container plants for shade porch

Container Plants for Shade Porch

Container Plants For Shade Porch

Of all kinds of plants you can grow in containers, getting container plants for shade porch could be a bit of a hustle. Container gardening is always very easy when you have enough sun at your porch. Generally, the sun is one of the factors to consider when you think of growing plants. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to get enough sun at your porch – specially, in urban environments where homes are closely positioned, a deck or patio often experiences shade or semi-shade conditions. But does that mean you can never plant anything on you porch to beautify it? You will be shocked to learn that there are very many plants that will do very well in shade or semi-shade conditions.

What do we mean by container plants for shade porch?

Most plants described as shade lovers will tolerate shade for most of the daylight hours, but they need some amount of sunlight each day in order to thrive. Part shade is defined as a location that offers 2 to 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. Plants categorized in “full shade” or “deep shade” are the only ones known to do well with the total absence of sunlight.

Five tips for choosing container plants companions for shade porch

You must have seen gorgeous container plants companions somewhere or in pictures – the question is how do you get that look in your container plants for shade porch? It will surely take some time to learn how to create container combinations like a pro, but here are 5 key tips that will trigger your creativity juices to start flowing.

  • Combine plants that have similar growing conditions.
  • Choose plants with similar growth rates.
  • Use a variety of textures, shapes and sizes in your container plant choice.
  • Purchase the right amount of plants for your container.
  • Copy someone else’s great idea.

Container plants for shade porch arrangement tips

There are no solid rules set that are a must follow when it comes to container plants for shade porch arrangement – however, it’s important to consider some tips that will help you create a beautiful eye-catching porch using your container plants.

  • The plants you put to consideration should be of three different sizes; tall, medium size and short. The tall plants should be at the center. Around them you can have the medium size plants. On either ends you can have the short plants. By having that kind of arrangement your container plants for shade porch will have an eye-catching look.
  • Use at least three shade plants of different colors in one container to add visual interest.
  • Try as much as possible to have plants with similar water needs in the same container. This is to make sure that your plants are getting the right amount of water.
  • Make sure that your plants fill out their container, for most plants you don’t want the soil to be visible from a distance.
  • You can have different types and colors of containers so long as there is an underlying theme.

15 Best flowering container plants for shade porch

  1. Roast-Beef Plant: It is also called stinking iris. This doesn’t it has an unpleasant smell only when you crush the leaves. Like all irises it has standards (the top sepals) and falls (bottom sepals).

The standards of stinking iris are thin and upright. The falls are white with amazing purple veins, and the edges turn to light lavender violet.

It produces beautiful red seeds in pods that last on the plant all through winter.

Roast-beef plant is best for informal settings and it can grow and blossom in any light condition, including full shade!

  1. Begonia: Begonias do an excellent job of brightening dark corners. They are considered to be shade-loving container plants with very colorful flowers.

Most begonias like partial shade but will also do well in full shade. However, varieties like Bolivian begonias will be as good in partial as in full shade. They will start blooming in late spring and keep coloring your porch till the first frost, making them ideal for low maintenance gardens. This adaptable annual is grown for its exceptionally long bloom time, wide range of flower colors and leaf patterns.

  1. Anemone: Anemone is a classic flower for part shade or full shade porches. Although not all anemones can grow without a lot of light. For instance, Anemone coronaria will need full Sun. Never the less, there is a wide range of anemones you can grow in pots even where light is very little.

For example, meadow anemone will beautify your full shade corner with candid white flowers in spring and summer.

  1. Clivia: Natal lily, also known as clivia, is an awesome flower for your container in your shady corners. Its collections of waxy, funnel shaped flowers, from bright red to white, will come regularly in winter and spring.

The leaves also have high decorative value; long, shiny and highly decorative, they will keep your container interesting all year round, since this plant is evergreen. To make sure that this colorful plant brings back its tropical forest looking flowers every year, put it in a cool place for 30 days. The temperature should be between 40 and 60oF, or 4 to 15oC.

  1. Chinese Astilbe: If you want shady corner to come alive with brightly colored plumes, go for Chinese astible.

This very lavish bloomer has massive inflorescences of small single flowers that open in succession all through the summer months.

These strong flowering perennials are very generous and energetic plants indeed. Their colors tend to be very intense and colorful.

They are perfect to perk up the energy levels of dark and dull balconies, terraces, patios and porches.

  1. Camellia: If you have a large container, camellias are some of the most beautiful flowers to plant. Having round, soft looking flowers and a romantic look, enables them to turn even the darkest spots into small corners of heaven.

You can grow camellias in full soil, but in many cases containers are the only option. Actually, you will need to keep the soil pH acidic, which is easier to do in containers.

