Using Perennials in Containers

Planter boxes with perennial Junipers, Golden Oregano and Purple Tradescantia

Want to have eye-catching containers that are unique, colorful and cost-effective? Consider incorporating hardy perennials into your container designs.

Hardy perennials are plants that come back year after year in a cold climate. Many hardy perennials appear to die back in the winter, then, seemingly by magic, come back to life each spring.

Hardy perennials make fantastic container specimens. Here’s why:

  • They look great and provide unique visual interest, color and texture
  • Easy to grow types such as hosta, lamium, mints and dwarf evergreens do well in containers
  • They blend well with annual plants for stunning designs
  • They are cost effective because with basic care they come back each year
  • They can be grown year round in insulated container or more simply…
  • In late fall, they can be removed from the container and stored in the ground then…
  • In spring, when plants come out of dormancy, they can be placed back in containers

The photo above shows a windowbox planting featuring Blue Star Juniper, Golden Oregano, both hardy perennials along with Purple Heart, a non-hardy perennial that can be overwintered indoors and propagated through cuttings.

The photo below shows the Juniper plants stored for the winter, in this case they are planted in the soil of a large, south facing raised bed. The conditions in the bed are Juniper plants stored in raised planter bed for winter 20141112_151624ideal, sun for warming and light and well drained soil so the roots don’t get waterlogged.

The Purple heart is also overwintered, I’ll cover that in a future blog post on indoor growing.