9 Red, White, and Blue Container Designs for Independence Day

We don’t need an excuse to embellish flowering containers, but with Independence Day approaching, the opportunity presents itself to add a splash of red, white, and blue to arrangements. Whether a straightforward representation or a loose adaptation, this classic flowering color scheme celebrates the Fourth of July and the summer season with versatility. Join gardener Katherine Rowe in exploring adaptable displays to highlight Independence Day.

A close-up of a long white hanging container with several small American flags, a variety of flowering and trailing plants including white petunias, deep red geraniums, a Helichrysum Silver Plug plant and Hedera Helix.

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Whether celebrating the Fourth of July outside this year or adding a little pomp and circumstance to the entryway, festive red, white, and blue flowers add to the occasion. Gorgeous flowering options abound, as well as plants with exciting foliage and texture to vary the display.

Outside of the container planting designs, artful ways to incorporate the holiday’s colors include glazed or painted pots and themed accessories in the spirit of the Fourth. As gardeners, we may be partial to curating the flowers to convey the theme. Our patriotic selections are durable plants well-suited to container culture for floriferous displays on Independence Day and beyond.

Geranium, Scaevola, and Petunias

Close-up of a large clay pot with a large American flag, blooming white and purple-blue petunias, rich red geraniums and hanging flowering purple Scaevola plants.
Create a vibrant, patriotic display with geraniums, petunias, and fan flowers.

This classic combination conveys patriotic inspiration in a design that suits the entire season. With a vibrant upright anchor (the carmine geranium), mounding and spilling petunias, and trailing fan flower, the look is colorful and varied with contrasting leaf textures. 

Red geraniums are especially festive in summer arrangements. Their rounded bloom clusters and padded, scalloped leaves add vibrancy and texture to the display. For a strong performer, Geranium ‘Calliope Medium Dark Red’ is an All-America Selections winner with deep, velvety red blooms on sturdy stems atop dense, mounded foliage.

Scaevola, or fan flower, creates a trailing effect of whorling purple-blue blooms around leafy stems with attractive dark green leaves. Scaevola doesn’t require deadheading for continual flowering until frost. To change the look, opt for a bright white fan flower (though it’s hard to resist the blue hues).

The final complement to this arrangement is blue and white petunias. Petunias mound and trail, bringing “filler” and “spiller” together in a single selection. Color-saturated trumpet blooms line stems in spring through fall.

This planting trio flowers best in full sun and partial shade. In hot climates, plants enjoy the morning sun with protection from direct afternoon rays. All are heat and drought-resistant, though consistent moisture ensures the best vigor.

Verbena, Bacopa, and Lobelia

Close-up of a hanging container in a garden featuring a large American flag, red flowering Verbena plants, Bacopa plants with tiny white flowers tinged with pink, and delicate blue Lobelia flowers.
Craft a stunning container display with verbena as the star.

While sometimes an accent, verbena steals the show as the focal point of this design with clusters of red star-shaped flowers on the tips of trailing stems with dark green foliage. Their long bloom season, spreading habit, and easy care make verbena a prime container choice. Annual verbena is available in blue-purple (‘Superbena Cobalt’ and ‘Endurascape Blue’) and crisp white to add to the planting.

The sweet little flowers of bacopa and lobelia pepper the composition with contrasting colors. Bacopa trails with ivory, pink, or blue-lavender blooms with yellow centers. Look to ‘Stormcloud Blue’ bacopa for the faintest hint of blue to the white flowers.

Lobelia has a graceful, billowy habit in royal blue that mounds and gently spills over container edges. ‘Techno Heat Electric Blue’ withstands heat and produces a blanket of azure flowers with white centers.

Despite their pretty outward appearance, this group thrives in full sun to partial shade and are tough annuals. They tolerate heat and moderate dry spells, though, in containers, they’ll appreciate regular water.

Begonia, Tall Verbena, and Licorice Plant

Close-up of a white hanging pot in a sunny garden, adorned with American flags, rose-red begonias, tall Verbena plants with clusters of purple flowers, white petunias, and a climbing Licorice plant.
Design a vibrant, drought-tolerant container garden with begonias and verbena.

This loose red, white, and blue combination features wands of tall blue-purple verbena above showy red begonia, accented by the silvery spray of the licorice plant. White bacopa adds a fresh trailing complement. This is a rugged pairing: plants are exceptionally heat, sun, and drought-tolerant and grow in partial shade. They adapt to various soil types but require well-draining soils to thrive.

Begonias are easy-to-grow annuals with nonstop flowering and unique foliage. This selection of waxwing begonia has shiny, thick, grassy green leaves that contrast the fine foliage of the verbena and licorice plant. Begonias prefer partial shade in hot, sunny climates, especially in the afternoon. For a sun-ready begonia in southern climates, opt for a bronze-leaf selection like ‘Big Red.’

