Potted plants provide opportunities to grow some easy care perennials which will provide long term colour. There are some fabulous choices in smaller perennial plants which are made for long term container growing:
Kangaroo paws– the smaller varieties of kangaroo paws love container growing, as they will get the drainage they need. Cut back hard after flowering, as they will reshooot from the underground rhizome, and give them a sunny spot with some slow release fertiliser.
Marguerite daisies– these will flower right through the warmer months of the year and come in a variety of soft colours including white, pink and carmine. The Australian bred series called Federation Daisies are compact and long flowering. They like a sunny spot.
Pelargoniums– tough, easy-to-grow plants that will flower most of the year. There are several different types to choose from including ivy types (trailing habit), regals (large flowered upright habit) and zonals with upright habit featuring colourful variegated foliage. They do well in sunny spaces and are the perfect balcony plant.
Native Brachyscome daisies– becoming increasingly popular for containers due to their year round flowering and tough nature. Colours available include mauve, white, pink and yellow on compact bushes that thrive with a minimal mount of maintenance. They like sun to part shade, and flowering is best in sun. Brachyscome daisies have a naturally neat, compact and rounded habit, and look great when several varieties are planted together for a colourful meadow look.
Scaevola– a great flowering Australian native plant that suits containers, it has a dense habit and will spill over the edges. It comes in a range of colours from white to yellow to mauves and purples. There are large flowered varieties, as well as ones with smaller but more numerous flowers. Good for sunny spots.
Violets (Viola species) are often sweetly scented and grow into clumps that are easy to maintain by simply removing any dead leaves and flowers that become obvious. Depending on the variety many are sweetly scented adding even more interest to a patio or courtyard. These are well suited to shady areas.
With all perennials it is good practice to remove spent flowers as they appear as this will prolong the flowering season as will regular (fortnightly) doses of a complete liquid feed, or use a slow release fertiliser instead. Repotting every few years into fresh and good quality potting mix will help the plant to stay healthy- see my article on repotting here