7 Plant Combination Ideas For Container Gardens! Plant Experts Weigh In...


A container garden is one of the best ways to bring all your favorite plants to the spaces both in and out of any home or commercial area. Whether you choose arrangements that only use a single plant, or opt for the various plant combination ideas for container gardens, there's really a whole world of beautiful container garden plantings ready for you to choose from!

In this article, we'll take a look at both. With 7 beautiful container combinations with the advice of our very own plant expert.

These 7 plant arrangements are perfect to enhance the curb appeal of any space with a container garden. While it's better to plant single-plant arrangements we'll see, we'll throw in a few tips for using two plants or more for good measure. Happy planting!

Ready to get planting? Shop our selection of Indoor Planters.

Forewarning For Beautiful Container Garden Plantings

Though these plant combination ideas for container gardens are a great way to spruce up the look and feel of any space, keep in mind that for the healthy life of plants, growing multiple plants in a single planter is not advisable.

A plant grows best when it has it's own planter, similar to how people need their own rooms to retire to in order to regain their energy. Now let's take a look at some tips on how to do just that!

7 Plant Combination Ideas For Container Gardens

1. Container Gardens That Make Corners Pop!

Kicking off our list, let's figure out how to use a container garden to introduce beauty to corners, considered by homeowners and interior designers alike as one of the most difficult spaces to fill. A planter will take care of all your troubles!

More important than what plant you decide to use, the choice of the container really makes the difference in these situations. Think, will round containers fit into a corner? Hopefully, you answered - No!

When planting in a corner, a square or rectangular container is your best bet. How about something like the Cuba Low Corner Planter? This will naturally slot into any tight corner space, and from there you're free to grow any plants you like.

Though most associate grass with the outdoors, ever imagine having some indoors? Purple Fountain Grass can be a good choice. Their naturally purple color makes for a beautiful display and you can extend their life by growing them inside if you live in a colder area.

If grass is too much, stick to colorful flowers to add interest to a corner. Coral Bells, Canna Lilies, or how about a Pink Geranium? As an extra tip, play with the color of your planter to really give these flowers the appearance of dramatic foliage--Think, red Coral Bells in a blue flower pot? Now you're having fun!

Looking for some more corner planters? Take a look at these square planter ideas for inspiration!

2. Best Plant Combinations For Sunny Or Shady Homes And Landscapes

When planning out your containers it's important to take into consideration where and which type of light your arrangement requires. Below are a few suggestions for each depending on your location, garden and weather.

Plant Combinations For Sun

Here are some classic plant combination ideas for plants that can handle a bit of heat!

1. Blue and Bushy


Pelargonium ( Geraniums), Petunia, Lobelia (Spillers)

2. Layered

Top left: dahlia, Canna.

Layer and design: Salvia (purple filler), Ipomoea (bluish flower), Zinnia (orange far right), Osteospermum, Verbena, Petunia, Calibrachoa.

3. Gentle And Spike

Dracaena or African Iris (center spike), Pink Geranium,

Mixed color: Trailing Petunias, Green Sweet Potato Vine on the left and right.

Plant Combinations For Shade

If you're looking to spruce up a shady area of your container garden or interior, here are a few shade-loving flower combination ideas!

1. Fiery jungle

From the top right:

Coleus ‘Sedona’, Heuchera ‘Spellbound’, ‘Gartenmeister’ Fuchsia (Top left, red flowers), Oxalis ‘Iron Cross’ mid-right (Dark green spots on the leaf), Golden Feverfew, Fuchsia ‘Autumnale’ (red/yellow foilage middle), Setcreasea pallida ‘Purple Heart’, Lobelia ‘Techno Blue ’ (hidden far left)

2. Flower fountain


Colocasia esculenta, Diamond Head, Purple Huechera, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, Hedera helix ‘Variegata’ / Variegated English Ivy

3. Wash of Flowers

Sprawling outwards from the top-down:

Dieffenbachia, Leopard Lily, Caladium, Adiantum tenerum, Maidenhair Fern, Begonia “Angel Wing”

In the previous idea, we touched on grass as an option for use in an indoor container garden. For those interested in more unusual foliage plants, how about trying trailing plants like vines?

