8 Best Flowering Container Garden Plants for Sunny Areas

Enjoy a Huge Range of Colors All Summer

Illustration of best flowering container garden plants for full sun

The Spruce

If you have a sunny spot on your patio, deck, or porch and or need an accent for a bright spot in your garden, a container garden is perfect for you. These flowering container garden plants are hard to kill and will thrive in container gardens in full sun. They are also lovely and common enough to easily find. Just because they are common, does not mean you cannot make them look spectacular in the right container. In this list you'll discover eight easy-to-find, colorful plants that can brighten up your home.


Keep a close eye on the soil in your plant containers and check regularly to be sure they are not waterlogged. Be sure that all your containers drain well.


Watch Now: How to Care for Planting Petunias in a Hanging Basket

  • 01 of 08

    Million Bells (Calibrachoa hybrid)

    Red million bells


    Nadezhda Soboleva / Getty Images

    Million bells comes in many spectacular colors, and look great in almost any container garden. The prolific blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies and will go strong all summer with regular feeding. These plants do not need deadheading, but they do need consistent watering and good drainage. Million bells will grow well in almost any container.

    • Light: Full to partial sun
    • Water: Keep evenly moist
    • Color Varieties: Pure white to different shades of pink to deep purple
  • 02 of 08

    Verbena (Family Verbenaceae)

    Verbena flowers


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    Verbena is a great container garden plant for the sun because it will flower all summer long and even into the fall. As a bonus, verbenas are great for attracting butterflies. These profuse bloomers are extremely forgiving and come in a wide range of colors. They are drought tolerant and only need an average amount of water. They do need good drainage and, like most flowering annuals, verbenas need to be fed every couple of weeks. Though deadheading is not necessary for most common varieties, your plant will look much better if you cut it back when blooms fade.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Evenly moist; avoid waterlogging
    • Color Varieties: Brilliant red to dark blue
  • 03 of 08

    Cape Daisy (Osteospermum)



    mtreasure / Getty Images

    Cape daisy is cheerful, forgiving (they are hardy to 25 degrees Fahrenheit), and come in a variety of handsome colors. Though the tags say no deadheading is necessary, the plants certainly will look better if you do deadhead them. If you fertilize your cape daisy plant regularly and make sure it has good drainage, it will last well into fall. If it starts getting leggy, cut it back.

    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Water: Medium; avoid waterlogging
    • Color varieties: Deep pink to melon, purple, and white
  • 04 of 08

    Browallia (Browallia speciosa)



    Masahiro Nakano/a.collectionRF / Getty Images

    This flowering plant has wonderful blossoms with a velvety texture, rich blue color, and contrasting center. Browallia, or bush violet, goes well with almost anything and its height, 12 to 14 inches, is great for use in the middle of a mixed container garden. Browallia is not fussy at all but needs protection from too much wind. Good drainage is important. With regular feeding, this profuse bloomer will go strong all summer long.

    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Water: Water regularly; keep well-drained
    • Color Varieties: Deep blue to purple
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Pentas (Pentas lanceolata)

    Penta flowers

    mygtree / Getty Images

    Pentas really stand out in container gardens. The clusters of star-shaped flowers are large and spectacular. Pentas, also called Egyptian star flowers, attract butterflies and hummingbirds, which love the dark pink and red varieties. They do not need much care and will thrive, once established, even through heat and drought. With regular feeding, good soil, and good drainage, your pentas should bloom until fall.

    • Light: Full to partial sun
    • Water: Water regularly but keep well-drained
    • Color Varieties: Pink, purple, white, and red
  • 06 of 08

    Petunias (Petunia x hybrida)

    Petunia flowers


    SuriyaDesatit / Getty Images

    Petunias are easy to find, inexpensive, and come in a vast assortment of colors and sizes. Even better, newer varieties of petunias self-deadhead, which is great because deadheading petunias can take forever. They love lots of sun but do not love too much heat. Depending on your climate and average temperatures, you may need to give them some midday shade.

    • Light: Full to partial sun
    • Water: Daily for container gardens
    • Color Varieties: Pink, purple, yellow, various
  • 07 of 08

    Pansies and Violas (Viola spp.)

    Pansie flowers


    Moeedh / Getty Images

    Pansies and violas are closely related annuals. Cool weather lovers, they will fade and become leggy when it gets too warm. Pinching off spent flowers will help violas and pansies to bloom continuously. Choose seedlings that are stocky and healthy, and avoid any that are wilted or dry. Pansies often will come in six packs, small pots or flats, and they may be rootbound. Make sure to break up the roots before you plant them. Pansies and violas are also rather easy to grow from seeds. You can start them indoors about 8 weeks before outdoor planting time.

    • Light: Full to partial sun
    • Water: Keep moist but not wet
    • Color Varieties: Pink, purple, yellow, various
  • 08 of 08

    Cineraria (Pericallis × hybrida)

    cineraria flowers

    Elena Odareeva / Getty Images

    Cineria is a perennial that's grown as an annual in most areas. Cineria can flower for up to five months in cooler locations. Available in many colors, Ceneria can flower for up to 5 months if conditions are cool enough. If you are growing ceneria in a container, choose a large pot with plenty of good, moisture-retaining potting soil. Like most heavy-flowering plants, cineria should be fertilized regularly.

    This mounding plant can be planted on its own or with a spiller plant, like creeping Jenny or sutera.

    • Light: Full to partial sun
    • Water: Keep moist
    • Color Varieties: Pink, purple, yellow, various