Whether a plant is good to grow on the patio in a pot is highly dependent upon location, but shrubs such as the variegated redtwig dogwood are hardy in a variety of areas. The large plant has variegated leaves with white edges and gray-green centers during the growing season. During the dormant season, its red stems continue to provide an interesting display. Other good choices for many locations include Bergenia cordifolia and Green Mountain boxwood.
Gardeners should consider the U.S. Department of Agriculture's plant hardiness zones when selecting plants for their garden. The general rule of thumb is that plants in containers should be hardy to two zones colder than the location if the pots remain outside during the winter. The redtwig dogwood is hardy in zones two through eight while Bergenia is good for zones three through eight and Green Mountain boxwood does well in zones four to nine.
By adding several different plants to the same container, it is possible to create a display that remains interesting all year long. Choosing plants with similar needs for water, drainage and sun exposure ensures a healthy container.
Gardeners find some plants do better in containers than in the native soil at their home. Container gardens have better control over moisture and drainage.