17 Plants for Large Pots In Sun Guide

Last updated: 01/25/21

Container gardening is a fun and easy way of adding more beauty to your home or shady areas. It’s also a great way to add color to your front porch and make your focal point attractive & inviting.

Having the right plant is important if you intend to place your container plants on exposed areas such as higher altitudes or coastal gardens.

Beautifully potted plants can turn an ordinary container garden into a piece of art.

You will see some of the best plants for large pots in sun that you can grow in a container garden.  We have some truly unique sun-loving plants in this list

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1. Agave

Agave is a superb and exquisite plant that gives a beautiful and architectural flair to any pot or container. Agave comes in different varieties of size and appearance. It also comes in different shades of blue and green.

Some of the most popular species that are mostly grown reach a few feet in height and weight. Most of the varieties of this plant have very sharp tips so you need to be careful with it if you have children or pets at home by covering them or cutting them off in other to make it friendlier.

It is most suitable for gardens that are in a warmer hardiness zone and can still be great if you live in a cooler climate. Agave boom in shallow pots with great drainage. To help it to thrive well, it’s important you use gritty soil such as cactus mix.

  • Growing Zones: 4-11
  • Light: Full Sun to part shade
  • Color Varieties: Blue, greens, and grey
  • Water: Grow in a well-drained soil
  • Size: 4 feet and above depending on the variety
  • Soil Type: Well-drained sandy soil

2. Hibiscus

The Hibiscus plant is a multi-branched shrub that can easily be grown into a flowering tree and grown in large pots in sun.

These classic sun-loving plant looks tropical but most of the varieties in the market are resilient to cold. In growing hibiscus plants for large pots in sun, ensure that you use a well-drained potting mix.

Make sure that you use a shallow container or pot to help the plant when developing its roots. Different species of hibiscus plants can grow to different sizes.

An example is the Sharon (Hibiscus Syriacus) which can grow up to 12 feet while the Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis) can only grow up to 10 feet.

plants for large pots best list
  • Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Light: Full sun to part shade
  • Varieties: Sharon (Hibiscus Syriacus) and Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis)
  • Colour Varieties: Yellow, pink, red, peach, orange, purple blooms, or white flowers
  • Size: 10-12 feet
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, loamy, moist

3. Tomatoes

These are one of the most popular vegetables that are grown in the garden. The good thing about this vegetable is that it can also be planted in a container by gardeners in a small or no-space garden.

Tomatoes are vegetables that can thrive in sun and when grown in pots. To ensure that you have a good harvest, it’s great that you select the best varieties in the market.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Light: Full sun or shades
  • Colour Varieties: Red, Yellow, Pink, Orange, Green, Burgundy, and Purple
  • Size: 3-5 feet
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained

Check out our video below of how to plant tomatoes in pots.

4.  Angelonia

This flower is also known as the summer snapdragon that glows in white, purple, or pink flowers. This flower spines multi-color appears all summer long and comes in different varieties.

The two major varieties of the angelonia are those with the larger blooms and those with dwarf varieties which are perfect for pot gardens.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zones: 7-10
  • Light: Full sun
  • Varieties: Larger blooms and dwarf varieties
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
  • Size: 2-5 feet

5. Bamboo (Bambusoideae)

This fast-growing plant can be dreadful for most gardeners due to the rate at which it grows on the ground. But when grown in a large container, it is a gardener’s delight since it cannot escape.

This perfect plant for large pots is ideal for people that seek privacy. Bamboo comes in different varieties where some prefer heat and humidity while others prefer more temperate climates.

To grow bamboo in large pots or containers, it is important for you to go for the clumping varieties or those with smaller runners. With this, the bamboo plants can grow to 10-12 feet which is manageable.

Ensure that the container that you will be using to grow this plant comes with adequate drainage holes as water-logged soils can constrain the plant’s growth.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zones: 5-12
  • Light: Full sun to part shade
  • Colour varieties: yellow-green and green
  • Soil type: Moist, slightly acidic, well-drained
  • Size: 10 to 20 feet or more

6. Fuchsia

These beautiful plants come in different attractive colors such as red, white blooms, pink, and purple. The fuchsia plant is sturdy and can do well throughout the complete growing season.

