20 Tough Outdoor Plants That Thrive in Pots: The Indestructible Edition

What qualities do we expect when we talk about indestructible outdoor plants? A beautiful hardiness, ideally at least down to -15°C. Good resistance to drought, heat waves and climatic variations. A certain insensitivity to diseases, parasites but also to pollution. Tolerance to almost all exposures and almost all types of soil. And if in addition, they require little maintenance and adapt to a pot culture… then they can only be included in our (non-exhaustive) selection of 20 plants in indestructible outdoor pots!

All-round succulents In addition

to their common propensity to resist the lack of water beyond the thinkable and their ability to live their lives without asking anything (or almost), certain plants belonging to this vast and prestigious family combine the assets by being less concerning the level of the ground, the exposure or even the climate. Their only enemy of all, stagnant water, the one that infiltrates en masse up to the feet and settles there permanently. Nothing that won’t be resolved by a drilled plant pot, in a rather porous material such as terracotta or stone, a light potting soil mixed with sand placed on a draining layer of gravel or clay pebbles, watering (very) moderate and a systematic emptying of any saucers.

Our selection of succulents grown in pots outside and which will be indestructible

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) whose pile of fleshy leaves in rosettes make them look like lovely artichokes. They exist in all kinds of greens, but also in pink, garnet or even purple and offer a bloom in yellow, orange, pink or red stars. Evergreen and ground-covering perennials, they prefer full sun but do well in shade. They are resistant to drought and temperatures of -29°C. They grow everywhere in almost nothing… The stonecrop (Sedum) whose aesthetics you will choose according to your tastes. And the choice is wide! Creeping or erect habit, flattened or cylindrical leaves, alternate or nested, golden, soft green, bluish grey, garnet… sometimes all this over the seasons. The late summer flowering, white, yellow, pink more or less sustained is always generous, always nectariferous.

Most stonecrops are persistent and behave just as well in heat waves as in extreme cold (hardy at -15°C or even -20°C depending on the variety). They prefer full sun but navigate low to high temperatures with no problem. For monumental pots, choose from the many varieties of hardy agaves. Agave havardiana (-23°C), neomexicana (-22°C), ovatifolia and montana (-20°C), huachucensis (-18°C) or even the dwarf stricta ‘Nana’ (-15°C)… all will offer a silhouette of character, often frighteningly thorny, in inimitable shades of green! The secret of their longevity, drainage and an absence of cold humidity at the foot (place your pots sheltered from freezing rain and mulch). Other than that, nothing will scare them!

Persistent aromatics

and super resistant All aromatic plants have the reputation of being resistant and rather easy to maintain. But some do not stop accumulating the advantages – resistant to cold, heat, drought, fragrant, melliferous, persistent and beautiful, beautiful, beautiful… We have devoted several articles to this large family, we have told how to plant seeds of aromatic plants and more specifically how to create an aromatic garden on your balcony. We return today to the aromatic plants to grow in pots outside and which will be particularly indestructible…

Our selection of evergreen aromatic plants


Grasses galore

Unmissable blooms