When it comes to flowering container plants, Byron and Laurelynn Martin, the third-generation owners of Logee’s Greenhouses, are the go-to experts. Byron grew up working at Logee’s in Danielson, Connecticut (about halfway between Hartford, CT and Providence, RI), and Byron and Laurelynn have been on TV with Martha Stewart to talk about plants.
“One of the questions I get asked the most is, ‘What are the best flowering plants for growing in containers?’” said Byron Martin. “Container gardening continues to grow in popularity. That’s because people want to be close to blooming plants—in their homes, on their decks and on their balconies and patios.”
Here are four of Byron Martin’s favorite flowering container plants to grow in containers.
Brugmansia ‘Angel’s Summer Dream’
Commonly known as Angels Trumpets, Brugmansia hybrids 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’ is one of the best terrific flowering container plants because it 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.
Flowering Container Plants: Hibiscus ‘Pinot Noir’
Among flowering container plants, Hibiscus are overlooked. These flowering plants love the growing conditions found in their native tropical climates. So for them to thrive, they should be grown in 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. Plants sell for $19.95 each 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 flowering container plants, 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. Plants in 4-inch pots sell for $19.95 from www.logees.com.
If you love growing plants in containers, consider growing patio trees. Dwarf trees can be successfully grown in containers and in small garden spaces.