Plants for Pastel Colours in Containers

Delphiniums are freat in this colour scheme
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In this article, we will be talking about the best plants for pastel colours in containers. When we talk about pastel colours we think about romantic colours, a planting scheme where pinks, lilacs, peaches and light yellows are used throughout the container display. It produces a calming effect especially as you sit in the garden, admiring your own handiwork. We have talked about plants for cool colours and now we extend the range to cover pastel colours.

Delphiniums are freat in this colour scheme
Delphiniums are freat in this colour schem

The colours are easy on the eye and therefore sought after. The good news is that there is a wide range of plants to suit this scheme. The only major drawback is that a design made up of pastel colours can look bland, so to balance the pale tints you need to add paler tints and darker shades, such as bright pinks and dark crimsons. A small amount of white blooms will not go amiss, as they can lightly subdued pastel schemes.

You can also play with the vertical dimension by planting colourful climbers such as roses or clematises. You can add colour via the foliage by planting great looking plants such as Solenostemon and Spirea, for extra-long lasting colour.

What follows are my recommendations for pastel colours plants to use in the container garden:

ABUTILON x SUNTENSE (Indian Mallow)

Abutilon
Abutilon

This 4m tall shrub can act as a backdrop to a pastel colour themed container garden. This deciduous shrub has grey-green leaves that produces pale deep purple, bowl-shaped flowers that arrive in late spring to early summer. Grow it in a well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

ACHILLEA ‘Taygetea’

Achillea
Achillea

This plant w combines well with purples and dark pink flowers. This perennial provides subtle highlights to the pastel colour theme container garden. The perennial has feathery, grey-green leaves, which on top of small, yellow flowers are produced in summer. Grow this plant in a container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun, where it will grow up to 60cm in height.

AGASTACHE (Giant Hyssop) ‘Black Adder’

Agastache 'Black Adder'
Agastache ‘Black Adder’

This is a decorative perennial where spikes of fluffy, violet-purple flowers appear above thin, green leaves. The flowers appear in late summer to mid-autumn, where it can be used to contrast with white or warm shades, It grows up to 60cm in height when grown in a container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

ALLIUMS

Alliums provide purples for the pastel garden. What is noted is that they produce tall stems that are quite noticeable. Allium prefers to be grown in containers full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun. All of them has large, strap-like green leaves that quickly fade away after the flower appear.

Allium senescens
Allium senescens

Varieties to look out for include:

Allium cristophii (Star of Persia) that produces massive, heads of star-shaped, violet flowers that are produced in early summer. It grows up to 60cm in height. The bulb forms decorative seed heads that provide interest for a long period of time.

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ on the other hand produces taller flower spikes, up to 80cm in height and instead have small, purple flowers. The flower heads are followed by brown coloured seed heads.

Allium senescens has short stems, up to 60cm in height that are topped with spherical, purple-pink domed flower heads that last for many weeks. Look out subspecies ‘Glaucum’ for its pale lilac flowers.

ANDROSACE LANGUGINOSA (Woolly Rock Jasmine)

Androsace lanuginosa
Androsace lanuginosa

This is a short, 4 cm tall, trailing evergreen perennial that forms a low mat of silvery, grey-green oval, tapered leaves. It makes a beautiful edging perennial in containers, where clusters of small, lilac-pink flowers appear in midsummer. It prefers to be grown in well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

ANEMONE CORONARIA ‘De Caen Group’

Anemone coronaria
Anemone coronaria

If you going to use this corn do not use the red varieties, but instead the blue-purple varieties in your pastel colour scheme. In early spring, shallow bowl-shaped flowers are produced above divided, green leaves. Grow this 30cm tall bulb in a container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

ASTERS

Asters are colourful plants that flower from midsummer to mid-autumn. All of them have small, star-like flowers and small, green leaves. Asters prefer to be grown in container full of moisture-retentive, multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

Aster 'Coombe Fishacre'
Aster ‘Coombe Fishacre

Varieties to look out for include:

Aster ‘Coombe Fishacre’ which is a 90cm tall perennial that produces masses of small pale lilac flowers from late summer to mid-autumn.

