Perennials forum: Perennials suitable for growing in containers

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Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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DonfromPA
Jun 5, 2017 11:49 AM CST
Due to physical constraints I am no longer able to dig, bend over, etc and find myself limited to growing plants in patio containers. So far I have limited my choices to a variety of annuals, but would like to expand my choices into some kind of kinds of perennials that might lend themselves to container-growing.

I live in NW PA - zone 5A with down to occasional temps of 10 degrees in winter. Live on a hill-top having a further disadvantage of strong winds. Would need to store the containers in unheated garage in winter.

Need some suggestions as to what type of perennials might survive under these conditions. Would prefer short-stemmed varieties. Roses are a favorite of mine, but never tried to grow them or over-winter them in containers. I also like coneflowers, shasta daisies - in fact a wide range of perennials.

Anyone have any suggestions? Would appreciate any and all comments.
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 5, 2017 3:07 PM CST
I have a large patio and extremely large pots. If you are going to do this do you have room for large pots. It makes it easier to have a garden in pots and survival because more soil protects the plant roots.

I grow lots in pots because I am cheap and was tired of buying annuals every year for the patio. With the plants below I always hit Lowes and buy 1.00 six pack of coleus and petunias and stick them in the pots for season long flowers. That is all I am to spend on annuals each year.

I am growing and have had success for 3+ years with

Plants.....................................
Heucheras
Pow Wow Echenecia
Ferns
Bulbs Spring, Lilies all, (Asiatic, Oriental and Tiger, Trumpet, Orientpet)
Sedum.....You can get some great color leaves these days.....Blues, yellows, purples....
Iris don't stop with just Bearded go for all of them Siberians, Japanese, minis etc.
Hostas especially the fragrant bloomers like sun
Daylilies
variegated Solomon Seal

I have a couple of bushes............................
Japanese Maple
Dappled Willow ......the leaves are variegated, featuring shades of pink, green and white. The pink comes when the leaf first appears and will fade to green and white mid summer.
The new small Rhodendron I picked up at Lowes at the end of season for 3.00 has done good the last two yrs. bloomed first year and this year. It is 3' x 3'

Vines...........................
Honeysuckle
Clematis

I have tried roses and have not had success yet. I have tried.
Knock out and the others of this type all die over the winter even our mild winters. Rooting the fairy rose and going to give it a try this winter.
[Last edited by Cinta - Jun 5, 2017 3:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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DonfromPA
Jun 5, 2017 3:36 PM CST
Cinta, thanks for your very detailed response.

I have quite a large patio - about equally divided between "in full sun" and "in shade." And most of the containers I have are quite large.

I have a row of seven Knock-Out rose bushes planted in-ground (5th year for them) and have no trouble carrying them through our cold winters. They're in a somewhat protected area along the side of our home and only get the afternoon sun - but they're prolific bloomers.

I really like Oriental and Asiatic lilies, but not familiar with the Orientpet ones (just googled them) and would like to try them. Do you remove the bulbs in the fall and store them indoors (heated or unheated areas) or do you leave the bulbs in the pots.

I notice that you're in zone 6b - a little milder than where I live. I'm not sure whether my zone is 5a or 5b - but coldest it usually gets is 10 degrees F - but usually around 30 in January and February

I have been googling wintering-over container plants and wonder what methods you use to keep the plants/bulbs from freezing.

Appreciate any help you can give me..
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 5, 2017 4:53 PM CST
The list I gave you is all in pots no moving not protection. I really like the bulbs in the pots because they live longer and multiply in the pots but in my garden they seem to fizzle after 3 yrs. The Asiatic do good in the garden but not the orientals and others.

Knockouts are fine in the garden I just have not been able to keep them alive in pots unprotected.

I was trying to give you samples of what I am growing in the pots on the patio no protection. My goal is to have a garden on the patio with no extra work as thought they are in the garden.

I am suppose to be a zone 6 but we have such harsh winters I do not know why they say zone 6. I usually purchase zone 4-5 and my take a chance plants are 6.