Tall verbena, Verbena bonariensis, is a tender perennial with slender stems and waving lavender bloom clusters. Hardy in zones 7-11, tall verbena quickly reaches three feet (and up to six feet in optimal conditions). This is a Royal Horticulture Society Award of Garden Merit recipient for its vigorous landscape performance and floriferous qualities. It’s so adaptable that the plant is invasive in parts of the West Coast and southeastern U.S., where it readily reseeds. In potted displays, deadhead spent blooms to promote flowering and prevent seeding.

The licorice plant creates a textural and colorful contrast in the arrangement. Its petite, silver-flocked leaves on spriggy stems bring a flare of light tones for a white effect. Plants have a slight licorice scent, most noticeable in summer heat. They spread and trail, providing low-growing interest in versatile growing situations. 

Fountain Grass, Petunia, and Sweet Potato Vine

"Close-up of a patriotic container featuring American flags, graceful Fountain Grass with green and purple foliage, delicate white and red petunias, and Sweet Potato Vines with purple and green ornamental foliage."
Enjoy a dazzling Fourth of July fireworks in your planter.

This planter looks like a fireworks display on the Fourth of July. Colorful fountain grass with airy plumes, bright red and white petunias, and contrasting sweet potato vines bring color and lushness. Here, purple fountain grass and dark sweet potato vine incorporate blue tones into the design.

Fountain grass brings plentiful “thriller” to potted displays with graceful, thin blades in rich tones. The summer plumes brighten the arrangement for added interest. Annual fountain grass like ‘Fireworks’ and ‘Cherry Sparkler’ offer vibrant red and pink tones among variegated green and white foliage. 

Sweet potato vine in lime green and deep purple selections lends tropical drama to the look. These vines complement so many planting combinations you can’t go wrong in adding them to cascade. ‘Blackie’ and ‘Sweet Caroline Sweetheart’ are stunning purple-black varieties with deeply lobed leaves. For our patriotic setup, they’ll serve as the blue tones, though blue verbena or fan flower make ideal additions.

The bright red and white petunias bring the bursts of color the combination needs. ‘Wave Red’ or ‘Supertunia Really Red’ are sturdy performers with crimson flowers from spring until frost. ‘Wave White’ or ‘Supertunia Mini Vista White’ bloom in profusion in crisp white with creamy yellow throats. Petunia ‘Sure Shot White’ is an All-America Selections Winner that withstands various summer conditions, from storms to heat.

Petunia Combination and Variegated Vinca

Close-up of a white hanging container with a patriotic American flag print hanging underneath, displaying blooming red and purple petunias and a trailing Variegated Vinca plant..
Create stunning contrast with petunias and trailing vinca in containers.

A single-plant combination achieves stunning results when combining abundant flowers in contrasting colors. Petunias are a favorite for reliable, full flowering and creating a whole display alone. Here, petunias in dark violet-blue and red stand out against the white raised planter. Vinca trails delicately with minty green leaves with white margins to lighten the look.

Petunias are popular for patriotic color schemes because of their array of colorful cultivars and strong garden performance, especially in moderate and cool climates. There’s no shortage of themed options in shades of purple-blue and red. White geraniums or pentas would add vertical interest to the planting scheme.

Vinca major ‘Variegata’ is a perennial groundcover that trails with long stems and rounded, evergreen leaves. Foliage is a pretty pale green with brushed, creamy white margins. Starry periwinkle flowers appear in spring. Hardy in zones 7 to 9, vinca escapes in the landscape with vigorous growth and rooting. Container-growing is best for keeping plants in bounds and enjoying their soft, trailing qualities.

Petunia and vinca grow well in full sun to partial shade in evenly moist soils with good drainage. They tolerate drying out between watering and are low-maintenance in pots.

Cosmos, Nicotiana, and Agapanthus Mixed Planters

View of a delightful container garden in patriotic hues, featuring blooming pink, burgundy, and white Cosmos, white Nicotiana, and Agapanthus with rich blue clusters.
Design a tailored display with cosmos, nicotiana, and agapanthus in pots.

This container arrangement mixes up the display with individual blooming pots in red, white, and blue hues. Grouped, the effect is a display of tailored color and floriferous bounty with naturized and stylized plant forms.

Cosmos, here in shades of pink, red, and white, bring nonstop color. High heat doesn’t faze cosmos, whose delicate foliage and daisy-like flowers bring a loose, wildflower appeal to potted designs. To incorporate true red cosmos, look for ‘Versailles Red’ and ‘Dazzler’ varieties.

Nicotiana bursts into summer with tubular blooms that drape from long stems like shooting stars. Bigleaf nicotiana (Nicotiana sylvestris) has creamy white flowers on tall stems that wand over other plantings at three to five feet high. ‘Perfume White’ provides a lower growing option, under two feet tall, with starry white flowers and a sweet, jasmine fragrance. Other species and cultivars are available in an array of colors, like ‘Perfume Red’ with bright red flowers. ‘Starmaker Bright Red’ boasts big blooming on sturdy, dwarf plants.

Agapanthus is a stunning summer-blooming perennial (hardy in zones 8-11) with tall bloom clusters above attractive, strappy foliage. Blue cultivars bring periwinkle, purple-blue, and deep blue blooms to displays. White agapanthus adds a pop of light among rich blues

Euphorbia, Lobelia, and Ageratum

Close-up of a patriotic flower pot containing Euphorbia hypericifolia 'Diamond Frost' with tiny white flowers, blue-flowered Lobelia, and purple-flowered Ageratum, all decorated with American flags.
Highlight your garden with a mix of euphorbia, lobelia, and ageratum.

