7 Trailing Plants for Containers in Full Sun

Trailing plants can provide color and vertical interest in a yard. Which trailing plants should you consider for containers in full sun?

Planting a container full of sun-loving, trailing plants can provide color and height to sunny areas of your yard. There are many different varieties available, and you can use them to add color, texture, contrast, foliage, and aroma to your outdoor spaces.

In this article, I will share 7 sun-loving, trailing plants you can grow in containers!

1. Million Bells

Calibrachoa, commonly referred to as million bells, is one of the best-liked plants for outdoor container gardening. The plant comes in various hues, including stripes, solids, two-tones, patterns, and magnificent double flowers. Calibrachoa blooms profusely, showcasing attractive, 1-inch flowers that resemble small petunias. The oval-shaped, compact leaves are a little bit sticky.

Although it can withstand some shade, the plant prefers full light for at least six hours every day. If it receives less sunlight than that, it will produce fewer flowers.

Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the blossoms, and the plant will continue to bloom until the first frost.

Million bells is a rapid grower and spreads out quickly as a “spiller.” It looks fantastic in hanging baskets, bowls, or mixed containers because of its tendency to trail.

cute hanging million bells flower

2. Creeping Jenny

Lysimachia, often known as Creeping Jenny, is an evergreen trailing plant that is suitable for container displays all year round. It produces little yellow flowers as well as gorgeous lime green leaves, so grow it for both. It is a wonderful background plant to highlight your blooms.

Creeping Jenny does best in full sun but can tolerate light shade. Depending on how much light the plant receives, the leaves will have a distinct color: golden yellow in full sun and chartreuse green in partial shade. Either way, this creeper contrasts beautifully with dark green foliage and vividly colorful blooms.

This fast-growing plant is easy to cultivate and can quickly take over your flowerbeds. Consider growing it in pots, where it can develop into a sweeping beauty that drapes over the edges without crowding out other plants in your yard

healthy creeping jenny trailing plant

3. Wave Petunia

The wave petunia is the queen of hanging baskets and a beautiful trailing plant. It produces an abundance of gorgeous, big flowers throughout the summer. The wave petunia combines the petunia’s behavior with that of a trailing vine plant.

The blooms look like those of the original petunia and come in a variety of shades, including white, pink, red, purple, and yellow. These bloom continuously throughout the growing season and, unlike typical petunia blossoms, don’t need to be picked.

Wave petunias should be planted in wet, well-drained soil in full sun. Never let the soil get waterlogged; only keep it damp. When you initially plant them, feed the plants with an all-purpose fertilizer. After that, feed them every two weeks until the middle of the summer.

Because these plants will effectively produce what seems to be a gigantic ball of blooms, you will frequently see them in the hanging baskets that cities use to decorate their streets. Wave petunias often grow so thick that you won’t even be able to see the pot.

a flower arrangement of petunia flowers

4. Ivy Geranium

Most pelargonium species have broad, fleshy lobed leaves and flower umbels that are extended on stalks. Ivy geraniums, meanwhile, have stems that trail and cascade and may grow up to 5 feet long. Most ivy geraniums are planted as annuals. Their flowers come in all different hues of white, pink, and red.

In order to develop a healthy foliage color and flowers, the ivy geranium requires full light. In locations with hot summers, partial light might help plants survive, but four to six hours of direct sun a day are ideal for adequate blossoming.

Ivy geraniums are perfect for hanging baskets, window boxes, and other containers because of their trailing tendency.

a pretty arrangement of ivy geranium and red petunias

5. Sweet Potato Vine

Due to its huge leaves and vivid hues, the sweet potato vine is a preferred foliage trailing plant. Typically, the sweet potato vine has a brilliant lime green, nearly black, or very dark purple color. The leaves have either a palmate or a heart shape. By the end of the season, if your sweet potato vine is an edible type, it could also yield a sweet potato!

Although it thrives in the sun, the sweet potato vine can tolerate some shade. The plant will normally have a more intense leaf color the more sunlight it receives. During dry spells, water the vine once every week. A few inches below the surface, the soil should continue to be damp but not saturated.

Using a planter with a drainage hole will allow this beautiful vine to trail over the side while keeping the roots from decaying. 

green and healthy bush of sweet potato vine

6. Silver Nickel Vine

The creeping, trailing herbaceous perennial dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls,’ also known as the silver nickel vine, is indigenous to the desert areas of the United States and Mexico. Early in the summer, the plant develops small, inconspicuous blooms with a light yellow-green hue.

This hardy performer thrives in direct sunlight, although it can deal with some mild shade. Make sure the container will drain properly and provide rich, but light soil. The silver nickel vine favors a somewhat dry environment.

This trailing plant works best in window boxes, hanging baskets, containers, along rock walls, as groundcover, and as an accent plant in flower beds.

silver falls hanging plant

7. Black-eyed Susan Vine

A lesser known but nevertheless excellent trailing plant for hanging baskets and pots is the black-eyed susan, or thunbergia alata. Broad, rough-textured, ovate-shaped, brilliant yellow petals with black centers rise in daisy-like rays above the foliage.

Being from east Africa, it thrives in warm climates. Although it may tolerate some shade, the black-eyed susan blossom best in full sunlight. It thrives on soil with a pH about 6.8 that is not very rich but well-drained and aerated.

Because the flowers provide nectar, butterflies, bees, and other insects are drawn to them. Although it can climb, it will also be content to flow over the edge of containers. Larger pots are ideal because of the size of the blooms.

black eyed susan hanging plant
Leila Haynes
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