Aster x Frikartii that produces blue or lilac star-shaped flowers with yellow centres that appear from midsummer to early autumn. This aster is slightly taller, reaching a height of up to 70cm.

Aster novi-belgii is a dwarf (30cm in height) perennial, where star-shaped blooms of pink, red, white, blue and purple are borne on leafy stems.

BILLARDIERA LONGIFLORA (Climbing Blueberry)

Billardiera
Billardiera

This is the first climber on the list. It is an evergreen twining climber that grows up to 2m in height, where it will act as a backdrop to any pastel coloured container scheme, where slender, bell-shaped, greenish-yellow flowers are produced in summer.

The flower may look spectacular but the purple fruits produced in autumn are better. Grow this climber in a large container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun. You will need to protect the plant from frosts in colder climates.

CAMELLIA X WILLIAMSII

Camelia x williamsii
Camelia x williamsii

Camellia is an excellent choice for a pastel coloured gardening scheme, as the flowers come in a wide range of pinks. The flowers appear in large number on this evergreen shrub amongst it dark, oval green leaves. The shrubs grow up to 5m in height and prefer being grown in a large container full of moisture-retentive, ericaceous compost in partial or full shade.

CAMPANULA LATIFOLIA (Bellflower)

Campanula latifolia
Campanula latifoli

This variety of campanula comes in two forms; a tall variety and a short variety. No matter which variety you chose the plant bears bell-shaped, nodding violet-blue flowers that last all summer long. Great when planted amongst other pastel coloured blooms. Grow this perennial that grows up to 1.2m tall in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

CAMPANULA PUNCTATA (Bell Flower)

Campanula punctata
Campanula punctata

This short, 30cm tall perennial produces pink, pendant blooms that provide elegance to any pastel coloured container scheme. Great with cool colours or purple blooms but not much so with warm colours. Grow it in a container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

CATANANCHE CAERULEA

Catananche caerulea
Catananche caerulea

This 60cm tall perennial produces tall, wiry stems on top of which blue or white, star-shaped bloom will sway in the breeze. The flowers appear above grey-green leaves. Grow this perennial in container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

CHAENOMOLES SPECIOSA

Chaenomeles speciosa
Chaenomeles speciosa

A 2.5m tall shrub that produces pink or peach coloured blooms in spring. It is a deciduous bush that produces long, oval-shaped, green leaves on thorny stems. Ideal when growing up walls when planted in a large container full of multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade. ‘Moerlocster’ is the more popular variety.

CLEMATIS

Clematis are great as part of a pastel colour scheme, which comes in many pastel shades. They can be either deciduous or evergreen and will flower at different times of the year.

The leaves can be either dark green and elongated, or the can be mid-green and oval-shaped, Clematis have to be grown in deep, large containers in well-drained, multipurpose compost. They prefer to be grown with their heads in the sun and their roots in partial shade.

Clematis 'Bees Jubilee'
Clematis ‘Bees Jubilee

Varieties to grow include:

Clematis alpine (Alpine Clematis) that produces blue, pink or white lantern-shaped flowers in spring. It is a deciduous variety of clematis and grows up to 3m in height, where it is best to train it up walls or pergolas.

Clematis. ‘Bees Jubilee’ produces pink flower in early summer with a darker pink stripe on each petal. Grow this 2.5m tall climber against a wall or fence.

Clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’ produces large cream flowers with green stripe down the centre of each petal. The flowers appear in early summer and once again in late summer where it can be used to decorate arches, walls or fences. It grows up to 2.5m in height.

CLETHRA ALNIFOLIA (Sweet Pepper Plant)

Clethra alnifolia
Clethra alnifolia

This shrub appear as a complementary backdrop to pastel-coloured plants and purples in a shady area. This bushy shrub grows up to 2.5m in height where slender spikes of small, fragrant, bell-shaped white blooms are produced in late summer over green, oval-shaped leaves. Grow this shrub in a very large container full of moisture-retentive ericaceous compost in partial shade.

