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The Best Pot Plants: Our Ultimate Guide for both Indoor and Outdoor (Part 2)

the best pot plants - beautiful white flower gardenia on a green background

This is the second part in our series on the best pot plants for the home, whether indoor or out. The plants in this post have been chosen for their flowering capabilities.

To read part one, please click here and for part three, click here.

We also suggest that you also check out our introductory article: Smart Tips for Growing Healthy Pot Plants at Home

The following plants are some of our favourites for producing beautiful (often spectacular) flowers:

Gardenia florida – a house plant for flowers and perfume

If you are looking for one of the best pot plants to provide pretty flowers and a nice perfume, then Gardenia florida is a plant you must consider.

Many Gardenias grow well in pots,  but we find that Gardenia florida is the best by far.  It is suitable not only for full sun situations,  it will also grow well in semi-shade situations, as you tend to find on patios etc. 

Gardenia florida plants flower on and off throughout the year and the plant tends to be low and shrubby making them great for growing in containers.

Did you know that the gardenia is related to the coffee family?

Care of Gardenia florida pot plants: 

Gardenia florida is best suited to temperate, warm temperate and subtropical areas. 

With regard to potting mixes, azalea/camellia mix is best for Gardenia florida.  Use a saucer in summer, or plant in a self-watering pot for easy care. If your Gardenia plants are looking a bit yellow it is usually an indication it needs nitrogen,  feed Gardenia plants with a liquid NPK fertiliser or a seaweed based fertiliser once a fortnight during the warmer months.. 

Gardenia plants can live for many years in good conditions and generally they are very easy to care for.

Chrysanthemum – flowering house plant for pots

Most people think of Chrysanthemum plants only for Mothers Day.  But they can grow in a pots, and will live for a number of years.  

Chrysanthemum pot plants will flower on and off through the year in areas with mild winters.  Plants grow into small shrubs and flowers develop on the ends of the stems.  They will grow in smallish pots,  however, do best in medium sized pots with a saucer to maintain moisture.  

They are best suited to warm sunny spots outdoors and grow best in temperate and warm temperate climates.  They can be brought inside for a period when in flower. 

Chrysanthemum - one of the best pot plants

Care of  Chrysanthemum pot plants: 

One of the tricks for keeping your Chrysanthemum plant looking good is to maintain moisture and cut them back after each flowering.  This keeps the plant compact and looking good. 

Fertilise once a month with a liquid fertiliser and seaweed fertilisers are best.  The great thing about growing Chrysanthemums is that they can also be used as a cut flowers in the house, in flower arrangements. 

Chrysanthemum plants come various flower colours pinks, reds and whites, making them a must as the best pot plants for flower arrangers.

Hibiscus plants – great for flowering pot plants

Hibiscus shrubs come in all sizes and there are a number which are suitable to grow in pots. 

Hibiscus plants are best grown in warm temperate and also subtropical environments.   They flower off and on throughout the year, producing flowers of many different colours and styles, from singles through to doubles.  

Hibiscus are best grown outdoors in a sunny position. 

Care of Hibisucus pot plants:  

When grown in full sun, in a large pot, Hibiscus plants tend to be quite an easy care pot plants.  

Generally they do not need much pruning, but every couple of years it is worth giving them a bit of a hair-cut, to bush them up.  Fertilise once a month during the warm months with a seaweed based NPK fertiliser to enhance growth.  

Plants prefer a well drained potting mix with adequate moisture holding capacity. Use a pot saucer during summer or pot them into a self-watering pot, to make watering a breeze.

Mandevilla Alice du Pont – a flowering house plant

Mandevilla “Alice du Pont” plants are amongst the best pot plants and make great potted container plants.  Mandevilla Alice du Pont produce a mass of large pink flowers during the growing season, spring, summer and autumn. 

Mandevilla Alice du Pont grow as a vine, so you will need to place them in a pot near some lattice, or a post to climb up.  They generally are self- twining, but assist them by tying up runners where required.  The leaves are large and tropical looking. 

Alice du Pont grow best in subtropical to temperate climates.  If you live in a temperate area with cool winters you may find that the plant will lose some leaves in winter.  In warm temperate areas they tend to keep their leaves all year around.  

“Alice du Pont” is best grown outdoors in full sun and makes a great plant to grow up a veranda post.

Care of Mandevilla “Alice du Pont” pot plants: 

Mandevilla “Alice du Pont” has a stunning flower display and is a worthwhile plant to grow as a pot plant.  The main care they need is to maintain moisture and fertilise with a liquid fertiliser once a month during the growing season. 

