Shade Loving Container Plants

Container plants are a popular option for individuals who don't have access to a large yard or garden area. Unfortunately, the spots best suited to container plants, such as decks, patios and porches, are often located in the shade with little to no sunlight. While shady areas may limit your flower options somewhat, several container plants will actually thrive under these conditions.

Busy Lizzie

Busy Lizzie impatiens are a popular container plant for their rapid growth and plentiful blooms. These flowers are available in more than 20 colors including various shades of white, rose, pink, orange and violet. This plant can grow upwards of ten inches, heartily filling out any container. It will bloom from May through October. Busy Lizzies should be planted at the end of May. This plant is very tolerant of the shade but will require regular watering and a light application of fertilizer every two weeks to really thrive.


Fuchsias are very distinct flowers with a tubular, bell-like shape. These flowers are available in a wide range of colors including red, white, pink and bi-colors. One of the more popular color combinations is "Cascade," which features a light pink body surrounding a carmine skirt. Fuchsia require regular watering to survive and are very sensitive to dry soil. Shaded locations suit these flowers well, as the minimal sunlight helps keep them from drying out. Place your fuchsia plants in an area that is protected from high winds. Fertilize these plants once a week for the best results. Fuchsia will bloom from May through October.


Hostas come in green-leaved, white-edged and yellow-edged varieties. They will sprout long stems with clusters of white or lavender trumpet-shaped flowers from July to August. These leafy plants are one of the most popular varieties for shaded container gardens. Hostas can winter over outdoors with winter protection or indoors in a frost-free area. The hosta plant can reach a height of 12 to 30 inches.

Astilbe, Spirea

The astilbe, or False Spirea, features plume-shaped panicles with red, pink or white blooms and ferny foliage. False spireas prefer well-drained soil and tolerate shady areas very well. This plant can grow up to 3 feet tall and looks best when planted alone. False spirea plants bloom from June through September. They can winter over outside with winter protection.

Keywords: container garden, shade plants, shaded garden

About this Author

Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.