CORNUS MAS ‘Aurea’

Cornus ma
Cornus ma

This deciduous shrub acts as a backdrop to dark pinks and purples. This 2m tall shrub produces golden yellow leaves whilst young and then turns lime-green in summer. In early spring, small, bright yellow flowers appear on bare branches. Grow this shrub in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

CROCUS VERNUS

Crocus vernus
Crocus vernus

This 12cm flowering bulb produces small cup-shaped lilac or purple flowers. It combines well with other pastel coloured flowers when planted in container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

CYCLAMEN COUM ‘Pewter Group’

Cyclamen coum
Cyclamen coum

This perennial is grown from autumn planted corms, where in winter to early spring, small, pink flowers with swept-back petals appear. The rounded dark green leaver often come with silver patterning and often appears at the same time as the flowers. Grow this corm in container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in partial shade, where the plant will reach heights of 8cm.

DAHLIA ‘Franz Kafka’

Pompon Dahlia
Pompon Dahlia

This plant is grown from spring-planted tubers that bear pink pompon-like flowers that have a honeycomb texture on stems above the large green leaves. The flowers appear from midsummer to early autumn, where tubers have to be dug up for storage before the first frosts hit. Many dahlias are suitable to be grown in a pastel-coloured scheme. Grow then in container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

DELPHINIUM ELATUM

Delphinium elatum
Delphinium elatum

Like for cool colours delphiniums can be used in pastel colour schemes, as instead, you use pastels blues, pinks and purples, in place of the whites. This upright perennial that grows up to 2m in height produces spikes of the colours previously mentioned, where the flowers appear in midsummer above deeply cut green leaves. Grow them in large containers in a well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

DIASCIA BARBERAE ‘Blackthorn Apricot’

Diascia barberae
Diascia barberae

This 25cm tall perennial that is often used as an annual produces spikes of pink large flowers above tapered, heart-shaped leaves from summer all the way to autumn. Grow this in containers full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

DIERAMA PULCHERRIMUM (Angel’s Fishing Rod)

Dierama pulcherrimum
Dierama pulcherrimum

This is an elegant corm that grows up to 1.5m in height. On arching stems dangling funnel-shaped, deep pink flowers emerge from a clump of narrow, strap-shaped, evergreen leaves. Grow it in moisture-retentive multipurpose compost in full sun.

DIPELTA FLORIBUNDA (Rosy Dipelta)

Dipelta floribunda
Dipelta floribunda

This large, deciduous shrub that grows up to 4m in height has lance-shaped, green leaves. In late spring to early summer, clusters of funnel-shaped, crummy white flower with orange-pink throats appear. Grow this shrub in a large container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

EREMURUS ROBUSTUS

Eremurus
Eremurus

This plant that is grown through tubers planted in spring, It produces 3m tall spikes of pale pink flowers and looks best when planted as groups in very large containers full of gritty, well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun. Such an impressive plant.

ERICA x DARLEYENSIS (Darley Dale Heath)

Erica x darleyensis
Erica x darleyensis

This dwarf, evergreen shrub that only grows up to 25cm in height is covered with urn-shaped, white or pink flowers from late winter to early spring. The flowers are borne on top of needle-like green leaves. Look out for ‘White Glow’, the most popular variety. Grow it in a container full of well-drained, ericaceous compost in full sun.

