Stripes - Make Your Containers Fashionable

Lisha Utt
Frederick County Master Gardener

Spring has really and truly arrived…..are you thinking about planting your containers? Are you wondering what you can plant that’s different, new, snazzy? Well, think stripes! Stripes in the fashion world are timeless, always ‘in’ and now this great look is spilling over into the plant world with new striped varieties being introduced each year. In a container garden, striped flowers or foliage can add the perfect amount of pop. It can take your container from a ‘That’s pretty’ to a "Wow!"

So to make your container gardens fashion forward, here are 5 striped plants for you to try.

Carex oshimensis

‘Evergold’ is a mounding Japanese sedge with dark green leaves and a creamy yellow stripe down the center. It grows 8-12" tall and likes sun to part shade.

Because of its mounding growth habit, Carex ‘Evergold’ looks best planted in the front of the container where it can lean a little over the sides and its sunny stripes can be enjoyed.

This grass is also hardy for our area and can be transferred to your garden at the end of the season.

Pennisetum setaceum

‘Fireworks’ is an annual grass related to Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ but with a little more spark. While the ‘Rubrum’ has burgundy leaves, the ‘Fireworks’ has green leaves with pink stripes in varying shades. It is quite stunning.

It grows 24" to 30", usually on the shorter side of the range in a container, has an upright growth habit and enjoys the sun.

This grass deserves center stage in your container and should be planted in the back or center depending on how the pot will be viewed.


Especially the Superbells and Million Bells varieties, are the perfect plants for your containers.

They come in a myriad of colors and are easy to grow, no deadheading (removing spent blooms) required.

All they need is water and a little fertilizer every now and then. And you’ll just love these two striped varieties, Calibrachoa hybrid ‘Superbells Cherry Star’ and Calibrachoa hybrid ‘Superbells Lemon Slice’.

The ‘Cherry Star’ is medium pink flower with a thin yellow stripe and the ‘Lemon Slice’ has yellow and white stripes of equal size.

Sun lovers, both grow 6" to 10" tall and then spill over the sides.

They are perfect in a mixed container garden as a mid-level plant or a trailer.

They also look good on their own in hanging baskets.


‘Angel Mist Purple Stripe’ is a wonderful annual sometimes referred to as ‘summer snapdragon’ because of the shape of the flowers. Depending on the variety, angelonia can grow from 12" to 24".

They love the heat, prefer full sun and bloom all summer. They do not need to be deadheaded but do benefit from a mid-season trim if they have gotten leggy.

They come in white, pink, purple, lavender and this amazing variety is purple and white striped! The ‘Angel Mist Purple Stripe’ grows 14" to 16" and looks best in the back or center of your container.

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