My pots are 3 ' 4' tall and the same around.

Some of the pots I push close to the house and put them up on a styrofoam box lid so they are not sitting on the deck. This is a upper way up in the sky deck. So you know it is cold up there.
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Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 5, 2017 4:58 PM CST
This pot last yr 4 winters.
-Fern Ostrich
-Tiger Lily
-Sedum (that is what is hanging down around her eyes) Blooms yellow with the spring bulbs
-one Petunia plant.

After 4 yrs I have to get some of the Tiger lilies out of there this fall or they are going to bust the pot it is so full of lilies.

Thumb of 2017-06-05/Cinta/2440b6

I can send tiger lily bulbs this fall if you want to try them.
[Last edited by Cinta - Jun 5, 2017 5:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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DonfromPA
Jun 5, 2017 5:11 PM CST
I would love to have a few of your tiger lily bulbs and would be happy to pay the postage for the mailing. I will send you my mailing address. Love the planter shown in the photo. Are your tiger lilies all orange in color or do you have other colors as well?
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 5, 2017 5:30 PM CST
I just have the orange tiger lilies. I picked them up at a discount store for a dollar when I started this perennial trial outdoors. I just purchased stuff cheap to try so I did not waste a lot of money with trials.

I have always grown other lilies in pots for years. I discovered that trick when I was working and traveling and it always seemed I would order the bulbs and they would show up when I was on the road so much I was not home long enough to plant.

So I pulled out a big styrofoam box threw some soil in and dropped bulbs in and dumped some soil on top and hopped on the plane for the next trip. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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DonfromPA
Jun 5, 2017 6:16 PM CST
Born and raised in PA, I always had lots of perennial flower beds, but hated to leave them when we moved. Moved to Connecticut and worked as Controller for White Flower Farm nursery in Litchfield, CT for a few years had planted more flower beds. Later moved to Charlotte, NC and lived there for 19 years and grew a few different types of perennials - AFTER amending the clay soil which took a lot of time and effort. My neighbor grew lilies - not sure whether they were Asiatic or Oriental, but they sure were beautiful and multiflied quite rapidly. Growing season was early March through November - nearly double from what I was used to - and a real pleasure, to be sure. Moved back home to PA a few years after I retired. Now it's difficult for me to bend over for more than a minute or two - hence my changing over to container gardening. Last year a gardening friend (like you) sent me some Ornamental Pepper seeds and I had a lot of enjoyment growing them. I'm sure I'll like the Tiger lilies and especially since they are perennials and likely to multiply. I like plants that multiply - some for me (never seem to have enough) and some for gardening friends. Thanks again for your interest and help - much appreciated.
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 5, 2017 6:53 PM CST
No problem I am happy to help. Gardening is my medicine. I have acres of land but I have always enjoyed putting pots together. It is like planting mini gardens.

I have only gardened in PA and Kentucky when they relocated me for special project for a year. But I was on the road to every climate east, north, west, south and tropical Puerto Rico for over 20 yrs.

You and I are ailment reverse. I can bend over for 24 hrs but cannot stand up straight for 3 min. Back surgery is soon.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Jun 9, 2017 8:19 PM CST
Two that I have had grow and survive winter here are Delphiniums and rock Soapwort.
Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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DonfromPA
Jun 13, 2017 7:10 AM CST
Caroline, I'm not familiar with rock Soapwort (just googled it) but have always liked Delphiniums but never grew them due to lack of space. However I am an admirer of dwarf ones and think perhaps they might be more suitable for the size containers I have. Have you ever grown the dwarf ones? - or have an opinion of them as compared to the tall varieties?
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Jun 29, 2017 8:14 AM CST
Dwarf delphiniums are great too.
They don't get blown over in winds, or get top heavy with flowers.
I had trouble over wintering a yellow one.
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 29, 2017 12:25 PM CST
I tried the Delphiniums last winter and they did not come back this year and we had a mild winter. I will try again because they were end of summer purchase. They looked healthy and were still blooming but they may have been weak and stressed from being in the pot all summer in the nursery.