This is one of the plants that really thrive in shades, and it will beautify the shades with its beautiful large flowers and the color selection is so good.

  1. Dutchman’s Breeches: Bleeding heart is well suited for containers in partial shade. If you want a variety that’s perfect for containers in full shade, go for Dutchman’s breeches. This species also has a very unusually shaped flower. It looks like two horns or, in the imagination of botanists, a pair of breeches upside down.

Snow white and with a sugary texture, the flower has small, yellow petals that open at the bottom.

  1. Barrenwort: The oddly shaped flowers of barrenwort grow plentifully on long and thin horizontal stems. They hang head down and can look a bit like aquilegias, though sometimes the upper petals have pointed tips, which makes them look like creatures from another planet.

There is a hand full of colors to choose from. Snowy barrenwort (Epidemium x youngianum ‘Niveum’) is white. There are bright yellow varieties (Epidemium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’), bronze orange (Epidemium x warleyense ‘Orange Queen’) or purple (Epidemium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’).

  1. Yellow Trout Lily: Generally, lilies want a lot of sunlight and heat. But this bright yellow, purple, white or pink lily shaped flower does not. It has the typical lily anthers and shape, and the six petals that turn backwards just like lilies.

The leaves of this rounded plant are quite a sight. They are dark purple with large and round green spots on them.

As it is quite cold hardy, you can grow it in many colder regions too, like the Northern States and Canada, unlike most lilies.

  1. Brazilian Plume: This is an evergreen plant with large leaves (10 inches long, or 25 cm) and a large plume of pink to purple tubular flowers that will go from summer to fall.

There are also yellow and white varieties though, if you want to fill that dark corner with a lot of energy and light. It looks a bit like a flamingo; actually, some varieties are called “flamingo flower”.

Despite looking and being exotic, it likes poorly lit spots in sheltered forests in Nature, so it will do perfectly well in that dark corner of your porch.

  1. Impatiens: Pots and containers even in full shade can become eye-catching and colorful mini-gardens if you grow one of the more than 100 species of impatiens. The choice of shades goes from purple to white and on the way; you can have orange, red, pink and violet.

The flowers are very soft and sweet looking, with large but delicate petals. They also have a great balance of rich foliage and abundant flowering, and the leaves are beautiful too. They are pointed and shiny but dark green with purple veins inside grooves. They are very cold hardy, so you can grow them even in most parts of Canada.

  1. Cappadocian Navelwort: This celestial plant with lance late leaves and five petaled cornflower blue to azure blue flowers all through spring.

It will bring the color of the sky to your shady spot and convey serenity and peace.

The ‘Starry Eyes’ variety is excellent if you want a more quirky and dynamic look. In fact, its petals are blue in the center and light lilac, almost white, at the edges. Its flowers look like blue stars.

  1. Wishbone Flower: Its trumpet shaped flowers are very attractive. In fact, they are white at the base, but then the margins of the petals are of the deepest purple you have ever seen.

The name comes from the two stamens inside the flower, which look like a wishbone. The bright oval leaves will fill with these beautiful flowers with strikingly contrasting colors from early summer till the first frost.

  1. Primrose: Primrose is an easy to grow perennial that can live well even in small containers, and in full shade also.

It is very generous with its blooms, and the choice of colors is really extraordinary. In fact, you can use a palette that goes from white all the way to dark purple and dark violet.

Another interesting variety is ‘Perle von Bottrop’ which offers vibrant violet flowers with a yellow center.

But if you want an originally looking variety, drumstick primrose (Primula denticulata) forms globe shaped inflorescences on top of long stems which can be blue, pale violet, lilac or rich purple.

  1. Wood Sorrel: In case your window looks north and your window box gets little light, you can bring it to life by growing wood sorrel in it. There are 570 species of this fairly hardy perennial, but most of them are very persistent bloomers. Actually, you will have many sweet looking flowers from spring till the first frost!

The flowers have five rounded petals at the end of a tubular base, and they come in many shades, from white to violet purple. Some varieties, like Cottage Pink, and the purple leaved and white flowered Charmed Wine are becoming favorites with gardeners. But you can have bright yellow flowers, lilac or violet blue as well.


Having looked at tips for choosing container plants companions, some of the best ways to arrange them and the 15 best flowering container plants for shade porch, you now have the best knowledge you need to make good use of your porch. The plants in the list we provided above are very easy to grow in that you can work on them at your free time. It’s a good way to keep yourself busy, bring some life to your porch, beautify it and discover how creative you can be.


Planting guidelines and steps that are followed when growing plants that grow under normal conditions, still apply for container plants for shade porch. Some of them are like:

  • Getting good and quality soil mixture.
  • Mixing your soil with fertilizer.
  • Regularly watering your plants.
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