Shady plants for hanging baskets

Written by christie gross
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Shady plants for hanging baskets
Many plants will grow in a basket hanging in a shady spot. (Arthur Tilley/Creatas/Getty Images)

Several shade-tolerant and shade-loving plants are suitable for hanging baskets. Hanging baskets provide an alternative to beds or pots for containing plants and offer a decorative way to display plants on a deck or patio. They also allow you to feature plants at eye level as opposed to ground level.

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Ferns grow in varied conditions, making them ideal for hanging baskets. They grow well in areas away from direct sunlight, so you can hang them underneath a balcony or suspend them from a tree. Ferns can also tolerate extreme heat as long as you keep their soil moist. The Gardening Launch Pad recommends fishtail, Boston, Japanese painted and rabbit's foot fern varieties for hanging baskets.

Ivy Geraniums

Most species of ivy are appropriate for hanging baskets, but the ivy geranium is especially beautiful for this type of container. Its leaves contain sweet-smelling oil that lightly perfumes a space. This plant grows well in fully shaded areas with slightly cooler temperatures. It also needs soil that allows for ample drainage to perform well.


Impatiens are one of only a few species of blooming plants that grow well in shade and are well suited for hanging baskets. These plants continuously flower until first frost. For best results, place them in a location that provides exposure to morning sun and afternoon shade. Make certain their soil stays moist, and fertilise about every 10 days to guarantee the best results, states Al Krismers Plant Farm. Other shade-tolerant flowering plants include begonias and wishbone flowers.

Trailing Verbena

Trailing verbena grows in cascade, often draping over its container. For a trailing growth pattern, plant a more recent variety of verbena in your hanging basket, such as "Babylon," "Wildfire" or "Aztec." Ed Hume Seeds says these flowering varieties can reach up to 18 inches long, which means they require periodic pruning to ensure the plants appear neat and well maintained. Depending on the variety of verbena you choose, it can produce flowers in white, pink, red, purple, lavender and rose. These flowering plants prefer full sun; however, they will grow in moderately shaded areas with some sun exposure.

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