Skip to Content


Container flower gardening for beginners is step-by-step instructions on organizing, planning and selecting plants to make a beautiful arrangement of plants and flowers in a pot. This is a sweet way to add a pot full of colorful flowers to your porch, deck, or any place outdoors. 

container flower gardening for beginners: selecting plants

I was inspired to write container flower gardening for beginners: selecting plants because when I started creating pots full of different plants I truly needed a container gardening basic book or something to help me. So I am giving back all the things I have learned over the years and tips and tricks to making an amazing container garden.

You will find this is actually very easy if you know the right steps and tricks. I am excited you are here so let's get started.



Let's talk about what are easy flowers to grow. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned planter it is much easier to maintain container gardens if you know which flower plants to purchase that are easy to grow in pots. I like to use a variety of flowers and there are plenty to choose from. Here are the best container flowers to grow in pots.

  • Vinca
  • Petunias
  • Impatiens
  • Geraniums
  • Begonias
  • Euphorbia
  • Zahara Zinnia
  • Marigold
  • Pansies


This will be a matter of personal preference but, personally, I like my container gardens to use plants of various heights to create depth and visual interest. Later, I'll tell you the details of how I choose my tall, filler, and trailing plants and flowers for my container plantings. The best part is all the options that are available for different climates and growing seasons.


After creating ideas for my small front porch to share with all of you, I thought about sharing more details about each element of the porch.  For example, how I created the evergreen and annual container flower garden.

easy container flower gardening for beginners

Let's assume you already have a pot and know where you want to display your flowers.

So what's the next step?

That is why I am here to help! Read on to learn what to do next.

Steps to Planning a Container Garden

I love using a container garden as a focal point on my porch. Once you have a planter or pot selected here are the steps to plan your container garden. With large containers you can have a greater variety. I like using large pots for my container gardens but you can use a small container if that's what you have room for. Here is the planter box I am using. I also like to consider the weight of the container. Plastic pots will be lighter than terra cotta. Ensure you have good drainage holes in any pots or boxes you use.


Ask yourself what the climate is like and where the pot will be sitting. Will it get full sun or will it be in partial shade? This will affect the types of plants and flowers you purchase.

My pot is on my front porch, and it gets very hot there in the afternoon.  Lots of sun requires me to look for full sun plants and maybe even ones that don't mind being dry.

It is hard to keep the soil moist in this area because of the hot, Florida sun.

Simple beginners container flower gardening

Now that I know that I need sun-loving plants that don't mind being a little dry it's time to head to the local nursery or anywhere that sells plants and flowers.


I would encourage you to take your pot with you if it is easy to transport. If not, take a photo of it for your excursion.

It just helps to place the plants in the pot at the nursery so you don't end up over-purchasing plants or not having enough. Keep in mind that future plant growth will fill out your container.

container flower gardening flowers at the local nursery


Now the challenging part is selecting the right plant for your space.

But, this is why I suggest going to your local nursery.  They are sure to have a wide plant varieties. They typically have signs that give you the good information you will need to select the right plant for the right climate, size, and color.

container flower gardening diamond frost euphorbia

For example, I need sunny plants of varying sizes. I was able to find this beauty at my local nursery.

Note that this Diamond Frost Euphorbia likes full to part sun.  That means it can handle being in full to part sun during the day. You'll want to ensure the type of plants you select are appropriate for your climate.


You will need to look for three different sizes of plants to create a container garden like mine. Tall, filler, and trailing are the three ones to remember.


container flower gardening petunias

There are many wonderful tall options, but my favorites are the evergreens. Those will not die during the winter months.

There are many container plants you can use. Liriope is also a great tall center plant that lasts all year long. For this pot, however, I decided I wanted something a little lighter in color. Whatever tall plant you choose, just make sure it's appropriate for your climate.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get a photo of its information to share.  If you know what this plant is please comment below and I will add it.