3. Vines Trailing Along A Wall

Vines are a great way of adding a more natural, jungle feel to any space, on top of the fact that they add height to a room or outdoor area which provides that extra dimension of interest. Though it's possible to grow a trailing plant out of a container garden that sits on the floor, you can also use wall-mounted planters like this Nile Wall Planter for the job!

Why not try growing the popular Sweet Potato Vine using a window box? Blooming in green or as the Purple Sweet Potato Vine, these will bring a lush and bountiful sense of greenery anywhere they're planted.

More suited to the outdoors, choose a well-draining potting soil and a sunny spot in the garden to begin. A lover of warm weather, let the Sweet Potato Vine get at least 6 hours of full sun a day and you'll have picturesque plants all summer long!

Want a few more ideas? How about the Lotus Vine, Creeping Jenny, or Saucer Vine?

Now need to some tips to actually start your garden? Start your project with our indoor container garden guide!

4. Herbs By A Kitchen Container Garden

How about some plant combinations for all the home cooks and chefs out there? Herbs by a kitchen give you the best of both worlds: a container garden that introduces a real sense of homeliness to a space, while also providing ingredients for use when cooking.

Garden herbs can transform your cooking, are simple to grow, and give ounces of flavor. Some herbs are able to keep their shape and foliage throughout the winter giving character and comfort.

Many herbs are suitable to grow in containers, just remember to allow for sufficient drainage. Do some quick research into which herbs thrive in your area and plan where you'll place your plants: herbs like Lavender, Sage, and Rosemary prefer full sun and well-drained potting soil whereas Chives, Coriander, and Parsley thrive in the shade.

So, what herbs can you plant together?

  • Basil, Parsley, and Lemon Balm love partial sun and moist soil.
  • Rosemary, Thyme, and Oregano love full sun and can do with drier soil.
  • Mints like Spearmint, Peppermint, and Catmint love a lot of sun too, just remember to give adequate space between each seed!

When you've made your decision on herbs, now you have to place them. Pop creeping or trailing herbs towards the front of the planter, taller plants towards the back, and middle with busier plants in between.

Here is a lovely example of a starter herb planter using Basil, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro and Parsley.

What's even better about this is that it's possible to grow multiple herbs in a single container garden. Just make sure the herbs have similar growth habits and you're off to the races! How about a planter like the Delray Tall Rectangular Planter for this? With their sleek fiberglass construction and built-in drainage holes, you're getting form, function, and beauty!

Discover the perfect Indoor Planter for your kitchen herb garden!

5. Levelled-Up Simplicity

When most people think of a plant pot, a terracotta pot tends to be what comes to mind. These have the simplest and most traditional look of an indoor or outdoor container, and though with their merits, one could argue there are more negatives than positives.

But still, what if all you're looking for is a simply designed pot for use as a container garden? If you're a traditionalist and a lover of the simpler things in life, how about trying a brown-colored Fiberglass pot instead? This could serve as a happy medium so not only will you get a planter with your desired look, but you'll also have one that fulfills all the other planter requirements!

A few benefits of fiberglass planters are...

  • Durability: Heat resistant, cold resistant, rain resistant... The list goes on and on. A Fiberglass planter can withstand any weather and temperature conditions!
  • Cheap: Though one might argue the starting cost of a fiberglass planter is more expensive than its counterparts when you consider the fact that they last forever, you'll actually be saving money by buying one!
  • Lightweight: Not something many consider when buying a pot but nonetheless, extremely important, the weight of your pot allows for easy transport around any location. None are lighter than Fiberglass!

Now, what can you plant in such a container garden?

Well, pretty much anything!

