Gardening expert Helen Young unveils 18 potted plants for your garden.
By teaming stylish pots and planters with the right plants, you can easily transform an outdoor space into a lush oasis.
Our list of top-performing potted plants
is divided into sun-lovers and shade-lovers, chosen for their good looks as well as for being robust and easy to grow.
Whether you’re looking for plants for your balcony
, deck or backyard, with such a huge variety to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect potted plant to suit your space.
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Shade lover: Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) A very popular indoor plant, this glossy-leafed beauty thrives in a warm, bright spot out of direct sun. The white blooms are very long-lasting. Photo: Flower Power
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Shade lover: Fuchsia These are traditionally shade-lovers but the Sun Kisses range also takes full sun. They flower profusely throughout the year and will tolerate temperatures from -3˚C to 40˚C. Photo: Sprint Horticulture
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Shade lover: Silver lady fern (Blechnum Silver Lady) It’s the way the lush fronds are arranged in an orderly rosette that makes this fern stand out. Despite looking delicate, it’s quite tough. Photo: Flower Power
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Shade lover: Port wine magnolia (Michelia figo) A slow-growing yet very worthwhile large shrub. The dense, small leaves make an excellent screen, and the bubblegum perfume of its spring flowers is a bonus. Photo: Ramm Botanicals
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Shade lover: Flamingo flower (Anthurium) Like peace lilies, these prefer bright light without direct sun in a warm climate. The flowers last for months: use them as a table centrepiece or for splashes of colour. Photo: bauersyndication.com.au
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Shade lover: Golden cane palm (Dypsis lutescens) If you need a tall (to 10m), dense, screen, this clumping palm is a great choice. It’s lush and undemanding, although drying winds and hot sun can burn leaf tips. Photo: Flower Power
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Shade lover: Camellia (Camellia japonica) Dark, lustrous foliage is the perfect foil for large and beautiful winter flowers, in pink, red and white. Choose a smaller variety for pots. Photo: bauersyndication.com.au
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Shade lover: Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) Popular as a house plant in the 1960s for its handsome, large leaves and un-killable nature, this rainforest tree is enjoying a welcome comeback to garden designs everywhere. Tall and striking wherever it’s placed. Photo: Scott Hawkins / bauersyndication.com.au
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Shade lover: Zanzibar gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) This is the ultimate survivor, tolerating very low light and lack of water, which makes it a popular house plant and pots, artfully arranged, are a great way to inject personality. plant. Place it in a warm spot and enjoy the glossy, waxy leaves. Photo: Flower Power
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Sun lover: Geranium Big Red (Pelargonium x hortorum Big Red) The star performer among geraniums, with bold red flowers most of the year and terrific disease resistance. Photo: Flower Power.
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Sun lover: Chilean Jasmine (Mandevilla) Grow this long-flowering beauty as a climber or nip the tendrils for a soft, bushy effect. There are pink, white and crimson varieties, all with glossy leaves. Sprint Horticulture
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Sun lover: Imperial Bromeliad (Alcantarea imperialis) For wow factor, this bromeliad plant is unequalled, especially the Rubra and Silver Plum varieties. They can reach two metres across, so allow room. Photo: Flower Power
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Sun lover: Dwarf sacred bamboo (Nandina Gulf Stream, Flirt and Obsession) Great texture and colour combine with toughness in this foliage plant. The colour intensifies in cool weather. Photo: Flower Power
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Sun lover: Dwarf kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos Bush Gems series Bush Fantasy) Just one of many colours in this series, it’s bred for superior flowering and performance. Photo: Ramm Botanicals
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Sun lover: Dwarf Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea Bambino) Bougainvilleas soak up heat and sun, responding with displays of vivid colour. You can choose from a range of colours and heights. Photo: ACP Photographic / bauersyndication.com.au
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Sun lover: Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) Silvery leaves and exotic flowers make this a striking accent plant, yet it’s tough as nails. Suitable for hot, exposed and windy spots. Photo: Brent Wilson / bauersyndication.com.au
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Sun lover: Jade plant (Crassula ovate) A compact succulent with great form and pretty heads of pinky-white flowers. It practically thrives on neglect. Photo: Brent Wilson / bauersyndication.com.au