Four Fab Shrubs for Containers

Some of the most exciting developments in gardening are happening in the world of shrubs. Compact sizes, interesting foliage and gorgeous blooms are just a few of the innovations I’ve seen while out scouting garden shows and spring trials for plants to grow in my garden.

These new features have transformed shrubs from one-season-wonders and supporting players to flashy focal points in both flower beds and, thanks to small sizes, containers. These new colorful, easy-care shrubs are ideal for high maintenance and lazy gardeners alike. Take a look at four that I’ve chosen for my Proven Winners® Platinum Collection.

Sunny Anniversary™ Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora)

photo credit: Proven Winners

Fragrant pink flowers touched with pink and orange bloom from mid-summer through September.
Full sun to partial shade; zones 6a – 9b; 3 – 4 feet tall and wide; deciduous.


Sunny Anniversary™ Abelia (Filler), Angelface® Blue Angelonia (Thriller), Superbena® Royale Peachy Keen Verbena (Spiller)

Tiny Wine® Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolious)

photo credit: Proven WinnersThe smallest ninebark available to gardeners with an extra full form and refined foliage. Colorful bronze-maroon foliage all season and dainty flowers that appear up and down the stem in late spring.
Full sun; zones 3a – 7b; 3 – 4 feet tall and wide; deciduous.


Tiny Wine® Ninebark (Thriller), Colorblaze® Dipt in Wine Coleus (Filler), Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia (Spiller)

My Monet® ‘Sunset’ Weigela (Weigela florida)

photo credit: Proven Winners

A petite weigela with golden variegated foliage that turns to a gorgeous red in fall.

Full sun; zones 5a – 8b; 12 – 18 inches tall and wide; deciduous.


Superbells® Yellow Chiffon Calibrachoa (Spiller), Graceful Grasses® Red Riding Hood, My Monet® ‘Sunset’ Weigela (Filler), Dwarf Purple Fountain Grass (Thriller)

Lo & Behold® ‘Lilac Chip’ Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

photo credit: Proven Winners

Soft lavender-pink flowers borne on a compact shrub from mid-summer until frost. This buddleia will repeat bloom without deadheading and does not produce seeds so it won’t spread.
Full sun; zones 5a – 9b; 18 – 24 inches tall and 24 – 30 inches wide; deciduous.


Lo & Behold® ‘Lilac Chip’ Butterfly Bush (Thriller), Snowstorm® Giant Snowflake® Bacopa (Spiller), Superbells® Lemon Slice Calibrachoa (Filler)

21 Responses to Four Fab Shrubs for Containers

  1. Marilyn says:

    Hi Allen,

    I love your posts and your tv shows. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

    My back porch is in full shade. Could you suggest some more 3-plant combinations for planters in shade, please?

    Thank you,

  2. Jean Buczek says:

    Hi Allen

    I enjoy your website and the beautiful flowers you bring out to grow. Some of them I have never found in our area. I love to grow flowers….

  3. has anyone done cement pots says:

    i watched DIY back in the late 90`s and the made pots out of cement has any one tried it and any good suggestions is there any cement colors or can i add color

  4. wanda lentz says:

    I noticed the picture of bacopa in one of your recommended shrubs. Where can I purchase bacopa. I love adding it to pots but it is so hard to find. Can you find it in seed form?

  5. David Haase says:

    Can these be winter hardy outside in the containers? Or do I have to bring them inside or can the be store in an unheated garage?


  6. Vanita Bries says:

    I live in Zone 4 where it can get to 30 below zero, so these would have to overwinter in my garage. Do I need to water them during the winter?

  7. Charlene says:


    Which flowers can grow in a hot place? I want to try it.


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