Four Great Flowering Plants to Grow in Containers
Here’s how to enjoy colorful blooming plants throughout your home
Byron and Laurelynn Martin, are the third-generation owners of Logee’s Greenhouses. Byron literally grew up in Logee’s nursery in Danielson, Connecticut (about halfway between Hartford, CT and Providence, RI), which is a destination for anyone who loves fruiting, tropical, or rare plants.
The Martins have been on TV with Martha Stewart to talk about plants, and their photo appears on page 2 of every Logee’s mailorder catalog. While Laurelynn manages the business end of things, Byron is the expert horticulturist. When Byron walks through their greenhouses, he is constantly asked for plant-growing advice.
“One of the questions I get asked the most is, ‘What are the best flowering plants for growing in containers?’” said Martin. “Container gardening continues to grow in popularity because people want to be close to blooming plants—in their homes, on their decks and on their balconies and patios.”
For all of the folks who can’t make it to Logee’s Greenhouses to ask Byron Martin’s advice, here are four of Byron Martin’s favorite flowering plants to grow in containers this year.
Hibiscus ‘Pinot Noir’
Hibiscus are flowering plants that love the growing conditions found in their native tropical climates—sun, warm weather, regular watering and rich soils. Hibiscus plants are perhaps best known for their colorful, huge dinner-plate-sized flowers. ‘Pinot Noir’ is a new variety that has exceptionally large, 8- to 9-inch flowers that are light lavender with maroon centers. The flowers have a hint of pink in the petals.
‘Pinot Noir’ is easy-to grow and forms a nice, upright bush. Like all hibiscus varieties, it grows best in full sun with plentiful water and fertilizer to optimize its blooming potential. A plant in a 4-inch pot sells for $19.95 from www.logees.com.
Brugmansia ‘Angel’s Summer Dream’
Brugmansia hybrids, also commonly known as Angels Trumpets, are favorite tropical flowering plants because of the long, trumpet-shaped flowers that hang gracefully from the plant during the summer. Brugmansia ‘Angel’s Summer Dream’ is a new hybrid that starts blooming at only 12 inches tall. This dwarf variety, created by horticulturist and Logee’s owner, Byron Martin, has prolific, fragrant blooms year-round. The full-size, 5-6” long, orange-yellow flowers have tones of deep orange when fully mature. Perhaps best of all, the flowers fill the air with a delightful nighttime scent.
Brugmansia ‘Angel’s Summer Dream’ thrives in full sun. Its lateral branching habit makes this plant perfect for containers or hanging baskets. This delightful plant won a Green Thumb Award as an outstanding flowering plant for container growing. This is a tropical plant that is only cold hardy in deep southern parts of the USA, so it needs to be brought inside during the colder months. A plant in a 4-inch pot sells for $24.95 exclusively from www.logees.com.
Hummingbird Flower ‘Ruby Red’
The brightly colored flowers of Bouvardia hybrids are commonly known as Hummingbird Flower because the blooms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Hummingbird Flower ‘Ruby Red’ is another Logee’s hybrid and boasts fragrant clusters of brilliant red, tubular blooms with pink throats that rise up on the upright-growing shrub throughout the year. A hybrid between B. longiflora and B. ternifoila, this variety carries the fragrance of the former and the color and vigor of the latter. The fragrance, which is sweet and inviting, is most pronounced at night. ‘Ruby Red’ is an outstanding flower for a cut flower arrangement, so feel free to cut the flowers for displaying in a vase because the plant quickly produces more blooms.
As a container plant, Bouvardia ‘Ruby Red’ can be maintained at 2-3’ in height, and it takes pruning with ease. ‘Ruby Red’ is cold hardy to USDA zone 10, so it must be brought inside during colder seasons in most climates. Grow this plant in full sun for best results. A plant in a 2.5-inch pot sells for $14.95 from www.logees.com.
Coral Tree (Erythrina x bidwillii) is grown as a small tree or multi-stemmed shrub. It has gorgeous, long sprays of brilliant red flowers. Coral Tree blooms freely from spring through summer after a winter resting period when the leaves can drop.
A cross between E. herbacea and E. crista-galli, it is an outstanding container plant that can be maintained at 3-4’ tall. Coral Tree makes a wonderful patio or summer garden plant and can take temperatures down to 35°F. A plant in a 4-inch pot sells for $19.95 from www.logees.com.