6 Great Container Garden Plants

Many of us would love to have a garden and be able to grow fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers but we just don't have the space. Maybe you live in a condo or apartment with no actual soil to grow on. Maybe you live in a dorm room and have no available outdoor space or even a balcony to use. These plants are easy to grow in pots and some of them are so hardy it is tough to do something wrong with them. They grow well in shade to partial shade and are great for indoors or on a sunny balcony.

Pothos

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) This great plant is practically indestructible. It just wants some soil and some indirect light and some water once a week or so. It's got lovely waxy, dark green leaves and grows by sending out runners. You can make new pothos by simply breaking off a segment and popping it in soil. Makes a great hanging plant or on top of a bookshelf. CAUTION: This plant is TOXIC, especially to pets and small children. KEEP OUT OF REACH!

Jade

Jade grown from a tiny two inch stub. It is not in desperate need of repotting as it can no longer stay upright in the pot.

Jade grown from a tiny two inch stub. It is not in desperate need of repotting as it can no longer stay upright in the pot.

Jade (Crassula ovata)  Another great plant which is practically indestructible. Just like pothos you can propagate them by sticking a cutting into soil. This one is in the shade 100% of the time and it's happy. They are succulents and survive on very little water.

Fig

Spring leaves and the first figs appear.

Spring leaves and the first figs appear.

Fig (species) You can grow a number of fruit trees in their dwarf varieties in a pot in a sunny spot. Figs are great for a balcony where they can get at least 6 hours of sun. Keep it watered but not soggy, protected from the wind, and follow the great tips on this page for some yummy fruit.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes on the vine. These were grown in a window box last summer.

Tomatoes on the vine. These were grown in a window box last summer.

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) I've been growing tomatoes in various containers for over 25 years. When I was in grad school I had very little money so I picked up a five gallon paint bucket from the hardware store, drilled some holes in the bottom and grew TWO tomato plants in it. I had to water it a lot (as with all potted plants) but I got more tomatoes than I could personally eat from just those two. Last year I grew four tomatoes in a window box planter (on the ground). It was shallow and I had to tie them up and keep them in cages but I got a great harvest even though they were planted intensively. Go for it!

Strawberries

This year's strawberries blooming in a window box.

This year's strawberries blooming in a window box.

Strawberrys (Fragaria × ananassa) The BEST fruit to grow in a container. They will send out runners for you which you can then snip off and propagate in a new container. Start with seedlings if you can. Bare root plants will still work but they will take a full season of non-fruiting growth to get them off the ground. I grow these in all kinds of pots, I tuck them into other plantings here and there. As long as they have sun and water and you can keep the berries from slug attack, you are golden.

Sweet Alyssum

Sweet Alyssum in it's third year in my garden.

Sweet Alyssum in it's third year in my garden.

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima ) This plant is SO lovely because it has dainty little white or pink flowers and they smell like HONEY. They are fairly drought tolerant once they are established but as with all potted plants, they will dry out faster than if they are directly in the ground. They are annuals for the most part by mine have been in the ground and flowering for three years. In a pot they are more likely to be annual. You can grow these from seed OR buy seedlings.