ERYNIGIUM x TRIPARTITUM (Sea Holly)

Eryngium
Eryngium

This tall perennial, growing up to 1.2m in height, has spiky grey-green leaves. From this tall, branched, blue stems appear that are topped with small, purple, cone-like flower heads which are surrounded by blue bracts. Makes an ideal partner to plants of pink and white hues. Grow it in a large container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

ESCALLONIA ‘Apple Blossom’

Escallona
Escallona

This 2.5m tall, bushy, evergreen shrub makes an excellent backdrop to your pastel colour scheme. It has glossy, spike-edged, dark green leaves that are covered with small, tubular, pink and white flowers from summer to early autumn. This plant will complement any cool or pastel looks. Grow it in a large container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

FUCHSIA MAGELLANICA Var. MOLINAE

Fuchsia magellanica
Fuchsia magellanica

This 2m tall shrub will make an ideal specimen at the back of container display. This deciduous shrub has lance-shaped leaves, from which pendant, pale pink, bell-shaped flowers appear from summer to early autumn. Grow this beauty in well in a large container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

GAURA LINDHEIMERI

Gaura lindheimeri
Gaura lindheimeri

This tall (growing up to 1.5m in height), upright perennial has small, lance-shaped, green leaves. On wand-like stems, starry butterfly-shaped, plain white flowers appear throughout the summer months. As you can see through the stems then this plant makes ideal plants at the front of container displays. Grow this perennial in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

GERANIUM SYLVATICUM (Wood Cranesbill)

Geranium sylvaticum_
Geranium sylvaticum_

This clump-forming perennial is an excellent around other pastel coloured plants. This 75cm tall plant has lobed, green leaves and from late spring to early summer, blue-purple, saucer-shaped flowers with white centres appear. Grow this perennial in a container full of moisture-retentive, multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

GLADIOLUS ‘Passos’

Gladoli
Gladoli

This 1.2m tall bulb produces a pale purple flower spikes with red centres in summer. The spikes emerge from sword-like foliage and for continual flowering, it is best to plant the bulbs at two-week intervals to get a better display. Grow this bulb in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

HELLEBORUS PURPURASCENS (Lenten Rose)

Helleborous purpurascens
Helleborous purpurascen

You can grow this perennial with bulbs like yellow or white daffodils that flower at the same time in early spring. This 30cm tall clump-forming perennial has dark green, divided leaves and from which small, nodding, deep purple, cup-shaped flowers appear. Grow this perennial in a container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in partial shade.

HEMEROCALLIS (Day Lily) ‘Arctic Snow’

Hemerocallis 'Arctic Snow'
Hemerocallis ‘Arctic Snow’

This 55cm tall, deciduous perennial has arching strap-like, green leaves that will act as a foil for other plants that flowers at the same time, From these green leaves, stems of large cream flowers with pale yellow margins appear from summer to early autumn, where each bloom last a day.

An alternative is H. ‘Dan Mahony’ that produces large trumpet-shaped, pink flowers with darker centres that appear over the summer months.

Grow this perennial in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

HEUCHERA ‘Plum Pudding’

Heuchera 'Plum Pudding'
Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding

This 50cm tall stunning, leafy, evergreen perennial has a mass of rounded, lobed and veined, deep purple leaves. The leaves themselves will match plants with pink, cream and pale yellow flowers in the container garden. In summer, small, white flowers are produced but the leaves are the main talking point. Grow it in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade,

HYDRANGEA ASPERA ‘Villosa Group’

Hydrangea aspera
Hydrangea aspera

A large, 3m tall upright, deciduous shrub that looks great when partnered with other pale hues perennials. This shrub has large, velvety leaves and from late summer, small mauve flower clusters appear that are surrounded by paler blooms. Grow this beauty in a large container full of well-drained or moisture-retentive, multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

HYSSOPUS OFFICINALIS (Hyssop)

Hyssop
Hyssop

This 60cm tall, upright perennial herb has its uses in pastel coloured container schemes. It has aromatic, lance-shaped leaves that are aniseed smelling, On top of these leaves spike of fluffy, lavender-blue flowers appear in summer. The flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies when grown in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

IRIS (Bearded Iris) ‘Harriette Halloway’

Bearded Iris
Bearded Iris

This 70cm tall Iris has sword-like leaves that bring elegance to the front of a container garden. From the leaves in summer, pale blue flowers with yellow centres appear. Ideal to be grown near a path. Plant the rhizomes half the way above the well-drained, multipurpose compost in a large container in full sun. The rhizomes should be half in the compost and half exposed to the air.

