georgia native plants for containers

10 Georgia Native Plants For Containers Gardening

Container gardening has been popular among gardeners and plant lovers in Georgia since they do not need many spaces to grow their favorite plants. You will only require to adjust your containers’ sizes based on the container plants species you want to nurse.

Besides commonly cultivated plants, Georgia native plants for containers are now pretty popular to grow for their exquisite qualities. They have beautiful flowers and nectar sources that attract Georgia wildlife. 

Another benefit of planting native plants is that they are mostly low maintenance and quickly adapt to their surrounding growing conditions and the Georgia climate. If you happen to be a resident of Georgia and are interested in having native plants in your Georgia gardens, you have visited the right place!

We have compiled the top 10 Georgia native plants for containers gardening you will not want to miss. They have absolutely stunning characteristics that make them unique. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into the list!

1. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Let’s start our amazing Georgia native plants for containers collection with Black-Eyed Susan or Rudbeckia hirta. It looks similar to sunflowers since it belongs to the same family.

The plant has cheerful yellow flowers with a dark brown center. Considering its long-blooming period, this native flowering plant will be an ideal fit for the Ohio landscape or ornamental plants in your garden.

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Unfortunately, it is a short-lived perennial among its species. Despite loving the sun, it will bloom longer in afternoon shade. It also loves well-drained, dry to moist soil with acidic pH. In addition to that, it is a drought-tolerant plant that attracts birds and butterflies to visit. To cultivate the seeds, cut off the seed head after a dry fall day.

2. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Looking for a low-maintenance showy flowering native plant to enhance your container garden? Cardinal Flower is your absolute answer! It bears vibrant red flowers with spreading lower petals, resembling the bright red robes worn by Roman Catholic cardinals. Perhaps, it is why Lobelia cardinalis obtained its common name.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Aside from its attractive appeal, some parts of the Cardinal Flower plant have medicinal properties to help relieve some symptoms of minor ailments, such as headache, fever, nosebleed, and more.

Therefore, it is no doubt that this flowering native perennial is favored by many. It loves to grow moist and wet soil. Thus, regular watering is a must. Moreover, this plant can thrive under full sun, part shade, or full shade, making it easier to find a proper planting location.

3. Crimson Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

If you already have Cardinal Flower in your container garden but still want to add another red shade flower to create cheerful vibes, try Crimson Bee Balm.

Dense bright red, tubular, head-shaped flowers clusters will make a stunningly beautiful center point in your garden area. Hummingbirds have attracted to the flowers, thanks to their tubular shape.

Crimson Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Crimson Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Like the previous plant, it thrives in moist and wet soil with acidic pH. However, this cold-tolerant plant prefers sun and part shade to live. Pruning is necessary during the blooming time throughout summer to have gracious clusters of flowers.

Additionally, Crimson Bee Balm has beneficial properties for medicinal purposes, such as treating fever, stomachache, and expelling worms. Its minty scents leaves are also the ingredients for making Earl Gray Tea.

4. Eastern Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Aquilegia canadensis or Eastern Red Columbine is a perennial herb with stunning red flowers and yellow hints, creating interesting eccentric color contrast.

The gracefully growing branches that carry one flower bud make it look beautiful when planted in hanging pots to decorate your patio. In addition, their tube-shaped flowers attract long-tongued insects and hummingbirds to suck on their nectars.

Eastern Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Eastern Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Belonging to shade-loving native plants, Eastern Red Columbine cannot tolerate continuous full sun because it can scorch the blue-green leaves and stunt them. Since it is drought-tolerant, the water requirement is also not much – only low to medium watering. And slightly different from some native plants of Georgia, it prefers alkaline soils than acidic to neutral.

5. Georgia Aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum)

Just like its name bears, Georgia Aster or Symphyotrichum georgianum is a member of the Aster family native to Georgia. The flowers are similar to New England Aster, having purple color but slightly loose petals.

Even though it naturally grows as perennial borders, it will make a splendid flower plant in a large pot. In the middle of the fall’s yellow, red, and orange shades, Georgia Aster will add an elegant touch of lavender hue.

Georgia Aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum)
Georgia Aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum)

Furthermore, Georgia Aster performs best in average, acidic to alkaline, well-drained soil. It is a hardy plant that loves the full sun and is drought-tolerant once established, making it falls in the category of low-maintenance perennials worth planting.

To have an excellent, healthy plant, slowly and deep watering of the root is essential, especially during drought. In addition, cutting half of the plant back in the summer will encourage more erect stems to grow.

6. Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)

Perhaps, the name Golden Alexanders plant comes from the brilliant golden yellow head clusters of flowers that are the main attraction of this native plant of Georgia.

