HomeBest and Top of Gardening49 Best Shrubs for Containers | Best Container Gardening Plants

49 Best Shrubs for Containers | Best Container Gardening Plants

Have a look at the Best Shrubs for Containers for your home and garden from the given list.

Here’s an exclusive list of the Best Shrubs for Containers that you can display on a small patio, a rooftop garden, a balcony, or a big backyard!

Have a look at the best container plants on Tumblr here

Best Shrubs for Containers

1. Flowering Maple

Best Shrubs for Containers 2

Botanical Name: Abutilon

USDA Zones: 8-11

It is also called “Indian Mallow” or “Flowering Maple.” Abutilon is a beautiful shrub that grows gorgeous hollyhock-like flowers.

2. Andromeda

Botanical Name: Andromeda polifolia

USDA Zones: 5-9

“Pieris Japonica” is an excellent bush for container gardens. It can grow up to 2-4 feet tall with some attention and care.

3. Anisodontea

Best Shrubs for Containers 2

Botanical Name: Anisodontea

USDA Zones: 9-11

This charming South African shrub grows in full sun and requires dry soil to thrive. A balcony, terrace, or patio facing south or West is perfect for this shrub.

4. Aster

Botanical Name: Aster

USDA Zones: 3-8

Aster comes in a variety of colors and blooms prolifically. It is an easy-to-grow plant that blooms in summer and fall. Both annual and perennial types are available.

5. Spotted Laurel

Best Shrubs for Containers 4

Botanical Name: Aucuba Japonica

USDA Zones: 7-10

Also called “Gold Dust” due to its speckled foliage, it is one of the best shrubs for containers. You can grow it for its beautiful foliage as its flowers are not as aesthetic.

6. Azalea

Botanical Name: Rhododendron

USDA Zones: 4-9

Azalea is one of the most profusely blooming flowering plants. It requires moist soil, partial sun, and acidic soil to thrive.

7. Bougainvillea

Best Shrubs for Containers 9

Botanical Name: Bougainvillea

USDA Zones: 9-12

This beautiful ever-blooming perennial shrub is vibrant and colorful and almost requires no care in tropical and subtropical areas. It needs full sun and dry soil to thrive.

Get the top care tips for Bougainvillea plants here

8. Brugmansia

Botanical Name: Brugmansia

USDA Zones: 9-11

Also known as Angel’s Trumpet, the flowers of this shrub smell great at night and attract pollinators. Growing it in pots is easy.

9. Butterfly Bush

Best Shrubs for Containers 12

Botanical Name: Buddleia

USDA Zones: 5-11

Buddleia offers abundant flowering panicles in white to red through pink to purple or blue colors. Grow a dwarf variety in a large and deep pot.

10. Boxwood

Botanical Name: Buxus

USDA Zones: 5-11

The most adaptable and easy to grow shrub, boxwood is landscapers’ favorite and one of the best shrubs for the containers.

11. Calamansi

Botanical Name: Citrus × microcarpa

USDA Zones: 9-11

It has a bushy growth and stays compact, making it best for containers. If you want fruits, ensure it gets plenty of sun exposure.

12. Bottlebrush

Botanical Name: Callistemon

USDA Zones: 8-11

A Beautiful shrub that attracts pollinators and looks exquisite in its bright red blooms, it also comes in other colors like purplish pink, lemon yellow, or white.

13. Camellia

Botanical Name: Camellia japonica

USDA Zones: 6-10a

It is a beautiful flowering shrub, but when grown in pots, it becomes demanding. Camellia requires humus-rich acidic soil and regular maintenance.

14. Cistus

Botanical Name: Cistus

USDA Zones: 8-11

Also called “Rockrose,” this evergreen Mediterranean shrub is tough and drought tolerant and thrives on neglect. It is suitable for pots and thrives in a sunny location.

15. Lemon

Botanical Name: Citrus limon

USDA Zones: 10-11

Choose the sunniest location that is sheltered from drafts. Read our guide on growing a lemon tree in a pot for more information.

16. Cotoneaster


Botanical Name: Cotoneaster

USDA Zones: 5-8

Cotoneaster is usually grown as a ground cover or in hedges in the gardens, but it can also be grown as a container plant. Choose a large container as this plant spreads a lot.

17. Daphne

Botanical Name: Daphne

USDA Zones: 4-8

Keep the plant in partial shade and water it well in the summer as it loves moist soil. For blooms, make sure it gets plenty of sunlight.

