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Container Plant Selection Tips

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Learn how to mix and match plants for spectacular planters and pots for sun and shade.

salvia, coleus, cordyline
croton in pot by steps

Alone Time

Some plants are big and bold enough to carry a container all by themselves—even without flowers. With intriguing foliage like this, croton deserves to have undivided attention.

urn with cordyline, Diamond Frost euphorbia, lantana

Featured Attraction

Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa) is a lovely, low-maintenance tropical grown as a houseplant or as a seasonal annual. Surrounded by Diamond Frost euphorbia and white lantana, its burgundy foliage has the size and presence needed to command attention.

pink and white petunias

One for the Sun

This dynamic duo of pink and white petunias is far more intriguing than a monotone display—proving once again that variety is indeed the spice of life. As a bonus, you can relax knowing both cultivars share the exact same care and culture needs.

mother-in-law’s tongue, polka-dot plant, and coleus

One for the Shade

Shade containers can go beyond impatiens. Try coleus, polka-dot plant, and maybe even an indoor plant such as mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata), allowed to vacation outdoors in warm weather. Matching containers unify the look and keep it from looking too busy.

cordyline, dusty miller, asparagus fern

Contrasting View

When working strictly with foliage plants, it helps to include contrasting shapes and colors. This easygoing trio includes ‘Red Sensation’ cordyline contrasting against gray dusty miller and bright green asparagus fern.

croton, kale, mums


But foliage plants also pair well with flowers, offering visual relief from an overabundance of blooms. Here, croton and ornamental kale add depth to a display of orange mums.

salvia, coleus, and cordyline

Setting the Stage

Foliage can also stick to the background. Here, cordyline and coleus provide an architectural foil for coral salvia flowers, helping them to stand out better than if they were alone.

Mix and match your favorite flowers and foliage plants in a dashing container garden.--Lowe’s Creative Ideas

No matter what your needs, there’s a perfect container plant (or three) to fit.

See More Container Garden Ideas.