17 Delicious Edible Plants For Your Patio Planters
Each year when we look out over our patio at the end of a cold and long northeast winter we always ask ourselves the same question; "what plants should we put on the patio this year?" This space is so valuable. It's the most relaxing place to unwind and relax on a warm summer night. Enjoying a hot cup of coffee as the sun comes up while surrounded by stunning foliage and relaxing subtle smells is an excellent way to start any day. So, we decided to kick it up a notch. Instead of just planting our pots with the typical great plants, we added the most colorful and vibrant edibles we could find.
~ General Requirements ~
First things first. Before you begin, you will need to know a few basic things.
- Sun, shade, both? It's important to know what your lighting is. Certain plants like lettuce can do better with a little less sun and some cooler areas while tomatoes or basil like it hot and sunny all the time.
- Plant pot size - If you are thinking about root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, it's pretty essential to have deep pots so they can grow down. Plants like herbs and mints don't need the depth, but the pot width should be adequate.
- Good Soil - It is super important to have good soil. Edible plants do best in soil rich in material rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
17 Edible Plants For Your Patio Plant Pots
This list we have created was not just focused on the idea of having edible plants. We have carefully thought and planned out plants that will provide the benefits of being edible while also adding a great look. This list is designed to help you establish color, style, depth & height, and function to your planters and pots.
**Remember to use a healthy organic fertilizer. Our recommendations below:
1. Purple Basil - Color is critical to planters and pots. Purple basil has a deep vibrant coppery glow. This basil grows fast and up to two feet high. It can be an excellent centerpiece for a large pot. Pick leaves at any point for a Capri salad or any fresh Italian dish.
2. Indian Mint - One of the best looks on a tall pot is a plant trailing or growing down the side. Indian mint achieves this look as well as smelling great, and its leaves are delicious in teas and other drinks. This plant can trail up to 60" so feel free to plant in your tallest pots.
3. Cherry Tomatoes - This plant has it all. In addition to having great height, an abundance of small flowers, and a distinctive smell; it also produces super sweet delicious tomatoes. Give it full sun whenever possible as well as a tall tomato cage to keep the plant upright as it grows.
4. Blueberries – Blueberries are an impressive centerpiece for your patio. You can plant blueberries in a tall pot and trim to 6 feet tall. This resilient perennial produces white flowers in early summer which turn into giant hanging branches of delicious blueberries in mid-late summer.
5. Lemon balm – Lemon Balm is a lush green plant that is known for its healing properties. It is an excellent plant for adding a lemony flavor to stews soups and foods near the end of the cooking process. Lemon balm has a thick green look and grows up to 2 feet tall. A hearty plant that does well with hard cutbacks, so use it as a liberally as you see fit.
6. Strawberries - A perennial vine that works great in a long rectangular planter, ample wide pots, or hanging baskets. Strawberries grow heartier every year and have jagged green leaves, white flowers, and amazing red fruit. Be careful planting with too many other plants as over the years strawberries can take over.
7. Red Lettuce - There are many varieties of Red Lettuce. Red Sails, Ruby Gem, and Red Deer Tongue are three of the most popular types. Lettuce can grow in tall impressive plumes and has the ability to continue growing after being cut. Red lettuce usually grows in fairly tight clumps and is excellent around the border of other plants. This strategy also allows for the lettuce to have occasional shade from a larger plant which helps the leaves not wilt in the sun.
8. Chives - Chives have bright vigorous shoots that head straight up in early spring. Highlighted by purple flowers, this is one of the most resilient hardy plants you can grow. Chives are perennials and will come back every year so be sure to plant them in a pot location you'll use year after year. A fresh mild onion flavor makes this plant perfect as a garnish and boost of zesty flavor on soups, pasta, and roasted vegetables.
9. Sweet Peppers - One of our favorite things about sweet peppers is the length of time the vegetable stays on the plant. Its a great splash of color, and you can watch it grow and mature daily. Sweet peppers grow surprisingly well in pots, and the height keeps many small pests that usually bother them away. There are many varieties and colors available, so you'll be able to pick the one best for you palette.
10. Rosemary - Rosemary is the first of the big four (Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Parsley). This herb is hearty and has a unique spindly look. It will grow in a small space and is perfect as an accent plant in any size pot. Use it in some melted butter as a finishing sauce on your favorite protein.
11. Sage - The aforementioned herb sage is also an excellent plant as an accent piece in a pot. Sage has a soft and delicate look and feel and is excellent on poultry and roasted vegetables.
12. Thyme - Thyme is a tall herb that has tiny green leaves. This subtle herb is used to balance out a dish. Fantastic on Mediterranean dishes or seafood. Thyme likes sunlight and plenty of water to keep the small leaves from drying.
13. Parsley - The last of the favorite seasoning mix of Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme. Having all four of these herbs in your garden will provide you with the magic and delicious blend that has been used in cooking for generations. If you can make your patio herbs last until Thanksgiving, you will have the perfect herb mixture for the holiday. Parsley is most popular with a curly leaf or as a flat leaf Italian style. We love the delicate look of the curly leaf parsley in patio plant pots.
14. Cucumbers - Have a container that you'd like to trellis? Cucumbers are an excellent vine vegetable that you can create some great height with on your patio. The ultimate addition to a salad and big beautiful flowers before the cucumber begins to grow and shape.
15. Collard Greens - Collard greens are great for a giant dark green leaf look. Often edible plants have a smaller leaf and more stems. This characteristic is not the case for collard greens. Plant in full sun and water frequently and watch the thick dark leaves grow. Rich in vitamins, collards are great in soup or as a simmered side at a summer barbeque.
16. Beets - Rich purple stems and dark green leaves highlight this hearty root vegetable. As an added bonus, every part of a beet is edible. Use the greens in salads and roast the bulbs with some of the savory herbs mentioned above. Be sure to plant beets in a deeper pot as they grow down several inches and require lots of nutrients.
17. Sugar Snap Peas - I don't know a single person who can walk past a bunch of sugar snap peas and not grab one. This tasty treat is perfect for snacking on the patio. You'll want to provide them with a way to grow up, and trellis as this vibrant green plant loves to climb.
We sure hope this gets you started on the most amazing edible patio plant pots. It sure seems nice to be able to walk outside and grab some fresh lettuce and cucumbers for a delicious salad or combine some newly cut herbs for a seasoning mix. Having these edible plants right outside on a patio provides not only beauty but also a season of usefulness and sustainability. Ready to get your patio plants started? Here are some of our favorite plant pots for vegetables and edibles:
For more, check out this terrific post for more great tips for successful growing: