The 7 Best Shrubs to Grow in Containers

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Container gardens are flexible and take up less space. It offers a way to enjoy the beauty of shrubs. You can do so even in small gardens or urban balconies. Choose the right shrubs. Outdoor spaces can look amazing with them and they add colour and texture. Plus, they provide year-round interest.

In this guide, we’ll cover the top seven shrubs. They are perfect for planting in containers. We’ll also include their descriptions and care tips.

Shrubs in Containers: Benefits

Containerised shrubs offer numerous advantages. It allows gardeners with limited space to enjoy shrubs. Apartment dwellers and those with small yards are included. Containers can go on patios, balconies, and doorsteps. Outdoor spaces get a boost of greenery and visual interest.

Also, growing shrubs in pots gives more control over soil and drainage. This control lets you create the best environment for each plant. Container gardening also makes it easier to move shrubs. You can move them to find the perfect spot for sun or to protect them from bad weather.

Considerations for Container Gardening

A few essential considerations must be made while selecting shrubs for container gardening. First, choose shrubs that are good for growing in pots. For example, compact or dwarf varieties won’t outgrow their pots too quickly. Consider the mature size of the shrub. Choose a container that gives plenty of room for roots. A good potting mix and a drainage-holed container will make your plant happy.

Dwarf English Boxwood

This classic evergreen shrub is dwarf English boxwood (Buxus sempervirens). Green glossy leaves and dense, tight growth make it a popular plant. It grows slowly. It gets about 2-3 feet tall and spreads about the same. It’s perfect for container gardening. Dwarf English Boxwood is very versatile. You can shape it into hedges or topiaries. Also great for containers as a focal point.

Care For Container Grown Boxwood Shrubs

For dwarf English Boxwood, a well-draining potting mix is required. Purchase a container with holes for drainage. Put the container in the shade, either full or partial. Give it regular waterings to keep it damp but not soggy. Keep the desired form and size by trimming as necessary. Use a balanced slow-release fertiliser in the spring for best results.

Korean Lilac Dwarf

Korean dwarf lilacs are tiny shrubs. It has fragrant clusters of light purple flowers. Early summer to late spring is when they bloom. Shaped like a sphere. It reaches a height and spread of 4-5 feet. It’s perfect for container gardening. A dwarf Korean lilac adds colour and fragrance. A great choice for patios, balconies, or small gardens.

Lilacs in Pots Care Tips

These plants benefit greatly from fertilisation in the spring, when they receive the necessary nutrients for strong development and an abundance of blossoms. If you offer your shrub frequent attention and care, it will flourish.

If you place it in the sun, it will flower as best it can. If it’s hot and dry, make sure the roots get enough water. You can reshape your shrub and get rid of wasted blossoms by pruning lightly after flowering. 

Dwarf Japanese Holly

One of the most exquisite shrubs you will ever see is the dwarf Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata ‘Helleri’). It has mounded form, glossy green leaves, and a dense, rounded look.  It typically grows 2-3 feet tall and wide. This makes it great for container gardening. People prize Dwarf Japanese Holly for its year-round foliage. It can handle pruning, so it is versatile for use in containers or as a low hedge.

Pot Grown Japanese Holly

Plant Dwarf Japanese Holly in a pot with well-draining soil. Place it where there’s partial to full sun. To keep the soil moist in hot, dry weather, you will need to water often. For shape and to remove dead branches, lightly prune the shrub in the spring. Plants that thrive in acidic environments require fertiliser with a gradual release.


Lavender is a lovely shrub. It is perennial and makes a great addition to any garden. Its fragrant foliage and flowers come in a range of colors. These include purple, pink, and white. This variety makes it a favorite among gardeners. You can enjoy its aromatic foliage up close in containers. The lavender plant usually grows 1-3 feet tall and wide. It’s perfect for pots on patios or balconies or small containers.

Potted Lavender Care

To promote aeration and avoid waterlogging, mix in some sand or perlite with your potting soil. Bright, sunny locations with six to eight hours of sunlight every day are ideal for plant growth. Between treatments, let the soil dry sufficiently to prevent root rot and promote robust roots.

Do not water your plants from above as this promotes the growth of fungi and increases the danger of fungal illnesses. These techniques will help you create a beautiful outdoor setting while cultivating healthy plants in pots. After flowering, trim back to encourage bushier growth and remove spent flowers.

Dwarf Variety of Fountain Grass

Among the ornamental grasses, dwarf fountain grass is one of the most popular. Plants like this one have beautiful, arching leaves. They also have feathery flower plumes. This makes them very popular. The plumes appear in late summer to fall. It usually reaches a height and spread of 2-3 feet. This makes it great for container gardening. Dwarf Fountain Grass adds texture and movement to containers. It pairs well with flowering annuals or other foliage plants.

Container Care Tips for Fountain Grass

Plant dwarf fountain grass in containers with good drainage. Sunlight is a must. Keep the soil moist during hot, dry weather. Clip the leaves in late winter or early spring. This will encourage fresh new growth. An experienced tree surgery company can help you prune, trim, and remove branches from your shrubs.

Compact Hydrangea

People love hydrangeas. These deciduous shrubs are known for their big, showy flowers. Blooms come in pink, blue, or white depending on the soil pH. Usually grows 2-3 feet tall and wide, making it perfect for containers. You can grow this compact Hydrangea on your patio, deck, or balcony.

Hydrangea Container Grow Care

Compact Hydrangea requires a large container with soil that drains well. Pick a location that receives both afternoon shade and morning sun. Remove any spent blossoms from the bush after it has finished flowering. Then, softly prune the bush after it has finished flowering.

Variegated Japanese Pieris

This evergreen shrub has variegated leaves. Its foliage is beautiful. The leaves are variegated with creamy-white margins. It typically reaches a height and width of 3-4 feet. This makes it great for container gardening. The plant produces clusters of white flowers in spring. This adds interest to containers.

How To Grow Pieris In Containers

Plant Variegated Japanese Pieris in a pot with well-draining soil. Put the pot in a spot with partial shade. Keep the soil moist, especially in hot, dry weather. Prune the shrub to remove spent blooms once it has flowered. Plants that prefer acid should be fertilised in the spring.

In Conclusion

You can use shrubs in container gardening. It offers many ways to enhance your outdoor space. This is true, no matter how small. Choose the right shrubs for your containers. Then, give them proper care. Doing this, you can create thriving and beautiful displays. They will bring joy and beauty all year.


I'm Sophie, a fashion and beauty enthusiast who enjoys sharing my thoughts and experiences with the world. I have 10 years of experience as a fashion and beauty blogger, and I've made it my mission to provide my readers with the latest fashion trends and beauty tips. I believe that fashion and beauty should be accessible and enjoyable to all people, which is why I work hard to make my blog a fun, informative, and inspiring space for everyone.