs can be grown successfully in containers.

The key is finding a large enough container. Some herbs can easily be grown in relatively small containers. Chives, parsley, and basil can all grow in smaller pots.

But some herbs grow a bit larger and need a bigger container. Sage, for example, is a bush. Oregano also grows rather large and needs a large container.

Vegetables can do great in a container – as long as it’s big enough!

Although technically a fruit, tomatoes are probably the most popular “vegetable” for home gardeners in general.

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing it doesn’t belong in a fruit salad. That’s why I’m keeping it classed with the vegetables, y’all.

Tomatoes are super common to plant in containers. It’s probably due to the fact that good tomatoes can be very difficult to find and that they grow well in containers.

In fact, the tomatoes in most grocery stores are picked green (and artificially ripened so they survive shipment and last longer on the shelves) and tasteless. So having a tomato plant in a container is a great way to get a flavorful tomato.

Most tomato varieties can be grown very well in containers: especially cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and small salad tomatoes.

Other veggies commonly grown in containers include

  • lettuce and other salad greens
  • cucumbers
  • carrots
  • squashes
  • scallions
  • beans and peas
  • radishes
  • peppers

In fact, almost all vegetables can be grown in containers if you use the proper procedures.

Think about it; if you start your plants from seeds indoors, you’re already container gardening.

The difference is you aren’t moving seedlings from small starter pots to your garden. You’ll just need to be extra careful when you’re thinning plants so that you don’t damage delicate seedlings.

And if you do start your own seeds in a small starter container, you can still use a container garden – you’ll just be transplanting from the smaller pot into a larger container (rather than into your garden).

Oh, for fruit’s sake – YES you can grow fruit in a container!

One of the most commonly grown fruits in a container garden is strawberries. They’re delicious, they grow like crazy, and they do well in many of the fancy containers being advertised. So you can pick whatever kind you like – from the towering variety to the special grow bags that you can hang on the wall.

Other commonly grown fruits in containers are:

  • Dwarf fruit trees (Many smaller dwarf citrus trees grow nicely in pots, and if kept well-pruned they can make beautiful indoor decorations!)
  • Dwarf berry bushes (although they are usually very heavy and can’t be moved easily)
  • Dwarf varieties of blueberries and raspberries have been successfully grown in containers, too!

We’ve got a dwarf blueberry plant that we’ve loved so much that we finally added a second, full blueberry plant – and the kids can’t wait for it to grow in the garden!

Container Gardening Plants are a Great Way to Garden

Whether you’re using container garden plants to augment your garden or be your garden, they’re amazing.

So get out and have some fun with the plants you’re growing, admiring, and eating this gardening season.

Related Topics:

  • Want to create the most amazing deck garden? Make sure you read this article – where I talked with gardening pro Sheri Ann Richerson and she gives me over 100 tips to make a container-based garden of Eden.
  • Then, make sure you can enjoy your garden and backyard bug-and-guilt free by skipping the bug spray – and still avoiding bugs. How? Easy – we make these amazing and natural DIY bug repellent candles – they’re super easy and take less than 10 minutes to put a dozen of them together.
  • Ready to host a BBQ in your amazing garden? Do it in style: here are some of the most amazing summer BBQ recipes – with activity and decor ideas to boot. That way, it’ll be a party everyone enjoys.
  • Want to upgrade your deck or patio? It doesn’t have to be a super labor-intensive or time-sucking job. There are projects you can do in as little as one day to spruce things up. Here are 15 such DIY deck projects!

Kimberly C. Starr

I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. I believe humor is the best medicine, followed very closely by chocolate and tacos. To read more about me, click here.

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