Plants for a shaded patio

Written by ericka watson
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Plants for a shaded patio
Begonias are good shade and container plants. (begonia image by Maria Brzostowska from

Although many plants need large amounts of sun, there are also plenty of plants for a shaded patio that will bring beauty and delight the eye. The best choices of plants for shaded patios will be the ones that thrive in containers as well as in low light environments. Fortunately, there are plants that will not only grow well in shade, but will also provide lively colours and interesting foliage.


There are dozens of types of coleus plants, each in different sizes, shapes and hues. Coleus plants thrive in most environments, including shade, and will liven up any patio with colours that will fit any planting scheme. Pair them with sweet potato vine for a striking display.

Plants for a shaded patio
Coleus flowers in many colours. (coleus image by cusrach from

Sweet potato vine

Sweet potato vines have big, three-pronged leaves that provide a splash of bright lime green or deep violet that spills over the edges of containers.They can be planted alone or with other plants.


Caladium plants, also known as elephant ear, are tall with broad, arrow-shaped leaves and come in many different colours, including variegated colours of white, pink or red. They are excellent shade plants and are often paired with other plants in the same container.

Plants for a shaded patio
Caladiums are typically variegated with many colours. (feuille de caladium image by Unclesam from


Fuchsias are beloved shade plants because their blooms are decorative with an teardrop shape that droops delicately. The typical variety found in garden centres is bright pink with deep purple centres, but fuchsia flowers can also be red with pink or purple centres. Fuchsia attracts birds, which is another reason to add them to a shaded patio.

Plants for a shaded patio
Gorgeous blooms add colour to shaded patios. (fuchsia image by Joan Soles from

Delphinium lavender

Most traditional lavender cultivars require full sun, with the exception of delphinium lavender. Like traditional English lavender, Delphinium lavender produces purple blooms, however their foliage is spiky and deep green. This variety of lavender will bring the beauty and fragrance the flower is famous for to shaded patios.

Plants for a shaded patio
Delphiniums have purple blooms. (lavender image by Lytse from


Orchids thrive in the shade in warm, tropical locations. They are also low-maintenance plants with many varieties of beautiful, striking flowers. Plant them in pots, or if the patio is shaded by trees, hang them from the branches in baskets for a surprise of colour.

Plants for a shaded patio
Orchid with ferns. (orchid image by Earl Robbins from


There are many varieties of ferns, but all are shade-loving plants that thrive in containers. Large ferns can be grown in single containers, and smaller ones can be placed with other shade plants for interesting displays.

Plants for a shaded patio
Ferns are shade-loving plants. (fern in flower-pot image by Pershing from


Begonias are often used on shaded patios because they are easy to care for and thrive will little maintenance. They also bloom in bright colours, usually in warm shades of red, pink, orange and yellow. A new variety, the dragonwing begonia, is an excellent choice for shaded patios, particularly when paired with other plants in the same container.

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