From snow to the blistering cold and drying winds, weather conditions in the Midwest make it a challenge for plants to survive. These plants are susceptible to frost injury, and it can be difficult to overwinter most species of plants. Often, gardeners need to think well in advance of what they would like to implement for their landscape designs.

Container gardens work well for Midwest gardens, as they allow gardeners to keep plants inside until the weather conditions have warmed and become more moderate. Because container-bound plants can easily be picked up and moved into a sunny corner of the home, they are much less likely to die from exposure or ice damage and can last for years on end.

1. Christmas Fern

The Christmas fern thrives during winter, making it a container species that actually doesn’t perform as poorly in cold weather. It prefers partial shade and produces beautiful dark green foliage that attracts both birds and butterflies.

2. Purple Poppy Mallow

This is also fondly referred to as the winecup flower, with its flowers taking on an appearance much like a brimming wine glass. Flowers open in the morning and close in the evening. Because this plant only requires small amounts of water, it can become easily waterlogged in the rainy season. Planting it in a container helps to alleviate this problem, as well as to create the ability to move it between various locations for optimal sun exposure.

3. Missouri Evening Primrose

This sunny yellow plant attracts hummingbirds and loves full, direct sunlight. Planted in a container, it likes a well-draining bottom and can grow up to ten inches in height. It is a showy plant that will likely become the centerpiece of your backyard entertainment spaces, producing four-leafed flowers that open in the evening and close in the morning.

4. Wild Stonecrop

This short, rock loving-succulent herb produces star-like flowers in branched clusters. It grows prolifically, forming white petals that creep along the ground and attracts bees and other pollinators. It blooms April to June and is best grown in a container so that it does not overwhelm other nearby plants.

5. White Trillium

White trillium is an easy-going whitish pink flower that will tolerate any level of sunlight as long as it has moist soils. It blooms from May to June and its whorled leaves and luminescent flowers attract all sorts of beneficial insects.

6. Cup Plant

Cup plants produce beautiful clasping leaves that support flowers all summer long. It prefers full sunlight but can tolerate any level of moisture, as long as it is planted in well-drained soils. This is a large pant, growing up to eight feet tall and three feet wide, but thrives in large containers.

7. Grayhead Coneflower

Grayhead coneflowers, very similar in appearance to the more prolific Black-Eyed Susan, flower from May to September and attract a myriad of pollinators, including most birds and butterflies. It tends to spread widely once planted, so containers offer a great alternative to total garden spread. As a native wildflower species, it prefers full to partial sunlight and can handle any level of soil moisture.

8. Dense Blazing Star

These bizarre flowers enjoy full sunlight and have a striking appearance that sets them apart from any other container species in the midwestern region. It forms a thin fuschia head with small bristles, growing up to six feet tall. It attracts hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and even moths, making it a must-add for next year’s container garden.

9. Celandine Poppy

The celandine poppy has a more delicate appearance, producing four pale orange-yellow flowers around a single stem. It enjoys partial shade and moist soils, making it a good option for the rainier, darker months in the midwest. It is known to attract chipmunks, so if you’re trying to avoid those on your property, make sure you place the containers far away from any spot that may become their new habitat.

10. Columbine

Columbine is a popular plant in many types of gardens around the United States, largely because it is so easy to grow. It also attracts a variety of birds to its pink, yellow, white, or blue flower petals. It prefers full sunlight but can grow up to two feet tall and wide, so it’s important to give it plenty of space to spread out.

This guest post is courtesy of

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