Best Plants for Shaded Patios: 15 Different Options

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When we think about designing our outdoor space, the first thing that comes to mind is probably adding plants of different kinds.

However, with a shaded patio, this might be difficult because plants need sunlight to thrive.

However, the best plants for shaded patios can thrive well.

With these on your porch, you won’t have to worry about being unable to expose your plants to more sunlight.

Now, you can decorate your outdoor space, assured that your plants would remain healthy even in the shade of your patio.

Best Plants for Shaded Patios

You’ll be surprised to know that there are shade-loving plants for every category you can think of.

Succulents, herbs, greens, and even flowering plants all have specific species that actually prefer being away from the sun.

Some don’t necessarily have to be in the shade but can survive even without being exposed regularly to sunlight.

Let’s check them out one by one.

Greens and Leafy Plants

These are good choices if you’re looking to add different kinds of plants in a container or if you simply want simple plants to cozy up your outdoor space.

  • Hosta

Hostas are common garden plants that prefer shade over sunlight.

These plants like rich, well-drained soil to grow; placing them in arid, dry conditions will certainly stunt their growth or even cause them to wilt.

As long as you remember to water them regularly, these plants will thrive in the shade of your patio.

There are species of hostas that can tolerate a bit of sunlight, so remember to get those if your patio isn’t fully covered or partially shaded.

  • Brunnera

Also called “Jack Frost,” Siberian bugloss, or heartleaf brunerra, Brunerra macrophylla, is a kind of plant well-loved due to its unique appearance.

Brunerras feature silver, heart-shaped leaves, from which their connection with winter was derived from.

They also have light blue flowers that bloom during the spring.

These plants love the shade and grow well alongside other shade-loving plants.

  • Hakone Grass

Hakone grass also goes by the name of Japanese forest grass.

These are shade-loving plants that grow well in pots due to how their blades spill around the container they’re in.

Hakone grass usually comes in a deep green color, which may change to lime green depending on the amount of shade it receives.

This feature makes it an excellent ornamental plant on your patio or even indoors.

  • English Ivy

Another great container plant, English Ivy, can easily be mixed with flowering plants or greenery for an incredible ornament in your outdoor space.

English Ivy spills nicely in its container, emphasizing the color and beauty of other shade-loving plants it’s growing with.

It’s also effortless to take care of; English Ivy doesn’t need much water nor sunlight.

As a result, it makes for the perfect plants outdoors, especially in shaded areas.

list of the best plants for shaded patio

Flowering Plants

Did you know that a lot of flowering plants actually grow better away from sunlight?

Take a look at these shade-loving flowers for a pop of color to brighten up your patio.

  • Heuchera (Coral Bells)

Heuchera plants typically love the shade and are very easy to take care of.

These plants come in different colors, from silver, burgundy, purple, salmon, orange, and lime green.

The color variation makes it a great ornamental plant, which provides visual excitement to anyone who sees them.

Heuchera plants also tend to bear bell-shaped flowers; hence, the term “coral bells”.

These flowers further add vibrance to the plant and elevate its visual appeal.

  • Fuchsia

Fuchsias come in different colors.

They make great ornamental plants due to their bright colors and how their flowers spill over one side of tall containers or hanging baskets.

A fan of the cold, fuchsias thrive in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and may not bear flowers in a higher temperature.

That also means they’re better grown in shaded areas, away from the heat and light of the sun.

  • Primrose

Primroses come in different types and colors, with more than 400 primrose species you can actually choose from.

These flowers love the shade, too, so it’s best to keep them away from the sun if you want them to grow.

During the winter, though, they might be able to stand a bit of sunlight.

That said, it’s still best to keep them in the shade, especially during the summer months.

Primroses make a wonderful addition to any outdoor space.

They provide a pop of color that will certainly make your patio look livelier and cozier.

They’re also relatively easy to grow as long as you keep them watered regularly, away from the heat of the sun.