So on to the next piece: the filler piece.


container flower gardening petunias

Petunias are a great filler plant when container flower gardening! They are one of my favorite flowers with beautiful blooms and I loved this bright color. My center plant can get much higher than 12 inches, so the petunias are a great step down. And the way these beautiful flowers spread is a great way to fill out your container garden. These popular flowers also come in a variety of colors.


container flower gardening white knight alyssum

White Knight Aslyssum is such a beautiful trailing plant! The tiny flowers are precious.

The delicate flowers are also a nice step down in size from the petunia flower.  And the white color is a way to freshen up all the colors. Not to mention it looks nice against my dark brick wall. All these details make it a great choice for my container garden.


container flower gardening for beginners vinca

Colors are important when selecting different plants. Think about the color of your house or the walls closest to the pot.

In my case, my home is a dark reddish colored brick, and my front door is Sherwin Williams SW 7006 Extra White and Benjamin Moore HC-143 Wythe Blue.  So I wanted to go with colors that look nice up again those house colors.

If you are looking for a good door color try out some of these Sherwin Williams popular colors.

The most important thing is that you're happy with the different colors of the plants and flowers you select.

Next let's talk about how to plants flowers and plants in containers starting with a good soil.


container flower gardening for beginners potting soil

Now that you have all the plants selected, it is time to select good soil or compost to put inside your pot and around your plants.

I like to add some small gravel in the bottom of the pot, but that is not required.

Remember, it's always a good idea to lean on your experts. Ask the people at the nursery for recommendations on potting soil for the plants you have selected.

Again, they are typically very knowledgeable and will help you make a good choice.


Last,  you will a need a few tools for your project.

Look for a small shovel, gardening gloves (if you feel you need them), a watering can, and a potting bench.  You don't necessarily need a potting bench, but for many years I would do my potting on the ground.

Now I use this bench we made on the back of our shed to save my back.

Consider your water source. You can also use your water hose from the spigot, but if the project is small, then a watering can works nicely, too.


In conclusion, container gardening for beginners is a fantastic way to start your gardening journey and add a splash of color and life to your outdoor space. As outlined in the blog post, there are many practical tips and tricks to follow when selecting the right containers, soil, and plants for your garden. With a bit of care and attention, even those with little to no gardening experience can create a beautiful and thriving container garden.

If you're new to container gardening and feeling a bit overwhelmed, don't worry – there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. Consider reaching out to your local garden center or online gardening community for advice and support. And most importantly, don't be afraid to experiment and have fun with your container garden.

Now that you have all the tools and plants, it is time to plant them in a pot! Here is where I show you how to plant plants in this container gardening 2 post. If you love lavender in particular, you'll love my post about Decorating with Lavender Flowers. And if you love birds and butterflies then you will love this DIY glass bird bath.

With a little bit of creativity and imagination, the possibilities are endless. So why not give it a try and see what you can grow? Whether you have a green thumb or are a beginner, with the proper care you can have a beautiful container garden with these simple steps.

Happy Decorating!

If you enjoyed these ideas, please sign up for emails, so you don’t miss out on more fun decorating tips and ideas HERE.

Bridal Shower Ideas with Southern Hospitality Charm

Thursday 24th of June 2021

[…] to the porch like a beautiful spring wreath that reflects the decorations, layered rugs, container garden and […]


Monday 19th of April 2021

[…] garden with you. If you need help deciding on what to plant in a container I have a whole post on container flower gardening for beginners. It talks about what plants and flowers to plant in one […]


Sunday 18th of October 2020

[…] if you are an outdoor lover and you especially love gardening then I have a post for you. Our Easy Container Flower Gardening post will steer you in the right direction on container […]


Thursday 6th of September 2018

I just found this website. I live in a townhome and would really love to decorate my front porch. The summer is near the end but it's still hot. I was wondering what kind of plants would be good for winter months. Is it even possible to find plants for winter months?

Linda McDonald

Saturday 8th of September 2018

Plants that do well here in Florida during the winter months are evergreen plants like giant liriope. It is very hardy and stays green all year long.

10 Best Home Decor Magazines that will make your Decorating Easier

Sunday 26th of August 2018

[…] have gotten some great inspiration from decor magazines from gardening to painting […]