They bloom for a few weeks in late spring, providing you with the ethereal beauty of the blooming season. It is an amazing perennial for container gardens considering its low-growing habit.

Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)
Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)

It may not be as showy as many plants mentioned above, but we assure you, Golden Alexanders will make a beautiful container plant in your garden. Especially it is an easy native flowering plant to care for.

You can grow Zizia aurea in both full sun and part shade on moist, sandy, or sandy-clay soils. But, it will grow perfectly on heavy clay soil. It also tolerates dry and wet soil conditions as long as proper moisture is available in the early growing season.

7. Mexican Marigold (Tagetes erecta)

Suppose you want to have a compact, rounded, vibrant shade of flowers. In that case, Mexican Marigold or Tagetes erecta is a great native container plant to enhance your garden. It comes in two different colors, orange and yellow, depending on the cultivars. The flowers, which resemble carnations, will stunningly bloom from spring to late fall.

Mexican Marigold (Tagetes erecta)
Mexican Marigold (Tagetes erecta)

Like some of the Georgia native plants for containers species, this flowering native evergreen shrub thrives well in full sun. It prefers sandy, loamy, and well-drained soil with neutral pH.

Furthermore, Mexican Marigold loves moderate watering to keep the soil moist but not too wet. And since the flower heads are quite heavy, pruning is required to prevent the stems from snapping. Plus, pinch back in summer to stimulate bushy growth.

8. Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)

The flowers of Plains Coreopsis seem to be hand-painted by nature. Their petals have a yellow color with a meticulous brush of maroon shade in the center, creating a gorgeous contrast color to their appearance.

Not to mention the reddish-purple central disk that adds an accent to the blooms. Since the flowers grow abundantly amid green foliage, Plains Coreopsis will stand out among other plants in your container garden.

Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Since it has excellent characteristics, any effort to nurse Plains Coreopsis will be worth it. Knowing it thrives well in predominantly wet years in its natural habitat, the native flowering plant favors high watering to moisten the sandy soil in your containers.

It can also grow in both sun and shade, allowing you to choose more comprehensive locations to place the pots. Besides being ornamental plants, the boiled flowers give red color to the beverages, while Amerindians use the roots to make tea for natural remedies.

9. Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Swamp Milkweed or Asclepias incarnata has a very similar appearance to Common Milkweed, knowing they belong to the same species. It features a large, deep pinkish to a magenta shade of flat-head flower clusters with numerous narrow green leaves that enhance the appearance of this plant. They bloom in early summer, adding colorful vibes to your summer garden.

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Unlike many ornamental plants, Swamp Milkweed grows in rich, wet, very muddy soil. It also thrives on mucky clay soil and tolerates the heavy clay. Given that it really likes damp soil, it demands a high watering frequency. It is indeed tricky to grow Swamp Milkweed, but if you know the benefits of this plant, you will definitely give it a try. Despite being toxic in raw form, the cooked young shoots, leaves, and seed pods are edible.

10. Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Our closing species for the best Georgia native plants for containers is Wild Geranium or Geranium maculatum. This showy perennial displays five-petaled pink flowers with some lavender blooms at the ends of the branches.

Not only the attractive flowers, but this species also bears distinctive deeply cut leaves that are parted into five to six sections. Wild Geranium is not aggressive, making it a worth noting native plant species to grow in your pots.

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Other than being beautiful, Wild Geranium is an easy perennial to care for. You will not need complicated requirements to plant Wild Geranium since it adapts well to a wide variety of growing conditions. It prefers part shade to shade on rich, moist, and acidic soil. However, it copes well in poor soils and is drought-tolerant once established.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can you grow native plants in pots?

Of course, it is impossible to grow native trees in pots. But, other native plants like summer flowering shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses can grow in containers.

Choose proper sizes of containers before planting them, and make sure you know each of the native plants’ characteristics. For instance, if they have deep and fast-growing roots, pick a large pot rather than a small one to allow it grows best.

Some benefits of growing native plants are that they do not require much maintenance. You may need only to adjust the light levels, planting locations, and soils. Generally, you do not need to add organic fertilizer to keep them growing; only on one or two occasions that you may have to mulch the soil to obtain the favored acidic pH and apply landscape fabric to maintain the soil moisture. 

What flowers bloom all year in Georgia?

Several native species whose flowers bloom all year in Georgia are Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum), and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

Black-Eyed Susan belongs to the sunflower family, which is why it appears like a beautiful yellow sunflower with dark brown center disks. Meanwhile, Shasta Daisy is a native species that grows graceful white flowers with yellow centers. It is commonly grown for its classic daisy look.

Moreover, Purple Coneflower is one of the most popular perennials for its beauty and numerous health properties the plant has. No wonder it is widely cultivated for research purposes.

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