This soft combination glitters with dainty white euphorbia and deep blue lobelia. Fuzzy ageratum fills the display with a splash of lilac blue. Red accents complement the blue and white scheme in this heat-loving selection, which flowers throughout the season with little care.

Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ boasts delicate flowers and a tough constitution. The plants are drought and heat-resistant and grow in various light conditions, from full sun to dappled light. Petite blooms form an airy spray above rich green, mounding leaves. Equally durable, ‘Diamond Snow’ produces clouds of white blooms slightly larger for a denser than ‘Diamond Frost.’

Purple-blue lobelia makes the perfect partner for euphorbia, with a similar habit and diminutive flowers in rich hues. Blue and white are a classic color scheme for all-season versatility. Both of these low, mounding specimens foil taller blooming annuals beautifully.

Ageratum, or floss flower, has powder puff flowers in lavender blue that introduce a contrasting texture to the plant palette. A delicate look and a delightful fragrance add to floss flower’s charm in the annual display. It’s lovely among white and silver hues and high-contrast among reds. Ageratum is somewhat drought-tolerant but performs best in moist, well-drained soil in sunny or dappled light garden spots. 

Canna, Salvia, and Gaura

Large stone planter in the garden filled with a variety of flowering and foliage plants, including Canna with bright red flowers, Salvia with purple flowers, Gaura with small white flowers, Petunias with rich red flowers, and Sweet Potato Vines with large green heart-shaped leaves.
Enjoy a vibrant display of tall canna, salvia, petunia, and gaura.

This big, bold design anchors tall, tropical canna in vibrant red with a cushion of blue salvia, red petunia, and mirrored lime sweet potato vine. Airy gaura peaks out with a hint of white. The result is a lush, full display with a balance of bloom and foliage colors and textures.

Canna lilies have ruffly, colorful blooms on tall stems and broad-leaved, multi-toned foliage that add drama. The deep scarlet flowers of this red canna selection make stately focal points in a festive potted scheme. ‘Tropicana Red’ and ‘Black Knight’ cultivars produce huge crimson flowers among dark purple-maroon leaves. ‘Red Dazzler’ has orange-red blooms and light-to-deep green leaves. While these perennials are exotic beauties, they are also rugged and hardy garden performers. Canna withstand dry spells, heat, humidity, and excess moisture. 

Salvia is an unbeatable blue in planting designs with upright bloom spikes ranging from sky blue to midnight, depending on the variety. ‘Indigo Spires’ and ‘Victoria Blue’ are cultivars of the native Salvia farinacea for a long-lasting, adaptable blue-flowering option. ‘Big Blue’ and ‘Rockin’ Playin’ the Blues’ are hybrid selections for adaptable plants in striking tones.

Among the big blues and reds is gaura in delicate pink and white. Oenothera lindheimeri (gaura) is a North American native perennial with white-blooming cultivars like ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and ‘Stratosphere White’ well-suited to container culture. Gaura prefers full sun, and good drainage is essential in containers. Allow guara to dry out a bit between waterings.

Shasta Daisy, Petunia, Dusty Miller, and Geranium

Hanging container with Shasta Daisy, purple Petunias, bright red Geraniums, Dusty Miller, and American flags, adding a patriotic spirit to this floral arrangement.
Create a festive red, white, and blue container with daisies and petunias.

Perennials and annuals make lovely container combinations, especially when you overwinter the perennial and refresh the annuals seasonally. You can also transfer the perennial to the garden bed after it serves its potted purpose. Here, daisies give informal vertical interest and bright white flowers to the red, white, and blue display. Waves of deep purple petunias contrast with red geranium. Dusty miller adds a splash of silver and uniquely textured leaves.

Shasta daisies are old-fashioned beauties with cheerful faces of white petals and bright yellow centers. Deep, glossy green basal foliage contrasts the large, clear-ray blooms. Shastas grow best in full sun in average soils as long as the soil is well-draining. In humid climates, look to ‘Becky,’ a larger plant with disease resistance to fungal rot and leaf spot.

We’ve covered the merits of petunias and geraniums in Independence Day planting combinations, here in deep purple and red, respectively. Like petunia, calibrachoa (million bells) makes a wonderful cascading bloomer, with smaller blooms and a more compact form, and does well in hot southern climates with high humidity. Colors are nearly endless, with many shades of purple, red, and white flowers to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Dusty miller pops in this floral design with silvery white foliage and thick, feathery leaves. A cool-season annual in warm, humid climates, it grows from spring until regular heavy frost in areas with mild summers.

Final Thoughts

Designing containers spurs fun and creativity, whether conveying a theme, marking a festive occasion, or adding to the garden’s color scheme. A red, white, and blue flower display accomplishes all of the above. Bring a little flare to the Fourth of July with bountiful blooms to celebrate the season. 

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