  • Hydrangea

Many hydrangeas thrive in pots or containers, making them another great plant to keep at home or on your patio.

These flowers are stunning and will certainly make any outdoor space vibrant and full of life.

Be warned that hydrangeas love water; when placed in a pot, they’ll need more water than when they’re planted on the ground.

You may opt to place them in a container bigger than them, which will give their roots space to grow and spread, so you won’t have to water them multiple times in a day.

Hydrangeas may need some sun from time to time, so it’s a good idea to place them in a part of your patio where a bit of sunlight can reach them in the morning.

  • Begonia

There are multiple plants under the begonia family, and most of them make for fantastic plants to have at home.

Begonias with tuberous root systems are best grown outdoors, while those with fine-fibrous root systems are better indoors.

Both types, though, prefer living in low-light environments and well-drained soil.

There’s also no need to water them often, with most types able to survive with watering only once a month.

Tuberous begonias, specifically, will make an excellent addition to your shaded patio, especially if you live in warmer climates.

Those living in colder regions may want to consider giving their begonias a bit of sun every so often.

  • Impatiens walleriana

The Impatiens walleriana is the perfect choice if you want a bright, vibrant flowering plant that can grow even in the darkest shade.

These plants are great for places where there isn’t as much sunlight or your shaded patio if it’s completely covered.

They’ll still be able to liven up the place, regardless of which you choose among their wide array of colors: white, pink, red, salmon, and even purple.

These can also blend well with other potted or container plants or look phenomenal in hanging baskets.

  • Astilbe

Another flower that simply adores the shade is the astilbe, also called meadowsweet or false spirea.

It can thrive without exposure to the sun.

In fact, these flowers can hardly take sunlight, so it’s best to keep them in the shade for them to grow.

These flowers come in all sorts of colors, so you won’t run out of options for a variety that will complement your patio’s look.

They look great as potted plants but will also do well in mixed containers, as they grow well alongside other plants and complement their look.


Taking care of herbs is not only practical; they’re also beautiful additions outdoors.

Some herbs thrive in the shade and mix well with other herbs or plants for better planter or container aesthetics.

  • Rosemary

Rosemary herbs are incredibly versatile and easy to take care of.

While they may love the sun, they can also thrive well in shaded areas.

A shaded patio is a perfect choice for growing rosemary since patios tend to be open enough to get a small amount of sunlight.

You can opt to grow rosemary in hanging pots or baskets or to mix it with other plants in a container.

In large containers, your rosemary will definitely add to the overall aesthetic of your plant box.

The best part is that you can harvest rosemary and use it to add flavor to the meals you cook.

  • Mint

There are different kinds of mint, such as spearmint and peppermint.

Regardless, though, these herbs can easily be grown in the shade.

However, note that mint herbs tend to grow quickly and are also quite invasive; hence, it’s best to grow them alone in a container.

You can also harvest them and use them as spice or tea or add fragrance inside your house.

  • Ferns

Ferns are often associated with hanging baskets and front porches, and for a good reason.

These plants are low maintenance; taking care of them requires minimal effort.

You should generally keep ferns away from direct sunlight, so keeping them in a shaded patio will be good for their growth.

You should also remember to keep them safe from heavy winds and rains, so don’t place them too near the open area of your patio.


We usually think of succulents as sun-loving plants, which we have to place near windows where they’ll get a lot of sunlight.

That said, many species of succulents actually thrive in the opposite environment.

That is in the shade, where they are away from the scorching heat of the sun.

You can grow your succulents in the shade of your patio and then expose them to sunlight when they seem to be getting weaker or are refusing to flower.

A few succulents that like the shade include aloe vera, shade, snake plant, and mistletoe cactus.


As you can see, you can definitely adorn your patio with different plants, even when you’re worried that not a lot of sunlight can get in.

In fact, a large number of plants actually thrive better in shaded areas!

There are certainly many options when choosing the best plants for shaded patios.

Now, all you need to think about is how to organize them on your patio so they can look their best.

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