The best plants for pots are those that don’t need too much space. If their roots don’t go too deep (unless you have a large planter), you’re pretty safe to plant whatever you want in a pot. Just don’t overwater – look out for good drainage!

Some plants do better than others though. These plants play well with their friends and grow together instead of competing, or are easier to control when contained. We’re going to explore the best pot plants for your garden, so you can have a patio that your friends will dream of.

The 7(ish) best plants for pots


Rose bushes are a British garden classic. One of the most popular flowers around the world, roses come in so many colours and varieties (and grow well in pots) they just had to top this list!

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Not sure which rose is right for your garden? We’ve got you covered


Observe: thriving in a pot

Pansies, with their almost face-like coloured petals, are a firm favourite with children and adults alike. Much like with roses, it’s the wide array of colours (though less the styles and hybrids) that brings the joy of pansies to UK gardens.

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Olive trees

Olive trees are a tricky one, best if you live somewhere in the UK that gets more heat than most like the southern coast. Or have a planter that you can easily move when the temperature drops too low. They’ll do better in pots than they will in static ground, but you should invest in a fleece for the winter.


A great little winter plant, cyclamens carry your garden through the winter months with dainty flowers and deep green (often variegated) leaves. Look out for heart-shaped leaves that are tattoed with silver, and delicate stalks supporting colourful flowers

Read here for more tips on getting your garden ready for winter


Green all year, pink sometimes

There are so many evergreens that go well in pots we didn’t want to list them out in entirety – which is why this list is 7(ish) instead of 20. Rhododendrons and azaleas do well in pots with decent watering, with an explosion of flowers to enjoy in spring. Magnolias also start in pots, though you’ll easily be tempted to plant them out for the fantastic trees they can become.

You can also end up with a nice tidy Christmas Tree if you keep it in a good-sized pot, though it’ll take a few years if you start with a small one!

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Hostas, a perennial favourite. They’ll do as well in a border as they’ll do in a pot, and after a few years you can split them out and have even more Hosta greatness in your garden and spare planters. Some flower, some just draw the eye in with their curious greens and radiating leaves.

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Lavender‘s lovely, with a heady herbal scent and pretty purple flowerheads that the bees just love. Lavenders are best when clustered together in a tidy bush, which is nice and easy to do when they’re kept in a pot.

Dry out cuttings for ready access to that lovely perfume, or add it to a bouquet to create a treat for the senses.

Everything you need to know about Pruning and Cutting Lavender