List of shade loving plants for hanging baskets

Updated February 21, 2017

Plants in hanging baskets generally need to be watered more often than those in the soil. However, flowers and foliage in the shade will not require as much water as hanging plants in the sun, giving you a slight rest from twice-a-day watering sessions. A variety of shade-loving trailing plants is available for you to incorporate into your hanging baskets. Choose plants that either contrast or compliment one another in colour and that have matching soil, water and hardiness requirements.


Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) is a species that does well in either part or full shade. In the UK, coleus may be planted as an annual or bring your hanging basket inside for the winter months. Coleus is known for its attractive foliage rather than its obscure white flowers. Leaves are oval-shaped with pointed tips and come in a variety of multicolour combinations, including pink with yellow, green with purple, maroon with red and orange with green. Plant coleus in rich, moist soil. Foliage may spread up to 90 cm (3 feet).

Wishbone flower

Wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri), known for its showy blossoms, thrives in part to full shade as it does not do well with extreme heat. It remains in bloom from early to midsummer until the first frost and has trumpet-shaped flowers that come in violet, blue or purple, depending on the variety. Wishbone flower is an annual plant that prefers rich, well-drained and moist soil. Its foliage of light green, toothed leaves is also attractive. Wishbone flower may spread up to 22.5 cm (9 inches).

Polka dot plant

Polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is a partial-shade plant that is also known for its foliage. As with coleus, bring the baskets inside after frost or replant the following spring. Oval-shaped leaves come in various polka-dotted colour combinations, such as pink with green and white with green. Although the flowers are not as obvious, they are still quite attractive, with elongated, lavender-coloured blossoms. Plant the polka dot plant in rich, well-drained soil and provide it with a medium amount of moisture. Polka dot plant may spread up to 30 cm (1 foot).


Fuchsia cultivars, also known as lady's eardrops, prefer partial to full shade. Bring your fuchsia baskets inside when the weather cools down. Fuchsia flowers are tubular shaped and look like dangling earrings, and are showcased best in a hanging basket. A slew of fuchsia cultivars exist; blossom colours include red with purple, pink with white, violet, rose and others. Plant fuchsia in rich, absorbent soil with medium moisture. This shade-lover may spread up to 60 cm (2 feet).

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About the Author

Michelle Brunet has published articles in newspapers and magazines such as "The Coast," "Our Children," "Arts East," "Halifax Magazine" and "Atlantic Books Today." She earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Saint Mary's University and a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University.