Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Trailing plants are one of the most underrated aspects for container gardening. There’s something thrilling about watching plants tumble over the edge, whether it’s large patio pots or hanging baskets.
Can you plant trailing plants in containers?
Pots and containers can be made more stylish by using trailing plants. Most trailing plants used for pots and containers in Iowa’s hardiness zone are considered annual plants. These plants would all be considered annuals if kept outside during winter. However, many of them are technically perennials so you could bring them indoors to be houseplants.
What are the best trailing plants for containers?
Flowering Trailing Plants for containers
Plants that trail and produce flowers twice as much as other plants work twice as hard. They can also be seen spreading their blooms to cover large areas.
Calibrachoa (Million Bells)
Calibrachoa is a productive trailing flowering plant. Calibrachoa is available in nearly a million colors. Its flowers profusely all summer, they also don’t need deadheading and creates a stunning cascade that runs over pots and planters. Although it doesn’t trail very far, if you have multiple plants in one hanging basket they will fill up enough to cover the basket. Calibrachoa technically is a tender perennial.
A tough, long-lasting trailing flowering plant that produces delicate flowers. The small flowers are available in a variety of colors, including pink, white and purple. They also have fine dark green stems. It can trail quite a distance down the exterior of a pot, about 12-14 inches. If there are enough plants, it can create a dense curtain. Lobelia is also technically a perennial.
This flowering option is drought-tolerant. These flowers come in clusters and are available in reds, pinks, whites, purples and whites. Although trailing verbena isn’t as long as other flowers, it creates a beautiful mound over the pot in which it’s grown. The trailing verbena can also be used as a tender perennial.
Wave Petunia in pots
This is the queen of hanging baskets, and flowering trailing plant. They produce large, beautiful blooms all summer. Because they create what appears to be a huge ball of flowers, these are the plants most cities use for their large hanging baskets. You won’t be able to see the pot because they will grow so densely. To keep them blooming, they need to be fertilized regularly. Wave petunias can be grown as a tender perennial.
Non-Flowering Trailing Plants for containers
Sweet Potato Vine
Because of its large leaves, and vibrant colors, sweet potato vine is a favorite leaf trailing plant. Sweet potato vine can be either a dark purple or almost black color. There are heart-shaped and palmate-shaped sweet potato vine leaves. This magnificent vine can trail quite far over the edge of a potter’s fence. The sweet potato vine is a tender perennial. Sweet potato vines that are edible may produce sweet potatoes by the end.
Silver Falls Dichondra
This is the opposite spectrum, with very small leaves. The leaves are a pale, silvery green and have a soft texture. They can trail up to 48 inches from a container. Silver Falls is a tender perennial.
Vinca Vine (Common Periwinkle)
Another great foliage vine. These vines do not flower very often, so they are mostly used as foliage. They are also very common in variegated varieties, which have beautiful heart-shaped leaves with medium green centers and white edges. The vines can grow up to 18 inches in length. Vinca vine can be considered a tender perennial.
Silver Falls has smaller texture leaves but they are not as small. The Creeping Jenny’s leaves are bright chartreuse and round. The vines can grow up to 18 inches in length. The vine is a perennial and can be grown to 18 inches if planted in the ground. Planting some cultivars in the ground can make them invasive. Make sure to choose a non-invasive variety. It can also be grown in a pot inside the house during winter.