Pick a potting mix with a slightly acid pH, azalea/camellia potting mix is a good choice.  Plants tend to live for many years.  Pick a spot that gets full sun most of the day and you will be rewarded with lots of flowers.   

Camellia japonica – an excellent potted plant

Moving on with our best pot plants we have a beautiful Camellia.

Camellia japonica plants are well known garden shrubs, but did you know that you can grow them around the house in pots as well. 

If you have a shady spot (semi-shade is best) where you need a tallish growing pot plant (most grow around 1m and larger in a pot) then Camellia japonica may be a good option. 

Camellias also have beautiful flowers, but sadly they only flower once a year, however they do flower for a number of months.   Camellia japonica plants flower during the cooler months (when not much else is flowering). 

Care of Camellia japonica pot plants:

Camellia japonica potted plants grow best in temperate and warm temperate climates, in warm, but sheltered positions (such as a patio). Plants live for many years. 

To get the most from your Camellia japonica use azalea/camellia potting mix and fertilise them monthly during the growing season with a liquid seaweed based NPK fertiliser.  Using a liquid based fertiliser will help maintain dark green foliage colour and assist in the development of flowers. 

Chinese Lantern – Abutilon potted house plant

Abutilon plants, commonly called Chinese lantern and some called Japanese lanterns, make great pot plants for shady spots around the house. 

Abutilon produce heaps of unusual lantern like flowers.  There are dozens of different flower colours oranges, yellows, whites, pinks and reds.  Plants grow like a shrub and are a popular garden plant for shaded spots. 

Pink abutilon - one of the best pot plants

Care of Abutilon pot plants: 

As a pot plant Abutilon grow best in semi-shade spots in a protected positions (out of the wind) In a pot, most plants can grow around 2-3 feet tall, so a medium sized pot would be best. 

Use a well drain potting mix like Azalea/camellia potting mix. Plants really don’t like to dry out so maintain moisture, we suggest using a self-watering pot as this makes watering easy. 

Maintain optimum growth by using a seaweed based NPK liquid fertiliser once a month during the growing season. Abutilon grow best in temperate to subtropical areas.

Solanum royal robe – a flowering house pot plants

There are a number of solanum plants that are suitable for growing in containers around the house. They are one of the best pot plants.

The white flowering potato vine and a number of various shrub varieties.  Our favourite is “Solanum royal robe” this is a variety with very dark blue/purple flowers. 

Royal robe is best grown as a shaped plant, generally as a “standard” topiary plant (stem with foliage at top).  Solanums generally will flower through the growing season, with masses of flowers. 

Plants tend to grow quite quickly and will require a trim now and then to keep the plant compact.   Solanum plants are best grown out doors on a sunny patio or in full sun positions

Care of Solanum pot plants:  

Solanum “Royal robe” plants (and solanums generally) are best suited to warm temperate areas (warm winters) where they stay evergreen, but they will also grow in cooler temperate areas, where they lose most of their leaves in winter.  

Solanums are best grown in full sun out-doors on a patio or in the garden.  Use a quality potting mix that is well drained.  If plants dry out they tend to regenerate well with care. 

Fertilise once a month in the warmer months with a liquid based fertiliser, a seaweed based NPK fertiliser is best.  

Bougainvillea – a colourful house pot plant

When it comes to bright vibrant colour for pots, you cannot go past Bougainvillea plants.  Bougainvillea pot plants are best suited to growing in warm full sun positions in the garden or on a sunny patio. 

The best climates for Bougainvillea plants are tropical to warm temperate regions.  In cooler climates Bougainvillea plants lose leaves and flowers, however they will recover generally in spring. Heavy frosts will damage smaller stems.

Care of Bougainvillea pot plants: 

To get the best flowers from your Bougainvillea pot plant use a good quality potting mix and use a slow release fertiliser.  Liquid fertilisers are also a great way to stimulate new growth and flowers. 

Plants can be grown in pots as a vine or standard shaped plant.  Plants will lose vigour if nutrients are not available, so keep plants fed during the growing season.

To care for your Bougainvillea, water regularly during hot weather and reduce watering in winter. 

Maintain liquid fertilising during the warm part of the year and reduce as winter approaches.  Prune if required any time of year.  Major pests are curl grubs in pots which eat the roots. 

Bougainvillea can live from 5 to 15 years in a pot.

Apart from being one of the best pot plants, the versatile Bougainvillea makes a great hedging plant. For more information, read here.

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