1. Wave Petunias
Yes, your mom probably grows them—but these flowers are all new for new gardeners. They're annuals that come in candy-coated shades—pink, purple, yellow, apricot, red, white, and stripes. Some spread out (use them to trail over the edges of containers) while some grow taller. These classic blooms are classified as "weatherproof," meaning they can handle large amounts of water splashed on them.
Another spreading plant, verbena is known for its "cascading" factor—whether trailing over containers, baskets, or retaining walls. Clusters of mini blooms typically come in white, pink, or purple. These blooms, which make a great accent plant, are a no-fail option for warm, dry conditions and do well in almost any pot.
3. Sweet Potato Vine
Purple and limey green are classic colors of this almost-can't-kill-it-trailing vine. Grow a few varieties of sweet potato vine together in a large pot to make an ornamental impact. As long as the plant is in well-drained soil, it'll do well in sun or shade. Also, because we know you're wondering, this vine does produce actual sweet potatoes. However, the quality is not suitable for eating.
There are loads of funky foliage combos of coleus—everything from plain green to wild reds. Plant several together, or use them as accents. Choose from numerous different varieties of this greenery, whether you're looking for shade-dwellers or sun-lovers. When frost threatens, pot this foliage for a houseplant in a sunny window until spring arrives. Then plant outdoors again!
You'd think these pretty blue-purple, fan-shape flowers would be high maintenance, but the truth is they love hanging out in baskets or window boxes in the sun. These pretty blooms are also self-cleaning, so there's no need to deadhead them to keep them healthy. The best part about scaevola? The only insect that the plant attracts is butterflies.