18. Silverberry


Botanical Name: Elaeagnus

USDA Zones: 2-11

If you’re searching for a tough, drought-tolerant shrub that loves to grow without maintenance, it is Elaeagnus. It is also suitable for planting in coastal areas.

19. Escallonia

Botanical Name: Escallonia

USDA Zones: 8-10

A beautiful, decorative, and fragrant foliage plant with small tube-shaped flowers that come in white, pink, or red colors. Keep it in partial sun in warmer zones and under full sun in cooler zones.

20. Forsythia


Botanical Name: Forsythia

USDA Zones: 4-9

Grow dwarf forsythia varieties in containers. They are not fussy about soil types but require a well-draining medium. Keep this fragrant plant in a location that receives plenty of sunlight.

21. Fuchsia


Botanical Name: Fuchsia

USDA Zones: 6-11

From summer to fall, fuchsia decorates the gardens, patios, balconies, and interiors thanks to its beautiful bell-shaped flowers that come in vibrant colors.

22. Wintergreen

Botanical Name: Gaultheria procumbens

USDA Zones: 3-8

This is a low-growing American shrub that spreads by runners. It grows in acidic soil in a location that is cool and moist. Its foliage releases a mint-like fragrance when crushed.

23. Gardenia

Botanical Name: Gardenia jasminoides

USDA Zones: 8-11

One of the most fragrant flowers, gardenia requires regular maintenance. You can read our guide on growing gardenia trees in a pot here.

24. Gaura

Botanical Name: Gaura

USDA Zones: 5-9

It is also called “Bee Blossom,” “Wandflower” and “Whirling Butterflies” because it attracts butterflies, and they hover over it like a cloud and whirl around it!

25. Pomegranate

Botanical Name: Punica granatum

USDA Zones: 9-11

Probably the most suitable fruit tree or shrub for the containers. You should give it a try, even on a balcony. Read our article on growing pomegranates in a pot.

26. Gooseberry

Botanical Name: Phyllanthus emblica

USDA Zones: 3-10

There are only a few fruits that you can cultivate in the container without any difficulty, and gooseberry is one of them. This shrub is relatively easy to grow.

27. Hebe

Botanical Name: Hebe

USDA Zones: 6-10

This small, prolific shrub grows up to 1 m tall. Growing hebe in a container is easy. It is an excellent shrub for urban container gardens. Flowering occurs in summer for many species.

28. Hibiscus

Botanical Name: Hibiscus

USDA Zones: 5-11

Hibiscus is the most popular flowering shrub. Growing hibiscus in a pot is not difficult. It has one of the most abundant flowers that come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Here‘s how you can grow Hibiscus indoors

29. Hydrangea


Botanical Name: Hydrangea macrophylla

USDA Zones: 3-11

With clusters of colorful flowers and big, dramatic leaves, hydrangea is a stunning addition to any container garden. Plant it in a large pot and provide regular watering.

Learn the steps of growing Hydrangeas in the water here

30. Holly

Botanical Name: Ilex

USDA Zones: 5-9

Growing holly in containers requires care. It is better to choose a dwarf variety for a container garden.

31. Lantana

Botanical Name: Lantana camara

USDA Zones: 10-11

This perennial evergreen shrub is one of the easiest to grow plants in a tropical climate. It thrives on neglect and blooms tirelessly throughout the year.

Learn about growing Lantana here

32. Laurel Bay Leaf

Botanical Name: Laurus nobilis

USDA Zones: 8-11

One of the best shrubs you can grow in containers is bay laurel. It is also possible to grow this herb as a houseplant. Read our complete growing guide for more information.

Get the best care tips of Laurel Bay Leaves Shrub here

33. Laurustinus

Botanical Name: Viburnum Tinus

USDA Zones: 7-11

Viburnum grows well in containers. Its compact and bushy foliage makes it an excellent hedging plant. Its beautiful pinkish-white flowers are mildly fragrant and appear in winter.

34. Lavender


Botanical Name: Lavandula

USDA Zones:  5-9

Lavenders are easy to grow, and including them in your plant collection will ensure you have a fragrant home and garden! Provide it with plenty of sunlight.

Learn how to grow Lavender in pots here

35. Lilacs

Botanical Name: Syringa

USDA Zones: 4-9

If you love fragrance, you will love lilacs. Growing lilacs in containers are possible with care. Choose a more compact and dwarf variety and a deep pot.

36. Magnolia

Botanical Name: Magnolia

USDA Zones: 6-10

Magnolias grow slowly, which means you can have one in the pot for a long time. But the best way to grow magnolia in a container is to buy its dwarf shrub variety.

