What Are Good Container Flowers for Northern California?
By: Jessie Keith
“I rent my house but I have always wanted to grow a flower garden. What’s the best way to grow flowers in containers that are movable and what kind of flowers grow best in containers?” Question from Jenna of Magalia, California
Answer: Container gardening is certainly the best option for renters. If you really want to create a movable garden, start with quality pots that will be easy to transport in a move. Choose large containers for vegetables or multiple flowers. The larger the pot, the more plants you can grow in it. Thick, glazed ceramic containers resist weathering and retain water well.
I determined that you have warm, dry, mostly clear summers and cold, wet, partly cloudy winters with temperatures that range from 33°F to 88°F–rarely dipping below 25°F or above 96°F. Considering your drier summers and cool, wet winters, here are five drought-tolerant container perennials that should grow well for you in pots.
- Santa Cruz Sunset Bolivian Begonia: Grow this glowing begonia in partial sun to shade for best results. Bring this tender perennial indoors for winter.
- Coronado Hummingbird Mint: Hardy hummingbird mint produces loads of bright orange flowers that hummingbirds cannot resist.
- Arizona Apricot Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata Arizona Apricot): Bright orange and yellow flowers are produced on this spreading, pretty desert bloomer.
Sweet Romance® Lavender (or any other lavender): Lavenders look pretty, smell great, and look beautiful in containers.
- Rock ‘N Round™ ‘Superstar’ Stonecrop or Angelina Sedum: Flowering sedums look great spilling over the edge of a pot.
Planting Flower Containers
Choose plants that you like and pair them according to color, size, height, and texture. A good potting mix for drier climates is Black Gold Waterhold Cocoblend, which has excellent porosity, water-holding ability, and is OMRI Listed for organic gardening. Keep in mind, containers need regular water, even if you plant drought-tolerant plants, so plan to water your containers daily or once every couple of days. Feed them with plant food for flowers, such as Proven Winners® Premium Water Soluble Plant Food for Flowering Plants. Once hard cold hits, trim back any dead or dying stems to keep your pots tidy through winter.
I hope that this helps.
Black Gold Horticulturist
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