Will perennials grow back in pots

Will Perennials Grow Back When Planted in a Pot?

Will perennials come back when planted in pots? It’s tricky with perennials in containers. During the winter months, there is a risk that the roots of perennials will freeze. When that happens, your perennials will not grow back. Below are tips on how to help your perennial grow back year after year.

Will perennials grow back in pots
Will perennials grow back in pots?

How to Help Perennials Grow Back Year after Year?

You need to protect the roots of your perennials from freezing in the winter months. There are a few things you can do to protect the roots of your perennials from freezing. 

1. Plant Your Perennials in the Biggest Container Possible

First, you need to make sure you plant your perennial in the biggest container possible. The bigger the container, the better it is in protecting your perennials from the cold. The extra soil will serve as added insulation for your perennials.

2. Overwinter Your Potted Perennials in Your Unheated Garage

One way to protect your potted perennials from the winter is to bring them into your unheated garage during the winter months. This will protect your potted perennial from freezing temperature and also will give it the right environment to go dormant. It’s also a good idea to occasionally get some snow and add it on top of your potted perennial throughout winter, this will ensure your perennial gets enough water. 

3. Don’t Overwinter Potted Perennial in a Heated Environment Or Greenhouse

Your potted perennial needs a cold treatment for it to go dormant over the wintertime. If it does not receive this period of cold treatment, it will not grow back successfully. Avoid bringing your potted perennials to overwinter in greenhouses or other heated environments.

How to Keep the Roots of Your Perennials from Freezing

If you plan to overwinter your potted perennial outdoors, here are the things you can do to keep the roots of your perennials from freezing.

1. Bury the Potted Perennial in Soil

Bury the potted perennial in the ground over winter. This is the best way to keep the roots of your perennials from freezing during winter. By burying the pot, you will be protecting the roots.

2. Wrap the Potted Perennial with Bubble Wrap

If you don’t plan to bury your potted perennial in soil, another way to keep the roots of your potted perennials from freezing during winter is to wrap the container in bubble wrap. The bubble wrap will help protect your perennial from the cold. 

3. Wrap the Potted Perennial with Bedsheets or Comforters

Another way to keep the roots of your potted perennial from freezing in the winter is to wrap the container with old bedsheets or old comforters. This will protect your perennial from the freezing temperature.

4. Wrap the Potted Perennial with Garden Insulation Blanket

You can also wrap your potted perennial with garden insulation blankets. These are blankets made for protecting plants from freezing temperatures. It also looks better than old bedsheets or bubble wraps. This is a good option if you are keeping your potted perennials where they will be visible to guests. 

5. Keep Your Potted Perennial on the Ground

Make sure you keep the potted perennial on the ground, not on pavement, decks, or on stone patios. Pavement, decks, and stone patios will be too cold for your perennial.

How to Protect Potted Perennials from Accumulated Water Over Winter

Aside from the roots freezing, your potted perennials will also not survive if you let water accumulate in the pot over winter. When the soil is frozen, water that has accumulated in the pot will end up sitting in the pot and not drain out of the drainage holes. Accumulated water is detrimental to your potted perennial and it will not survive the winter. 

There are 2 ways to protect potted perennials from accumulated water over winter. 

1. Keep the Potted Perennial in a Covered Location

You can protect your potted perennial by keeping it in a covered location.

2. Tip the Pot Slightly to Prevent Water Accumulation

Tip the pot of your perennial slightly so accumulated water can drain out. This will prevent water from accumulating in the pot.

What Perennials Overwinter Well in Containers?

Here is a list of perennials that will grow well in containers. These perennials will also overwinter well in containers.

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflowers are easy-to-grow perennial flowering plants that will overwinter well in containers. It has bright-colored flowers that attract butterflies. They are happy in a sunny location or part sun location in your garden. Coneflowers are low-maintenance plants. Coneflowers are great cut flowers for summer bouquets.

Botanical NameEchinacea
FlowersRed, Pink or White flowers that attract butterflies
LightFull to Part Sun
Bloom TimeJune to Winter Frost
Height24-40 inches
Coneflowers Facts


Asters are another flowering perennial that will overwinter well in containers. It is an easy-to-grow perennial. You will enjoy beautiful flowers that grow effortlessly in your container garden. Keep your aster in a sunny location and you will get vigorous blooms. Asters are so low maintenance that they don’t even get garden pests.

Botanical NameSymphyotrichum spp.
FlowersPink, Purple, Blue, White Daisies
Bloom TimeSummer
Height24-36 inches
Asters Facts

Perennial Geranium (Geranium)

Perennial geranium is another perennial that will overwinter well in containers. They are great flower perennials to grow in pots. Keep your geranium in full sun and it will bloom vigorously. It will produce attractive pink or blue flowers. It’s an easy plant to grow that will not have any diseases and pests problems.

Perennial Geranium
Perennial Geranium
NamePerennial Geranium
Botanical NameGeranium
FlowersPink or Blue flowers
LightFull Sun to Light Shade
Bloom TimeEarly summer to Fall
Height15-18 inches
Geranium Facts

Japanese Iris (Iris ensata)

Japanese iris are great perennial plants to grow in pots. It will overwinter well in containers. Japanese iris are beautiful low-maintenance flowers. You will be rewarded with gorgeous flowers. Irises love sunny locations or light shade locations. Japanese iris is one of the easiest iris to grow in your garden. It will grow vigorously in the summer to early Fall. 

perennials iris
Japanese Iris
NameJapanese Iris
Botanical NameIris ensata
FlowersBeautiful flowers, assorted colors
LightFull Sun to Light Shade
Bloom TimeEarly summer 
Height24-36 inches
Japanse Iris Facts

It’s a challenge to overwinter potted perennials in containers. The likelihood of success is low when you overwinter perennials in containers outdoors. I suggest saving yourself the trouble by planting your perennials back in the soil before winter and starting with new perennials in your container the following year.