It can also do well in a container that is placed in a shady spot. With the fuchsia plant, there is no need for the removal of dead blooms (deadheading) since the plant can survive throughout any season and condition.

In getting the fuchsia plant, ensure that you buy the upright variety such as Beacon, the Cardinal Farges, or the Baby blue eyes type if you intend to keep it as a focal point.

To help the plant stay alive and bloom, make sure that you grow it in a container or pot with good drainage holes since Fuchsia is vulnerable to root rots.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing zones: 6-11
  • Light: Partly shaded to full shade
  • Colour varieties: Red, pink, purple, or white blooms
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained

7. Basil

This is a great and essential annual herb that can grow well in full sun. It can be grown in a large pot in fertile and moist soil. The Basil herb can tolerate short periods of drought once the root of the herb is fully established.

The Basil herbs can grow up to 2 feet tall depending on the variety and can be a good companion with thyme, parsley, and other herbs when grown in a very large container.

If you are growing it in a small pot, it is recommended that you go for the spicy bush variety.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zone: 4-11
  • Light: Full Sun to part shade
  • Varieties: Chartreuse green to deep purple
  • Size: 2 feet and above depending on the variety
  • The soil needed: Well-drained, moist soil

8. Chives

Chives are another important herbs that you can grow in your garden with the help of a pot. It’s a grassy, clump-forming perennial with hollow leaves.

Chives are grown for different purposes such as the tiny onions chives which are grown for their leaves and blooms rather than for their bulbs.

To grow the Chives, ensure that you plant them in well-drained potting soil that is rich with organic matter. In a container garden, Chives can grow to a height of 20 inches.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zone: 3-10
  • Light: Full Sun to part shade
  • Varieties: Onion Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and Garlic Chives aka Chinese Chives (Allium tuberosum)
  • Size: 20 inches and above depending on the variety
  • The soil needed: Well-drained, moist soil

9. Plumbago

This is a very beautiful sky-blue flower that gives color to the focal point where it is placed and is known for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

This flower is known to be a fast grower and the flowers are known to grow regularly all through the summer. This shrubby vine is ideal for heat or sunny environment and also do well in cold climates.

It is a good option for groundcover flowering or as a perfect spiller plant.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Light: Full or bright sun
  • Soil Type: Moist well-drained
  • Size: 10-15 feet

10. Beets

This type of vegetable is perfectly suited for growing in a small space and in the sun. It requires a large and deep pot in other for it to grow freely.

To grow the beets in your garden, it is important to have a pot with 10 – 12 inches of depth as this will help to encourage the root to grow perfectly and deeper.

The Beets comes in different varieties which include the Chioggia, Detroit Dark Red.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zone: 4-9
  • Light: Full Sun to part shade
  • Color Varieties: Alternating red and white rings
  • Size: 4 feet and above depending on the variety
  • Soil Type: Well-drained soil

Check out this video on growing beets in containers.

11. Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca)

Another great plant for large pots in sun is the Dwarf Alberta Spruce also known as the Picea Glauca. It is an attractive plant that grows in a conical shape.

In working around this evergreen and bright green needlepoint plant, it’s compulsory that you put on gloves since the plant can be a bit scratchy.

The tree can grow to 12 feet or more so don’t get deceived when it is called a dwarf because it simply means that the tree grows slowly. For the tree to grow to its full maturity, it takes about 20-25 years.

When growing it in a pot or container, ensure that they are a great balance of good drainage and moisture in other to help it grow and bloom.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zone: 3-4
  • Light: Full sun to part shade
  • Colour variety: Blends of bright green
  • Soil type: Loamy, sandy or clay and well-drained,
  • Size: 12-20 feet

12. Lantana

This is an attractive plant that is well-loved by butterflies due to its eye-catching colors and smells. It is a multi-colored flower that comes in varieties of orange, red, pink, yellow, and white.

Some of the varieties that you can see in the market have these blooms effects that help to create an ombre effect (Darkening or lightening from the outside in).

