Patio pots don't just need to be filled with pretty bedding plants every year, why not try plants that you can keep in their containers all year round, that are perfect for patios!
Our patios, decks and outdoor spaces are more and more becoming an extension of our homes, and just like indoors, we like to decorate the areas we spend a lot of time in so that they look good and feel inviting. A really great way to do this on a patio is with larger potted plants, such as evergreen shrubs, standards and even hardy perennials that will look spectacular throughout the year.
We've put together a list of our top ten patio plants that will grow really well in pots and containers all year round, a variety of shapes and sizes to suit all areas and budgets too.
This compact, evergreen shrub is a popular choice for borders and patio containers, where plants will provide colour and interest all year round. The evergreen foliage is punctuated by red buds through the winter, with an explosion of potent, fragrant white blossoms appearing by spring. This trouble free shrub is tough and long-lasting making it ideal for beginners and those with less experience in gardening. Much loved for an early burst of nectar too Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' will be greatly appreciated by bees!
A well known RHS AGM variety, this attractive evergreen shrub makes a useful and reliable addition to any garden. The golden yellow variegated foliage brings a bright splash of year round colour, turning to shades of pinkish red during periods of cold weather. Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald 'n' Gold' is tough and versatile, thriving in almost any position, providing structure to borders and making superb ground cover. A must have plant for low maintenance gardens!
There's something quite stately and formal about standard shrubs, a lot of effort goes into growing them into this particular shape and so they instantly have a quality appearance. Often seen standing sentry on either side of a doorway or the entrance to a formal garden, standards such as Laurus nobilis (Bay) certainly add elegance, other like the stunning Anisodontea elgans 'Elegans Princess' add bright and cheerful colours and some are smaller and more subtle, such as Azalea 'Japanese Red' which make interesting and striking focal points.
Some plants thrive in patio pots and Agapanthus is definitely one of them! As the plant grows and the roots become more constricted, the plant puts up more and more flowers, making for a fantastic display! There are more and more varieties to choose from now as this plant is becoming a firm favourite in many of the UK's gardens, from pure white to deepest blue and every shade in between, the African lily is a wonderful sight to behold in the summer months. Try Agapanthus 'Twister' for an unusual two tone flower, or the 'Ever Sapphire' and 'Ever White' varieties for pure single colours.
If you love cut flowers in your house and enjoy warm summery colours then you are going to absolutely adore Alstroemeria 'Summer Breeze'! Lush foliage sets off the glorious oranges and yellows of the blooms above. A fine border plant which will flower for about 5 months of the year, these hardy Peruvian Lilies are compact with an upright habit, ensuring that stems are still a good length for cutting. The perfect perennial for patio containers where it will flower continuously from June to November.
The bottlebrush plant is one of our more unusual varieties to grow in patio pots, We all like to grow something a bit different, and this plant is a real beauty. A native of Australia that is a hardy shrub and will happily grow in our climate, Callistemon 'Hot Pink' loves a sheltered corner and is early to flower, with frothy blooms in a warm shade of pink which attract plenty of bees and butterflies. Cut stems are happy indoors and make a change from run-of-the-mill cut flowers.
Hebes are incredibly easy to grow hardy shrubs that come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours. Hebe 'High Voltage' is a perfect container specimen; its size lends itself to being grown in a patio pot quite happily. The summer flowers appear in short spikes which will completely envelop the shrub, each spike starting an electric blue and then slowly transforming to a pure white, all whilst being a magnet for butterflies and bees! If the temperatures drop below freezing during the winter months, the foliage will also change colour from a deep green to a delectable bronze hue!
The dwarf butterfly bush! A new twist on a much-loved garden favourite, Our colour series of Buddeja 'Buzz' is the world's first patio buddleja! These attractive, compact plants are loved by bees and butterflies, but won't take over your garden. Now for the first time you can give pollinators a treat with a compact Buddleja plant that gives them 3 flower colours to choose from, seemingly on the same plant! Supplied as 3 plants in 1 single pot, each will grow in harmony and produce a compact bush with fragrant, indigo, ivory and candy pink flower spikes! All colours varieties in the Buddleja 'Buzz™' series are garden friendly; staying compact and flowering for a long summer period without setting seed, meaning the flowers just keep on coming without risk of rogue plants popping up all over the garden, as is normal with standard varieties.
Another dwarf version of a cottage garden favourite! Compact and floriferous, Lavatera 'Barnsley Baby' is perfect for patio containers and small gardens. The well branched habit and racemes of saucer-shaped, soft pink blooms will certainly draw the attention of your neighbours during the summer months where it can happily be positioned to take centre stage on your patio! The bees and butterflies in your garden will love the open flowers too, making nectar easy to reach! Once established this tough little mallow needs little maintenance and will even tolerate short periods of drought.
The dwarf lilac that gives you the best possible performance! Most lilacs tend to only flower in late spring and then it's all over, 'Flowerfest Pink' will continue into summer and then again produce a second flush of fragrant flower clusters later in the season, through until the first frosts occur. Its neat and compact growing habit will suit small gardens and also makes it ideal for growing in patio pots too. Also much enjoyed by butterflies - another great reason to have it in your garden!