LAMPROCAPNOS SPECTABILIS SYN. DICENTRA SPECTABILIS (Bleeding Heart)

Lamprocapnos spectabilis
Lamprocapnos spectabilis

This 1m tall perennial has fern-like, mid-green leaves where long, arching stems that bear heart-shaped, red or white flowers from mid to late spring.

It makes an excellent companion plant for early flowering geraniums. Grow this perennial in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

LATHYRUS ODORATUS (Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus odoratus
Lathyrus odoratus

People often forget to add height to container schemes, and sweet peas is one of the colourful best. You can grow this annual climber, growing up to 3m in height, on a good tripod support or against a wall. This climber produces flowers that come in shades of pink, blue, purple or white from summer to early autumn. You can plant seeds indoor in autumn or you can plant them directly in spring in deep containers full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

LIATRIS SPICATA (Gayfeather)

Liatris spicata
Liatris spicata

This 1.5m tall, upright perennial produces clumps of linear green leaves. From these clumps poker-like spikes of fluffy pink-purple or white flowers appear in summer to early autumn, Kobold’ is the variety to grow.

Grow this beautiful perennial in a large container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

MALVA MOSCHATA (Musk Mallow)

Malva moschata
Malva moschata

This 1m tall perennial has heart-shaped basal leaves, from which tall spikes of pale pink, saucer-shaped flowers appear in profusion.The flowers appear from summer to early autumn, when planted in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

NARCISSUS (Daffodil) ‘Canaliculatus’

Narcissus
Narcissus ‘Canaliculatus’

This bulb makes a good partner to other daffodils of pale yellow colour or purple hellebores. This 23cm bulb produces masses of grass-like green leaves from which clusters of small, fragrant flowers with white petals and yellow caps appear. It flowers from early to mid-spring when grown in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in partial shade.

NEMOPHILA MENZIESII (Baby Blue Eyes)

Nemophila menziesi
Nemophila menziesi

This annual has serrated, grey-green leaves and produces blue, saucer-shaped, white-centred flower in summer. You can use it as an edging plant, where it can be combined with taller plants of pastel hues. Grow this 20cm tall plant in a container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

NERINE BOWDENII (Bowden Cornish Lily)

Nerine bowdenii
Nerine bowdenii

This perennial bulb will decorate ant formal container design. It first produces slims 60cm tall stems that are topped with spidery, pink flowers, which are followed by strap-like green leaves.

Grow this bulb in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

NIGELLA DAMASCENA (Love in a Mist)

Nigella damascena
Nigella damascena

Sow the seeds of this annual in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun. Once the plants emerge it will produce heavily feathered leaves and on top of which white, lavender purple, rose and blue, saucer-shaped flower appear in summer. Each flower has a ‘ruff’ of spidery leaves around them. The flowers are followed by large seed. The plant can grow up to 45cm in height

OENOTHERA SPECIOSA (Pink Evening Primrose)

Oenothera speciosa
Oenothera speciosa

This perennial is ideal in front of container displays, where the divide, green leaves and fragrant, pink-white flowers will provide interest from late to early summer. Ideal to be grown alongside Nemophiliia and Geraniums. Grow this 30cm tall plant in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

PAEONIA LACTIFLORA (POENY)

Paeonia lactiflora
Paeonia lactiflora

This is a must for all pastel coloured theme, where this perennial produces red, mottled stems full of dark green, divided leaves. Single or double, bowl-shaped, fragrant, white to pale pink flower with yellow centres appear on top of stems in early to mid-summer. It grows up to 70cm in height.

An alternative is the much taller Paeonia suffruticosa (Tree Peony) that grows up to 2m in height it too produces single or double blooms of pink but appears much earlier in the season in late spring.