Another unique thing about the Lantana flowers is that some varieties of these flowers come with parti-colored foliage that adds more colors to one’s garden even when the flower is not in its bloom season.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing zones: 8-12
  • Light: Full sun
  • Colour varieties: Orange, red, shades of pink, yellow, and white flowers.
  • Soil Type: Evenly moist, well-drained
  • Size: 2 feet to more
large pots gardening list

13.  Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

This beautiful ornamental grass can be grown in a large pot. It is an overbearing plant that can easily overshadow other plants if grown together in a small container. This grass can survive in high temperatures and other climate conditions

Therefore, if you want to grow the big bluestem with other plants, make sure that you use a large pot or container. The plant has the potential of growing up to 4-6 feet tall and a width of 2-3 feet.

To ensure that your big bluestem grows well and survive, ensure that you don’t over-fertilize or overwater the grass as this can make it to flop over. Always place the pot in a place where the grass will be able to get at least four to six hours of sunlight daily.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zones: 5-10
  • Light: Direct sunlight
  • Colour varieties: Purple
  • Soil Type: Moisture, well-drained
  • Size: 4-6 feet

14.  Banana

The Banana is a good and hardy plant that can thrive in tropical areas.  The banana plant comes with big leaves that give a towering presence in the landscape or environment.

The banana leaves can be kept at the back of the fence for tropical height or at the center of a garden bed. These are annuals and easy to grow from the stem.

To add more color to your garden or landscape, go for the banana varieties that come with a touch of dark red or white edges. 

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zone: 9-10
  • Light: Full sun or partial shade
  • Colour varieties: Green, a dot of dark-red or white edges
  • Soil Types: Moist, well-drained
  • Size: 1-15 feet

15.  Lettuce

The lettuce vegetable is a great plant that grows under the sun and can be grown in containers. Growing Lettuce in large pots is the ideal solution for people that have a small garden, patio, or balcony.  

With the lettuce, you can grow these vegetables both indoors under the shade and also outdoors in-front of your house. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy fresh salad leaves at all times of the year.

One good thing about this plant is that it can grow in the same container with other vegetables and flowers.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zones: 4-9
  • Light: Full sun to part shade 
  • Varieties: Crisphead, Butterhead, Romaine, and Loose-leaf.
  • Colour Varieties: Bronze to red and pale green
  • Size: 10-12 inches
  • The soil needed: Well-drained, loamy, moist

Check out our video below on how to plant lettuce in pots.

16.  Mountain Cabbage Tree (Cordyline indivisa)

This container plant most often looks like a small palm tree to an uninitiated eye. It makes it an enthralling focal point while in a large pot or container.

Ensure that you feed it with enough sunshine since it might not really survive below zone 9. When grown in a pot or container, the mountain cabbage tree can grow up to 3-6 feet tall.

Make sure that you grow this attractive tree in a well-drained potting mix and ensure that you trim the leggy stems always.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zones: 4-11
  • Light: Direct sunlight
  • Colour Varieties: Purple-brown blooms and greenish-white
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
  • Size: 3-6 feet

17.  Sweet Bay (Laurus nobilis)

These trees are medicinal as well as attractive for focal points. The bay grows slowly when grown in a pot or container and can be easily managed by pruning to a size ranging between 5-8 feet.

When the sweet bay is grown in the open or its natural environment, it can grow as tall as 50-60 feet.

The plant is drought tolerant and heat tolerant. In growing a bay in the container, ensure that you use a large and strong pot or container in other for it not to get cramped.

Container Growing Info

  • Growing Zones: 8-10
  • Light: Full sun
  • Colour varieties: Deep green or yellowish-green blooms
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
  • Size: 10-60 feet
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Final Thoughts

In summary, it’s important to understand that the life of a plant in a container is much different from the one in the ground.

Always remember that while the container can provide excellent drainage, the plants are dependent on you for water, nutrients and positioning them under direct sunlight or partial shade.

Green Thumb Gardener
large pots plants full list
Jeremy Starke

We at Green Thumb Gardener provide tips and guides for both for beginners and advanced gardeners out there. 

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