The Q&A Archives: Heirloom Plants For Containers

Question: I just received the Burpee Heirlooms catalog. I am interested in knowing which, if any, Heirloom flowers do well in container gardens, hanging baskets, etc. The only flowers that mentioned containers in the catalog were Cupid Sweet Pea and Alyssum. Any suggestions?

Answer: You can grow just about any of the heirloom flowers you like in a container. Usually catalogs only mention that it is a good container plant if the plant has a cascading effect, i.e., it spills over the sides. Why they mention only those, I have no idea. I am a major container gardener, and I have tried a few of the heirloom varieties. Here are a few I chose: Amaranthus caudatus "Love Lies Bleeding" (needs a large container), Castor Bean (with this one you need a very large container and it's not a good idea if you have young children who are still at the "let's-put-everything-in-our-mouths phase of their lives as this plant is poisonous), Alyssum, Sweet Pea, Pinks, Marigolds, Nasturtium, Petunia, Salvia, Phlox, and Zinnia. You are only limited by your imagination! Be sure to take the plant's mature size into consideration when choosing containers, and, remember that containers dry out very quickly so you will need to water often.

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