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You have a green thumb, but you don’t have the yard space. You have images of lush flowers and harvest after harvest of luscious fruits, but your reality is parking lots, stairwells, and balconies. Don’t fret. On every patio and walkway is a potential garden, full of the lush flora you dream about. Container gardening allows you to save space and fill that once concrete area with plants of every size and color.

Now, before you jump in and start potting every dream plant, read this guide on some of the top plants for your container creations. With a little light, love, and tasty plant treats, you will have a flourishing space garden that is even easier than the old fashioned in-the-ground method.

Game Plan

Potting: Clay pots are attractive, but they can be hard to move around. Plastic pots aren’t as pleasing to the eye, but once everything blooms, the foliage and flowers will hide the eyesores. Or consider purchasing aeration containers like Smart Pots, which keeps the plants from being root bound.

Watering: If your ambitions are high, then your container garden may reach epic proportions. A large garden means lots of watering. Consider getting a drip irrigation system for container gardens. You’ll have more time to admire and less time to water.

Next, read up on each plant you’re considering for the garden.

Check for:

  1. Sunlight or partial shade needs
  2. If they are space hogs
  3. If they have a companion plant that enhances growth
  4. Pest or disease thresholds
  5. Bloom time or harvest time

Staggering bloom times with different plants will add creativity to your garden. If you have patio space, but a good amount of shade, consider a shade container garden.

Sunny Knock Out Rose Tree

This hardy rose variety can survive in zones 5 through 10. Its gorgeous yellow flowers will standout in any container garden. Beautiful tufts of yellow blooms last throughout the growing season. The rose’s compact growth (3’-4’ wide at maturity) makes it the ultimate space friendly flower. And it’s highly resistant to all pests and diseases.

Finger Lime Tree

One of the most unique citrus trees, and one of the most adaptable to pots. Called the “Caviar of Fruit” for its juicy citrus beads that spill out of the fruit, the Finger Lime will add unique color to your container design. Its compact size (3’-4’ wide) will sit pretty amidst your other plants. Plus, the low maintenance will give you a garden beauty without all the fuss.

Meyer Lemon Tree

This is probably the most popular of all citruses for its taste and adaptability to container gardening. The Meyer is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, giving the fruits a sweet tart taste that is the talk of the culinary world. The compact size (3’-4’ width) and sweet fragrances will make your Meyer the centerpiece.

Yes, Even Bonsais!

Bonsais have the reputation for being hard to maintain and sculpt. But, there are plenty of varieties out there that are easy as well as adding an exotic flair to your container garden. If you’re new to the bonsai world, consider an easy option like the Ficus Bonsai or a Sago Palm Bonsai. Get your herb garden fix with a Rosemary Bonsai. Or if you want to compliment your other citrus trees, go for the Dwarf Pomegranate Bonsai.

This is just a starter for your guide to the wonderful world of container gardening. There are tons of options out there. Play around with different designs. Experiment each year. Enjoy the rewards of seeing your once stark patio come alive with the call of nature.