Well, it's just past Memorial Day and we're working up to the 4th of July (in the USA, at least) ... I am looking for recommendations on a set of three complementary varieties in Red, White and Blue to plant in a medium-sized round pot (about 15" wide). The site gets full sun in the morning, and stays hot all day during the summer with reflected light/heat from the buildings across the street. I've no real preference, just that I don't want a huge shrub.

I'm hoping for something like this (not necessarily these exact flowers, though):


I found this site that offers the following suggestions, but it is not clear to me how to pick a species that will thrive in my environment and with my gardening skill level:

Red Geranium Combination

Red geraniums are a great centerpiece for a fourth of July potted container because geraniums are a floral choice that keeps giving and giving. Geraniums, when deadheaded, can continue to bloom and bloom all summer long. Pair this flower with white alyssum with will drape over the side of your pot and also flower all summer, and purple or red salvia plants which add their own pop of color without dominating the combination.

Red Celosia

For a unique and interesting red flower, try Red Celosia, which slightly resembles the seeded head of bushy ornamental grass. These plumes should be planted at the center or towards the back of the container because they can grow from two to three feet in height under the right conditions. Pair these with blue lobelia, which produces masses of tiny flowers that drape when planted near the edges of the pot and Silver Dusters, which are shorter than celosia and have a great white color.

Red Petunias

Red Petunias come in several different varieties, and each is a great base for your patriotic potted combination. If you opt for tall, traditional petunias, they should be the centerpiece. Wave petunias are long growers and will drape themselves over the side and down the length of pots. Pair red petunias with white snapdragons, which push up tall spikes and flowers along the stem and blue bachelor’s buttons.

  • Where in the US are you?
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 19:07
  • @jmusser I live in Philadelphia; actually in the city, so this is pretty much my "garden" :)
    – cslstr
    Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 19:14
  • I'm in Lancaster county, so we're very similar. I can't post a good answer from my mobile, so I'll be back later.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


It's hard to find a good blue flower that lasts all season, but here is a good combination, requiring very similar conditions:

The Celosia is tall, so it can take the center. The Begonia is shorter and can circle the Celosia, and the petunia can drape over the edge.

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  • that petunia - is it really blue like that? Never seen it myself, but any I buy here which are sold as 'blue' are actually purple, though you'd think they were blue if you looked at the picture on the ticket with them. Be good to know of a properly blue one... I ended up using Lobelia 'Sapphire' for blue in our Jubilee year.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 11:43
  • @bamboo it does have a tinge of purple which doesn't show in the pic, but can pass as blue. Lobelia is great, but get taller, so it could be for a different combo.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 14:02
  • @jmusser This looks like a nice combination. Now just have to find a spot that carries them nearby. Any recommendations between you and me, maybe near West Chester/Exton area?
    – cslstr
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 22:40
  • Another option for the blue flower might be borage (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borage).
    – Fondor1
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 18:31
  • @Fondor1 Good suggestion, but it would eventually outgrow the 15" pot. Also, the flowers aren't quite so eye-catching.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 20:13

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