November 13 2023 0Comment
guide to outdoor plants

A Guide to Outdoor Pot Plants

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on outdoor pot plants. This blog post is dedicated to exploring the world of outdoor pot plants, a versatile and exciting area of gardening that can transform both home gardens and professional landscapes. Outdoor pot plants aren’t just about bringing greenery to your patio or balcony, they offer a myriad of benefits beyond putting them in the ground, providing flexibility in design.

  1. Put a few pot plants on your steps.
outdoor plant NZ

Exploring the World of Outdoor Pot Plants

What are Outdoor Pot Plants?

Outdoor pot plants are essentially plants that are grown in containers or pots, placed outdoors. They’re not limited to any specific type of plant; you can grow anything from herbs and vegetables to ornamental flowers and shrubs.

One distinguishing feature of outdoor pot plants is their flexibility. They can be inserted into the ground, raised above it, or moved around depending on your goals.

Using pots isn’t a way to avoid having to plant plants in the ground, but is a strategic method to create a controlled growing environment. Some popular outdoor pot plants in New Zealand include the Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), dwarf Kowhai (Sophora microphylla), and NZ flax (Phormium spp.)

Why Opt for Outdoor Pot Plants?

It’s common to associate pot plants with indoor environments, or as temporary homes for plants from the nursery destined to be planted outdoors. However, outdoor pot plants offer numerous benefits. For starters, they allow you to shift the landscape design as you please. They’re a boon for renters, who may not have the option to make permanent changes to the property.

Outdoor pot plants also allow you to grow plants in controlled soil conditions, bypassing issues that may arise with natural soil or soilless environments like courtyards and balconies. Other containers, like raised beds, offer similar benefits. Even playground fall zones can benefit from the use of pots, providing a safe and attractive element to break falls. Learn more about research regarding playground plants here.

“Show gardens” often utilise pots covered in mulch instead of planting them in the ground for short-term exhibitions. This not only adds to the visual appeal but also allows for easy changes and modifications.

2. Plants like cordylines and yuccas work great in outdoor pots.

outdoor plant

Choosing Your Ideal Outdoor Pot Plants

Factors to Consider When Selecting Outdoor Pot Plants

Choosing the right outdoor pot plants involves considering factors such as climate, sunlight, and temperature. It’s crucial to select plants that will thrive in the specific environmental conditions of your location. In New Zealand, for example, plants that can handle a variety of weather conditions are usually a good choice.

Understanding Size and Growth Potential

The size of the plant at maturity and the size of the pot can significantly affect both plant health and aesthetics. It’s important to choose plants and pots that are appropriately sized for your outdoor space. A pot that is too small can restrict root growth, while a pot that is too large can lead to overwatering issues.

Caring for Your Outdoor Pot Plants

Watering and Fertilising Needs

Proper watering and fertilising are key to maintaining healthy outdoor pot plants. Each plant has different needs based on its type and size. Recognising signs that your plant may need more or less water or fertiliser, such as wilting leaves or slow growth, is essential.

Repotting Your Outdoor (and Indoor) Plants

Repotting is an important aspect of caring for outdoor pot plants. As plants grow, they may outgrow their pots and require more space for their roots. Upsizing pots is necessary when this happens. When repotting, choose a new pot that is larger than the current one and use a suitable soil mix for your plant. Avoid damaging the roots during the process and make sure to water the plant thoroughly after repotting.

3. Use outdoor pot plants as a feature to draw the eye, like this agapanthus that sits above a water feature

outdoor plant


In this guide, we’ve navigated through outdoor pot plants, their selection, and care, including repotting. As seasoned gardeners or landscape experts, it’s time to explore this diverse world. Consider your unique outdoor conditions and select suitable plants. Remember, every great garden begins with a single pot. So, immerse yourself in the world of outdoor pot plants and discover their benefits today.