37. Crepe Myrtle

Botanical Name: Lagerstroemia

USDA Zones: 7-10

The beautiful, vibrant, and colorful Crepe myrtle flowers bloom in abundance with proper care. Dwarf, shrub-like varieties are suitable for containers.

38. Pittosporum

Botanical Name: Pittosporum

USDA Zones: 8-10

Beautiful shrub with stunning foliage and fragrant flowers, pittosporum fills the air with orange like a fresh breeze.

39. Peony

Botanical Name: Paeonia

USDA Zones: 3-8

Stately and plump, Peony flowers are large and often fragrant, single or double petaled. You can read a useful article on growing peonies in pots here.

40. Potentilla

Botanical Name: Potentilla

USDA Zones: 2-7

A Beautiful perennial shrub that grows up to 3-5 feet tall, Potentilla starts to flower from mid to late summer and blooms till late fall.

41. Rose


Botanical Name: Rosa

USDA Zones: 3-11

Planting shrub Roses in pots is a good idea. However, they require care and regular maintenance. You can read our rose care tips for help.

Find out the most common Rose growing mistakes here

42. Rosemary

Botanical Name: Salvia rosmarinus

USDA Zones: 6-9

Rosemary is a highly aromatic perennial and a useful culinary shrub. Its beautiful blue-colored flowers and silvery-green foliage also make it an ornamental plant.

Learn about growing Rosemary in pots here

43. Sedge

Botanical Name: Cyperaceae

USDA Zones: 4-10

Sedge is easy to maintain and looks great on a patio or terrace. Keep it in a sunny position in a temperate climate and under shade in the tropics.

44. Spirea

Botanical Name: Spirea

USDA Zones: 4-9

Dwarf varieties like Spirea Japonica “Nana” is ideal for growing in a container. It requires slightly moist soil to grow.

45. Japanese Skimmia

Botanical Name: Skimmia japonica subsp. reevesiana

USDA Zones: 7-9

Bring warmth and color to the frosty winter doorway with this hardy shrub. It offers scarlet berries. During spring, it offers creamy-white fragrant blooms.

46. Kalmia Latifolia


Botanical Name: Kalmia latifolia

USDA Zones: 5-9

This acid-loving shrub offers huge clusters of bright red flower buds which open into strong pink blooms. ‘Little Linda’ is the best choice for containers.

47. Virginia Sweet Spire


Botanical Name: Itea virginica

USDA Zones: 5-9

Native to North America, it offers long white, cream, or pale green flower tassels in June and July, around 3-6 inches in length. Grow it in a sheltered spot in partial shade.

48. Ninebark

Botanical Name: Physocarpus opulifolius

USDA Zones: 2-8

A North American native, ‘Diabolo’ is an appealing option. It displays rich purple leaves and pink blooms on arching branches during early summer.

49. Ixora

Botanical Name: Ixora coccinea

USDA Zones: 9-11

This low-maintenance shrub shows off clusters of red, pink, orange, and yellow florets that look like puffballs amidst the leathery green foliage.

Check out the best shade-loving shrubs here


  1. Do podocarpus grow in planters? I have a wall along my driveway that I’d like some privacy. The plant would need to be in a planter.

  2. I love the Camellia. You say they grow well in mild summers but what about the winters? We have mild summers but the winters can be cold (up to -4). Will the plants need replaced every season or will they survive the winter?

    • You could get away with growing a camellia in a very sheltered spot in the ground in your area but for a container plant, you would have to winter it indoors in a cool but not freezing, well-lit room. Plants in containers are less hardy than plants in the ground because their roots are exposed to sub-freezing temperatures.

  3. I live in Canberra where the temp. can vary up to 43C in Summer down to minus 7C in the Winter. They are thriving under deciduous trees with plenty of Autumn leaves as ground cover. They flower well in season giving Winter colour and appreciating the Winter sunshine. I use when necessary a liquid fertiliser . They have been thriving and gradually turning into a hedge of 8 bushes over the 8 years since I first planted them.

  4. This is so informative, thanks for sharing! I’m looking for some shrubs to decorate my patio with and will definitely be using some of these ideas. I love the andromeda in particular. I think it would grow really well in my climate. What size of planter would you recommend? I’m notorious for not giving my plants enough space!
    Thanks for your help!

  5. I must say I’ve never heard of many of these plants! I live in a small town and in the Northwest. I thought the article was well versed but can’t see buying any soon.

  6. I have a very small garden and not much experience with shrubs ,can you recommend anything I can start of with.


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