9 Best Plants for Container Gardening

Published on June 6, 2013 By Lauren

Last week we talked about How to Create a Container Garden and this week we will talk about the Best Plants for Container Gardening.  Just about anything can be grown in containers, although there are a few that do better than others.

Here are some common vegetables that do great in containers:

Lettuces of any variety:

  • Black Seeded Simpson is a popular home grown leaf variety of lettuce. It is fast growing and has a slightly sweet flavor that doesn’t even begin to compare to iceberg lettuce.
  • Spinach
  • Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach is a personal favorite of mine. It is an heirloom, open pollinated variety—and doesn’t bolt as fast as the other varieties. I didn’t realize that I liked fresh spinach until I had this variety!


  • There are many types of radishes available, from the regular ol’ red ones to white, green and even black!


  • We like an early Snowball variety of Cauliflower


  • Broccoli is another one of my favorite plants to grow. The taste is amazing. We grow a Waltham Broccoli, which is another heirloom variety. This is a cool season plant that is sensitive to the heat in the summer, so it grows best as a spring time planting.

Green Beans:

  • I prefer to grow bush green beans, as I’ve found that pole beans tend to be more stringy. My utmost favorite is the Early Contender Bush Bean, which is also a string-less variety and become mature roughly a week before other varieties. Our hot summers do not halt production and they’re perfect for freezing or canning.


  • Tomatoes take a lot of growing room, but still do very well in containers. Any variety will work just fine in containers.


  • Although grow on vines, they work wonderfully in containers. Many people prefer growing cucumbers this way so that they won’t take up their entire garden. You can either plant them and let them grow, draping over the sides of the container—or you can add a small trellis so that your cucumber plants can grow up instead of out. If you’re in a place where you can put your container of cucumber plants next to a fence to grow, that would work as well. This method makes it easier for you to harvest, too.


  • Peppers, of any variety are super easy to grow in containers. We grow the average California Wonder Green Pepper, as well as a red pepper variety and some hot peppers, including jalapeno and Chinese 5 Color (which also doubles as an ornamental).


  • I love growing herbs in containers on my back deck, which is close to my kitchen. Some of our favorites are chives, dill, basil, and parsley.


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