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We can’t say enough good things about container gardens.

They’re perfect little mini gardens, tucked adorably in a pot.

They create instant visual appeal, no matter where you place them. They’re fun to design and easy to plant.

Poor soil in your yard? No space for a full-size garden? Containers to the rescue.

The choices for container plants and flowers are endless. But there are certain varieties that stand up better than others during these dog days of summer.

Let’s take a closer look at some of our favorite summer (and beyond) container gardening tips to enhance your home entryway by immediately adding beauty to it.

Where To Plop Your Pots?

Containers are portable, so you can place them anywhere that needs a bit of a beauty boost.

Place a potted plant — or a few — near an entryway to create a warm welcome for your guests. Line a front walkway with inviting blooms.

Decorate your patio with multiple bursts of color and texture. Surround your pool with potted tropical plants — instant resort. Position multiple pots as dividers to create an outdoor room. Pot up some herbs on the deck for easy snipping at dinner time.

You get the idea. They go anywhere.

The Best Drought Tolerant Plants For Container Gardening This Summer

Some plants do better than others in the heat of summer. Here are some sturdy picks for your summer pots.

Plant them solo for a burst of simple color, or get creative and mix them for a bountiful mini garden in a pot.


There are oodles of types of verbena to choose from, all colorful and easy to grow.

They thrive in heat and tolerate drought. The pretty blooms love to cascade, which makes them perfect for pots, baskets and window boxes.


Looking for a lush, tropical look for your pool or patio? Canna, with its variegated leaves and bright flowers, delivers. Backlit by the sun, they absolutely glow.


Fill your pots with lantana and you’ll soon be best friends with butterflies. They love it.

Lantana offers multicolored flowers in red, orange, yellow, pink, and white.


Salvia is stunning with its indigo blue flowers, but it also stands up well to heat and drought. Get ready for visiting birds and butterflies.

Go For Foliage

Worried about blooms that wilt or crisp up in the heat of summer?

You can skip the flowers and pack your pots with foliage plants that look great all season long.

Go for coleus, which offers pretty leaves in a multitude of hues, often with stunning markings.

Many ornamental kinds of grass look great in pots, offering graceful movement in the summer breeze.

Sedums and succulents are trendy now, and they’re famous for needing very little water.

Oxalis offers stunning deep purple foliage. Bonus: it grows well as a houseplant, too, so you can bring it in at the end of the season and enjoy it all winter.


Most herbs are sturdy, carefree and do well in containers. Some are frilly, some lacy, some smooth and shiny. But their real gift is in the sniffing.

Try a trio of lavender, mint and lemon thyme. Take a sniff, then wave goodbye to your stress.

Bonus: toss them in a salad, stir them into salsa or nestle them atop your grilled chicken.

The Care And Feeding Of Container Plants

How often to water your containers? It depends on their size, location and the type of plants inside. A good rule of thumb?  Feel the soil. If the first inch or so of the soil is dry, water.

Water enough so the whole soil ball becomes moist. You want to see water seep out of the drainage holes.

Containers need more frequent watering than garden beds. All that watering causes the nutrients in the soil to leach out.

That means you have to replace them, through regular fertilizing. All summer long.

Choose slow-release or timed release fertilizer, and small amounts of nutrients are slowly released into the soil.

These products are usually mixed with the soil and will supply nutrients for three to four months.

Or you can opt for a liquid fertilizer that you mix with water and apply with your regular watering, usually every two weeks.

Container Garden Care: Don’t Be Afraid To Pinch

If you’re taking good care of your container plants, they’ll start to get tall and leggy as the summer wears on.

That’s when it’s time to pinch off the tops. We know — they’re pretty. But they have to go.

Pinch off the tops and your plants will actually look better.  They’ll get fuller and bushier, instead of growing straight up. Use your fingers or pruning shears. Soon you’ll see new shoots develop.

It’ll be OK — we promise.

Change Your Containers With The Seasons

Container gardening isn’t just for summer. You already have the pretty pots. Why not use them all year long?

In the spring, fill them with tulip, hyacinth or daffodil bulbs, pansies, violas, dianthus, and ivy.

See our tips, above, for summer ideas.

When the golden hues of fall move in, echo the fall finery in your containers.

  • Mums in orange, yellow and rich reds are the classic standby but think outside the pot.
  • Add pansies, ornamental kale and Swiss chard for an interesting twist.
  • Tuck in a few gourds or mini pumpkins for more seasonal flair.

In winter, no need for your pots to hibernate, as long as they’re frost proof. They’ll offer interest all winter and look lovely when capped with snow.

  • Fill them with boughs of evergreens.
  • Tuck in holly, boxwood, and small conifers.
  • Add interesting branches, like red twig dogwood or curly willow.
  • Tuck in some pine cones.
  • Add some shiny ornaments for the holidays.

Your containers can put on a show all year long.

Leave The Container Gardening To Neave — Every Season

No green thumbs? No problem.

The experts at Neave Landscaping are container garden pros. We’re happy to fill your pots and maintain them all year long.

If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.

Our experts will visit your property and recommend plants that are suited to your outdoor space. And we’re happy to show up as the seasons change to make sure your pots boast beautiful plants to suit the season.

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