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Native Plants for Planters

Updated: Aug 5

All of these plants may be used in container gardens, just make sure whichever ones you choose, they all want the same conditions. Planters are great for balconies, small spaces, patios, situated in a garden bed, etc. Not everyone likes a mixed planter, so feel free to use only one variety in a pot as a showpiece or group a few planters together for more impact.

Plant species with a deep taproot, like Asclepias species (milkweed), need deep planters. If you are keeping the plant in a container for only one growing season, the planter should be 12" deep, two years in a planter the planter should be 24" deep, etc. These are noted with an (*).

Many of our native plants sucker to form colonies. You must take this into consideration when using them in containers. These would do well in long rectangular planters. Or you may use circular containers but make sure the planter is twice the width as the original plant. If the original plant is in an 8" pot, it should be planted in a planter that is 16-24" wide.

This is only a partial list. Remember, native plants are very forgiving, feel free to experiment. The possibilities are endless. For an extra pop of color, you can always tuck in a few annuals like coleus, New Guinea impatiens, fan flower, flowering vinca, etc.


Agastache foeniculum - Anise Hyssop (Sun-Partial Shade, long bloomer June-Frost)

Andropogon virginicus - Broom Sedge (Sun)

Athyrium filix-femina - Lady Fern (Partial Shade-Shade)

Asclepias species - Milkweed (Sun)*

Chasmanthium latifolium - Northern Sea Oats (Sun-Shade)

Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower (Sun)

Heliopsis helianthoides - Ox-eye Daisy (Sun-Partial Shade)

Juncus effusus - Common Rush (Sun-Partial Shade)

Lonicera sempervirens - Coral Honeysuckle (Sun-Partial Shade)

Matteuccia struthiopteris - Ostrich Fern (Partial Shade-Shade)

Osmunda regalis - Royal Fern (Partial Shade-Shade)

Panicum virgatum and cultivars - Switchgrass (Sun)

Echinacea purpurea and cultivars - Purple Coneflower (Sun)

Veronicastrum virginicum - Culver’s Root (Sun-Partial Shade)

Wisteria frutescens 'Amethyst Falls' - Dwarf American Wisteria (Sun-Partial Shade)


Achillea millefolium and cultivars - Common Yarrow (Sun-Partial Shade)

Agastache rupestris - Licorice Mint (Sun, long bloomer July-Frost)

Allium cernuum - Nodding Onion (Sun-Partial Shade)

Aster novae-angliae and cultivars - New England Aster (Sun-Partial Shade)

Aster novi-belgii and cultivars - New York Aster (Sun-Partial Shade)

Aster cordifolius - Blue Wood Aster (Sun-Partial Shade-Shade)

Aster divaricatus ‘Eastern Star’ - White Wood Aster Cultivar (Sun-Partial Shade-Shade)

Chamaecrista fasciculata - Partridge Pea (Sun)

Coreopsis species - Tickseed (Sun)

Dennstaedtia punctilobula - Hay-scented Fern (Partial Shade-Shade, tolerates Sun)

Eragrostis spectabilis - Purple Love Grass (Sun)

Eupatorium coelestinum - Hardy Ageratum (Sun-Partial Shade)

Fragaria virginiana and cultivars - Wild Strawberry (Sun)

Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies' - Gaura (Sun)

Liatris microcephala - Blazing Star (Sun)

Liatris scariosa var. novae-angliae - New England Blazing Start (Sun)

Liatris spicata - Blazing Star (Sun)

Polystichum acrostichoides - Christmas Fern (Partial Shade-Shade)

Pycnanthemum curvipes - Mountain Mint (Sun-Partial Shade)

Pycnanthemum species (Sun-Partial Shade)

Scutellaria incana - Hairy Skullcap (Partial Shade-Shade)

Solidago caesia - Blue Stem Goldenrod (Sun-Partial Shade-Shade)

Solidago flexicaulis - ZigZag Goldenrod (Sun-Partial Shade-Shade)

Solidago odora - Sweet Goldenrod (Sun-Partial Shade-Shade)

Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' - Rough-leaved Goldenrod (Sun)

Solidago sempervirens - Seaside Goldenrod (Sun)

Sporobolus heterolepsis - Prairie Dropseed (Sun)

Verbena hastata - Blue Vervain (Sun)

Vernonia lettermanii ‘Iron Butterfly’ - Dwarf Ironweed (Sun)


Aster ericoides ‘Snow Flurry’ - Heath Aster Cultivar (Sun-Partial Shade)

Callirhoe involucrata - Poppy Mallow (Sun-Partial Shade, long bloomer May-Frost)*

Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Virginia Creeper (Sun-Shade)

Phlox subulata and cultivars - Moss Phlox (Sun-Partial Shade)

Potentilla tridentata ‘White Cloud’ - Three-toothed Cinquefoil Cultivar (Sun)

Opuntia humifusa - Prickly Pear Cactus (Sun)

Viola labradorica - Labrador Violet (Partial Shade-Shade)


Aronia arbutifolia - Red Chokeberry (Sun-Partial Shade)

Aronia melanocarpa - Black Chokeberry (Sun-Partial Shade)

Callicarpa americana - American Beautyberry (Sun-Partial Shade)

Clethra alnifolia - Sweet Pepperbush' (Sun-Shade)

Diervilla lonicera - Bush Honeysuckle (Sun)

Ilex glabra - Inkberry (Partial Shade)

Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’ - Dwarf Sweetspire (Sun-Partial Shade)

Viburnum dentatum - Arrowwood (Sun-Partial Shade)

Have fun!

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