Grow peonies in a large container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

PAPAVER ORIENTALE (Oriental Poppy) ‘Patty’s Plum’

Papaver 'Patty's Plum'
Papaver ‘Patty’s Plum

This perennial will contrast well with creams and pale yellows in the pastel colour scheme. This 90cm tall perennial has large green leaves from which large fluffed darkly purple summer flowers. The flowers are followed by attractive seed heads but it will require the tall stems to be stalked. Grow it in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

PERSICARIA BISTORTA

Persicaria bisorta
Persicaria bisorta

This 75cm tall clump-forming perennial that has a mat of oval, green leaves. From top of these spikes of soft pink brush-like flowers appear from early to late summer. This plant goes well with other purples, whites and dark pink flowers in containers.

Grow this perennial in a moisture-retentive multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

PELARGONIUM (Scented-leaved Pelargonium) ‘Lady Plymouth’

Pelargonium 'Lady Plymouth'
Pelargonium ‘Lady Plymouth’

This 45cm tall perennial is often grown as an annual, it had silvery margined, lobed, green leaves from which clusters of lavender-pink flowers appear in summer. The plant is heavily scented of eucalyptus. Grow it in a container full of well of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun,

PENSTEMON ‘Evelyn’

Penstemon
Penstemon

This 45 cm tall, compact, semi-evergreen perennial that has narrow, green leaves and masses of slim, tubular, rose-pink flowers that appear from summer to early autumn. This plant will make a colourful addition to any pastel container display. Grow it in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun, the plant will need to be protected in winter and so an addition of a dry mulch around the plant should protect it.

PETUNIA ‘Pastel Mix’

Petunia
Petunia

This perennial, often grown as an annual, is a great addition and source of pastel colours for the container garden that follows a colour theme. The 25cm tall plant produces colours from white, blue, purple over long, oval leaves. You will need to deadhead regularly to ensure the plant will continue to produce blooms throughout the summer months. Grow it in a container in groups in well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

PHLOMIS RUSSELIANA

Phlomis russeliana
Phlomis russeliana

This 1m tall perennial provides interest all season long. It had large, rough-textured, heart-shaped leaves and unusual looking very pale yellow, hooded flowers that appear at set intervals up the tall stems. The flowers turn into attractive seed heads that provide interest all winter long.

Grow this attractive perennial in a large container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

PHORMIUM ‘Evening Glow’

Phormium
Phormium

This leafy perennial comes in a range of pinks and purples, where the evergreen leaves provide a focal point in a pastel-coloured container garden. It is a great plant to use as it complements other pastel coloured plants. Grow it in a large container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun, where it will grow up to 75cm in height.

PHYGELIUS AEQUALIS

Phygelius aequalis
Phygelius aequalis

This is a 1m tall shrub that has tiny, green leaves which are insignificant but this is not the reason why to grow this shrub. It is grown for its tall stems of pendent, tubular, light pink or light yellow flowers that are seen in summer. Frost can be problematic in winter where the hard cold can damage stems. All you need to do is cut damage stems to the ground in spring and allow new shoots to form. Grow this shrub in a sheltered site in a container full of well-drained, multipurpose compost in full sun.

PRIMULA DENTICULATA

Primula denticulata
Primula denticulata

This 45cm tall perennial produces a rosette of green, toothed leaves. In mid-spring to summer, spherical clusters of white or purple flower with yellow centres appear. Grow this perennial in a container full of moisture-retentive multipurpose compost in partial shade.

PRIMULA VIALII (Orchid Primrose)

Primula vialli
Primula vialli

This 60cm tall, clump-forming perennial produces rosettes of oval, green leaves, On top of these a cone shape of purple and red flowers are borne on sturdy stems. Grow this perennial in a container full of moisture-retentive multipurpose compost in full sun or partial shade.

