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Native Plants: Easy Summer Pot for Full Sun

Plant perennials in containers now and in your garden later to offset the dryness.

Containers with purple, white and pink flowers
Summer Container

Once summer heat arrives, and it does seem to have arrived, a pop of color in a pot can perk up your garden. The trick is always to find plants that like the same amount of light and water so they all thrive together.



This trio of perennials grow well in full sun and do well in soil with average moisture. They will easily spend a season in a container and then can be planted in the ground.


Anise Hyssop

Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is a good selection for a summer container because of its long bloom time - sometimes through November. In this container, I planted a cultivar called 'Golden Jubilee' which has a lighter green color to the foliage than the straight species though the straight species would work equally well or better! Anise hyssop typically grows 2 to 3 feet high and, if in the ground, 2 to 3 feet wide. This perennial also grows in part shade.


A perennial wildflower, anise hyssop is considered to be native to much of the U.S. but is not native to Maryland. That said, the plant is very attractive to pollinators and will add lots of buzz to your containers and garden!


Common Yarrow

Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) adds textural contrast with very fern like foliage. Yarrow can also be cut back after flowering to encourage a second flush of flowers. This container is planted with common yarrow 'New Vintage White' (Achillea millefolium 'Balvin White' New Vintage White), a cultivar that grows just over a foot tall, so more compact than the straight species.


Common yarrow includes plants native to the US and Europe. Many sources say yarrow was brought from Europe long ago and naturalized through much of North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says "Achillea millefolium is a complex of both native and introduced plants and their hybrids." To find the native straight species, head to your native plant nursery.


Wine Cups

Wine Cups (Callirhoe involucrata) is a perennial that not only blooms in June and July but will trail over the edge of a container adding more dimension to your pot.. Wine cups grow a foot or so tall and, in the ground, spread out up to four feet. Wine cups is native to the central part of the U.S.


Do you have other favorite container combos for full sun? If so, please share! We are all looking for ideas.


Offsetting the Dryness

pink flowers and brown folaige
Coneflowers Growing through Celandine Poppies in Hot Weather

Hot weather can even take a toll on established plants like these celandine poppies (Stylophorum Diphyllum). Some summers, the green, lobed poppy foliage persists all summer long; in others, in crisps up. When this happens, a nearby container adding pops of color, can signal a garden cared for even though things are dry -- an aesthetic to be developed for sure!


Happy Gardening.


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Adam Brody
Adam Brody
27 jun.

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We want you to be as excited about planting Chesapeake natives as we are. “Plant This or That” gives you a native alternative to popular plants. Other posts highlight really fabulous fauna native to the Chesapeake.

Nuts for Natives, avid gardener, Baltimore City admirer, Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration enthusiast, and public service fan.

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