Since you said it works I will try again with better plants and see if they work in my area.
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Deer Region: New York Birds Cat Lover
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Christine
Jul 9, 2017 8:05 AM CST
I have hosta's, ribbon grass, elephant ears,zebrina banana,a grapefruit, lilac, and hen & chicks, heres a couple pics for you to see, I've had some of these for 10+ years
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Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jul 9, 2017 4:26 PM CST
@Christine, I do not think the tropicals will survive in a unheated garage,

I have a lot of tropicals that I grow in pots but I have to bring them inside in the laundry room in the winter. You have to keep them above freezing all winter.

The hens and chicks, hosta's, ribbon grass should be okay through the winter in a unheated garage. I do not bring in my hostas or Hen and chicks. I could see maybe ne of the small Lilacs would work Miss Kim, Bloomerang those two I know are small, under 4', in my garden.
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Deer Region: New York Birds Cat Lover
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Container Gardener Hostas Tropicals Dog Lover Hummingbirder
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Christine
Jul 10, 2017 8:22 AM CST
cinta, your correct, I dont know what I was thinking including them, all the others I keep out in my screened in porch, last year they were even buried with snow after we had a crazy blizzard
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jul 10, 2017 11:24 AM CST
@Christine
I had a mild winter last year and a lot of my hens and chicks are blooming this year. They like a cold winter or they bloom and die early. We were above freezing to long.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
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Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Jul 14, 2017 7:58 PM CST
@DonfromPA I have just ventured in to planting perennials in pots this year. With the lack of funds for several pots spilling over with annuals and lots of perennials to spare, the lightbulb in my head finally switched on! Rolling my eyes. Rolling my eyes.

First idea....
I have this bare corner, to the left of our entry door, that I've wanted to fill with something attractive, and it only took 27 years to figured out.... Hurray! Hurray!
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2 hosta and 2 Pampas grass plugs. The hosta were divisions that didn't sell, and the pampas grass were these teeny little seedling plugs, that I received from Michigan bulb, and I felt it best to pot them up so they'll grow in to more mature specimens, before planting in the ground, and they've grown from 3 inch seedlings to about 16 and 20 inches tall! Thumbs up Thumbs up The basket pot was freshly re-painted this year, an I have to use a liner pot in it. The hosta in there will have to be divided in the Fall. It's pretty packed in it's liner pot! D'Oh! D'Oh! Then, next year, I can plant Creeping Jenny in there. Thumbs up Smiling

Second idea....
My dwarf hydrangea has not been in the best location. It had been receiving the harsh afternoon - early evening sun, so it would wilt in drought conditions. Glare Glare So as part of the revamping of the northeast tree garden, for future integration in to a border living fence along the east side of the back yard, I potted it up and moved it in the shade of the tree. It's looking the best ever, since I brought it home 4 years ago! I couldn't be more pleased! Hurray! Hurray!
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So, here's to hoping the hostas and the hydrangea overwinter successfully in their pots! Thumbs up Crossing Fingers!

"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Jul 15, 2017 4:26 AM (+)]
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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Jul 15, 2017 4:20 AM CST
I've found the photos for the other pots with perennials, so without further adieu....

Front entry feature pots
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Red Wave petunias and 'Fred Manning' daylily. No blooms on the daylily, this year, and it's foliage was supposed to be more prominent, but it will improve each year! Smiling
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The turquoise pot holds another variegated hosta that is growing way too slow for my liking! Glare
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Wall pocket with Coleus, Springerie and White Feather Hosta. The hosta is the center planting, and it's growing very slowly! Glare If you zoom in, you'll barely see it, but it's there! D'Oh! I'm all ears!
Thumb of 2017-07-15/bloominholes2fill/c32a21

"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Cinta
Jul 15, 2017 9:31 AM CST
I am going get a Rozanne Geranium on clearance at the end of summer and give it a try, It blooms so long it should be a good candidate for pots.

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