PULMONARIA SACCHARATA (Bethlehem Sage)

Pulmonaria saccharata
Pulmonaria saccharata

This clump-forming, semi-evergreen perennial has white-spotted, blue-green leaves from which blue-purple, funnel-shaped flowers appear in spring. The perennial suits being planted with daffodils and Dutch irises in pastel coloured scheme. Grow this 30cm tall perennial in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in partial or full shade.

ROSA (Rose)

Roses tend to come in a large array of pastel colours. They not only add colour but also height to pastel colour schemes, where they can contrast purple and dark pinks well.

When growing rose you have to use a large container full of well-drained, enriched multipurpose compost in full sun to do well.

R. ‘Albertine’ is a rambler, rose that has dark green leaves with fully, double salmon-pink flower that appears in a single flush in summer. Train it up walls or pergolas.

Rosa 'Buffy Beauty'
Rosa ‘Buffy Beauty’

R. ‘Buff Beauty’ produces clusters of small, fragrant, semi-double, apricot- yellow flowers from summer to autumn.

R. ‘Climbing Lady Hillingdon’ is a vigorous climbing hybrid tea rose that produces fragrant, apricot coloured flowers.

Rosa glauca ‘Blue Leaved Rose’ on the other hand, produce rose-pink flowers with white centres and yellow stamens. It is one rose that the flower is not the only interesting feature as the stems are red and the leaves are bluish-green, which makes this rose the perfect pastel theme plant.

SALVIA FARINACEA (Mealy Sage)

Salvia farinacea
Salvia farinacea

This 60cm tall, upright perennial that is often grown as an annual, can be used in containers with other pinks, lavender and creams. It produces spikes of small, purple-blue flower that appear over a long period of time over the summer and early autumn. To do so it must be deadheaded often.

Grow this perennial in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

SEDUM ERYTHROSTICTUM (Stonecrop)

Sedum erythrostictum
Sedum erythrostictum

This 3cm tall clump-forming perennial has fleshy, green leaves and in early autumn, starry green-white flowers appear. For a great variety use S. ‘ Mediovariegatum’ that has cream-coloured variegated leaves.

Grow this plant in a container full of gritty, multipurpose compost in full sun.

SIDERLEA MALVIFLORA (Checkerbloom)

Sidalcea malviflora
Sidalcea malviflora

This 90cm tall perennial produces kidney-shaped, green basal leaves. In summer, tall stems of pink or lilac-pink, funnel-shaped flowers appear. This plant combines well with geraniums and achilleas, Grow this informal style plant in a container full of well-drained, ericaceous compost in full sun.

STACHYURUS PRAECOX

Stachyurus praecox
Stachyurus praecox

This large tall shrub grows up to 4m in height, where from later winter to early spring pale green-yellow, bell-shaped flowers appear before the leaves are seen. This deciduous shrub has slim, tapered, dark green leaves that unfurl in spring. Grow this shrub in a large container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

STOKESIA LAEVIS (Stoke’s Aster)

Stokesia laevis
Stokesia laevis

This evergreen perennial has mid-green leaves and on top of short stems lavender or purple-blue, corn-like flower appear from midsummer to mid-autumn. Grow it in a container full of well-drained ericaceous compost in full sun.

SYRINGA x PERSICA (Persian Lilac)

Syringa
Syringa

This compact 2m tall, bushy shrub that infuse the air with scent from its small, purple flowers that appear in dense clusters in late spring. The flowers appear upon lance-shaped, green leaves when grown in a large container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

THALICTRUM AQUILEGIIFOLIUM (Meadow Rue)

Thalictrum aquilegiifolium
Thalictrum aquilegiifolium

This is a useful perennial to have on shady and moist areas. This 1.2m tall perennial has finely-divided, grey-green leaves and produces tall stems of clusters of cherry-lilac-purple flowers in summer. It is ideal for pastel coloured plants. Grow this attractive plant in moisture-retentive multipurpose compost in partial shade. Attractive seed head appear in autumn that adds to its appeal.