  • How about flowering plants with soft colors like a Cigar Plant, New Guinea Impatiens, or Canna Lily? These flower colors will blend wonderfully with the muted brown of your container! Why not try a Saigon Round Tapered Planter?
  • Or what about tropical plants like an Aeonium, Bird of Paradise, or Trumpet Vine? A larger tropical plant needs a larger flower pot to grow strong and healthy. How about a Potsdam Rectangular Planter for this?

Want some more convincing regarding fiberglass? Read these 5 fiberglass planter benefits or if you're ready to embrace our modern planters, shop now!

6. Classic Thrillers, Fillers, And Spillers

Once you start getting a little more comfortable with gardening, you can really start crafting your very own beautiful container gardens. When you begin doing this, you might find yourself focusing more on plant color as a way of crafting charming plant arrangements, and while there's nothing wrong with this, a lot more's possible! Say, how about considering the height of your plants?

Working with different plant heights in a single flower pot allows you to maximize the visual effect of your container garden by introducing layers of activity to a space. This is just one of many timeless container garden trends!

Before planting, remember to choose a large pot - like the Alzira Bowl Planter!

Let's look at this concept in more detail.


Thrillers are the big, eye-catching plants in your planter arrangement, drawing on their height to create a vertical visual aesthetic. Tall ornamental grasses or spiky blooming plants work well, too.

Purple Fountain Grass works well, especially in a container that can be brought in for overwintering. Outside, it needs to be placed in a sunny location despite being quite drought tolerant. Water well every week or two.

Other thriller plants include:

  • Canna Lily
  • Asters
  • Cosmos
  • Salvia
  • Dahlia
  • Mexican Feather Grass
  • Snake Plant
  • Boston Fern

Remember! If your planter is being viewed from all sides, place the thriller in the center. If your view if the front, place them towards the back.


The filler functions as the base utilizing your mid-height, mounding and rounded plants that will enrich and complement the thriller. You can pick anywhere from 1-3 plants to fill the space in the planter. There are many to choose from so here is a quick selection:

  • Begonias
  • Coleus
  • Petunias
  • Heliotrope
  • Geraniums
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Gazania
  • Heuchera
  • Ageratum
  • Purple Petunia
  • Dusty Miller
  • Moss

Here's your chance to really let colors shine - The silver foliage of a Dusty Miller is as beautiful as they come!


The spiller plant has a sweeping or drooping look that 'spills' over the container. These plants complete the composition, hanging and flowing from the edges bringing everything together. Some popular selections include:

  • Sweet potato vine
  • Bacopa
  • Trailing lobelia
  • Vinca
  • Alyssum
  • Nasturtium
  • Trailing begonia
  • Calibrachoa
  • Creeping Jenny
  • English Ivy

Once you've chosen the plants, make sure you understand their watering and sunlight requirements. As they grow in the same pot, they need to have relatively similar growth habits! Think, just because your thriller is drought tolerant, doesn't meant your spiller will be!

Struggling to find a planter to fit your design? Our massive range of outdoor planters come in endless different sizes and 20 colors and finishes!

7. Textured Finishes

Now we've considered the color and height of your plants in a container garden, how about taking a look into their texture? Working with different textures are another way to improve the quality of a container garden, whether it be inside or outside your home!

Once again, regardless of if you intend on planting two, three, or four plants in a single container, make sure you understand how to take care of each of their needs!

Why not contrast the dense, fuzzy-leaved Asparagus Fern with the more broad-leafed and tropical Ti Plant? Both grow well in areas of part sun to partial shade. While the taller Ti Plant may serve as the focal point of the container garden, the cool textures of each compliment one another nicely--You could try a Hollywood Rectangular Planter for this!

On the other hand, what about the waterfalling Creeping Jenny with the bright foliage colors of the soft textured Gerbera Daisy? Both grow best in the summer, with a liking for the full sun or being placed in a part shade location. Their watering requirements are also similar, as they like moist soil with containers that allow for adequate drainage. How about the Miami Rectangular Planter?

Want some more rectangular planter inspiration? Check out these 6 amazing rectangle planter ideas!

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Shop now and build your dream container garden with our modern, durable, lightweight, and stylish fiberglass planters!