TULIPA

A pastel garden will not be complete without tulips mad there are many shades that are available for the gardener. Tulips look their best if they are planted in groups in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun. It is best to plant the bulbs in November.

T. ‘China Park’ bears rosy-pink lily-like blooms in late spring emerges from grey-green leaves, whilst other varieties this species offer a spectrum of pastel colours that appear from mid to late spring.

Tulipa
Tulipa

T. ‘Negrita’ is a dark purple-pink variety that flowers in mid-spring. It combines well with pale pink and cream varieties to fill a container display.

T. ‘Menton’ is a tulip that grows up to 60cm in height and has elegant, cup-shaped flowers that look rose pink in the shade but will vary up to soft apricot in full sun.

VERONICA SPICATA

Veronica spicata
Veronica spicata

This 1.2m tall perennial has slim, lance-shaped, green leaves and from this upright spikes of blue, pink, white or purple, star-shaped flower appear in summer. Purple and pink varieties are the most suitable for pastel colour schemes. Grow this elegant plant in a container full of well-drained multipurpose compost in full sun.

VERONICASTRUM VIRGINICUM (Culver’s Root)

Veronicastrum virginicum
Veronicastrum virginicum

This 1.2m tall, upright perennial produces slender spikes of small, star-shaped, white blue or pink flowers on tall, leafy stems. This tall plant can be grown at the back of container displays in containers full of well-drained or moisture-retentive multipurpose compose in full sun or partial shade.

CONCLUSIONS

In this article, we have talked about the plants that can be used to give pastel colours in containers. As you can see there are a large number of plants that can be used to give the peaches, pinks, purples and yellows that gardeners often desire.

A desired colour scheme means a large number of plant, as your selection is not limited to say few, but with careful planning you can have a beautiful looking pastel coloured theme for spring, summer and beyond. The plants shown have many forms, heights, point of interest that you will struggle to narrow it down.

If you have any questions or comments that you wish to make, please do so in the comment box below.

Please keep it pastel.


6 thoughts on “Plants for Pastel Colours in Containers”

  1. What excellent information and the plants that you picked really do add value and color. It was a refreshing read for me. I have a horticulture degree that I haven’t used in years so it was nice to be reminded of the genus and species names. I’m a particular fan of the asters, bell flowers and oriental poppies. All of them were a great selection. A very interesting read. Thank you for the information, I really enjoyed it all! 

    1. Hi Randi

      It is great to take you down memory lane and I hope you had pleasant flashbacks. I try to bring as much choice and variety to people, so you are not boxed in to one type of plant and can mix or match to your own preference. It also leads you to incorporate  other aspects of container gardening for roof gardens and exposed sites. If you struggle you can go through my website to come up with a colour scheme that meets other design criteria.

      Thanks

      Antonio 

  2. You really do a great job of educating about each plant, and I really appreciate your classification into color schemes.  It’s always fun to change colors with the seasons and I know that here in the southern U.S. we definitely enjoy pastels especially around spring time so its fun to add a pastel section. The crocus vernus is definitely something I’d like to try and grow. 

    1. Hi John

      it is great that I can help you to  come up and help you with your container display. This article was written to help you come up with  colourful displays from spring to autumn  so your garden will never look bland.

      Thanks

      Antonio 

  3. I love the purple colors of the Giant Hyssop and Alliums and have been wanting to find ways to feature them more. It’s going to be challenging to find a place with full sun in my area, so I guess I need to choose something other than the Alliums since that is what they thrive best in. 

    I love the detail you’ve provided — do you have a handy list of which plants work best for different lighting? I need to design groupings for partial-sun and shaded areas in order to get the best results.

    1. Hi Aly

      I am very fond of Alliums and have a lot in my garden. Yes in fact I have written articles on plants that can be grown in full sun  that can be found on my website and I have written articles on plants that can be grow  in shade, so if you search for these you will find what plants can be grown. You can cross reference my article so if you want a colour  scheme in a city garden then you can. You can let your imagination  run wild. 

      Thanks

      Antonio 

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