Plants are a popular way to enhance a patio, and there are many suitable varieties. Almost any container plant will work, but since patios usually receive more sun than, say, covered porches, it is important to choose plants for the patio accordingly.
Hens and Chickens
The hens and chickens plant, scientifically known as Echeveria, has long been a favorite plant for the patio. Its succulent leaves, which range in color from green to blue, gray, purple and pink, form a rosette shape that ranges in size from 2 to 5 inches across. This plant is characterized by a main rosette with several miniature rosettes sprouting from it. The visual interpretation is that of a mother hen and her chicks, as indicated by this plant's name. Hens and chickens will thrive and spread when planted in a container. Try planting hens and chickens in a terra cotta pot. According to the University of Iowa extension, you should plant hens and chickens in a sunny location. This plant is a succulent and prefers dry soil, so water it when the potting soil feels dry and then wait until it dries entirely before watering it again. The hens and chickens plant is not winter hardy, so it is a good idea to bring it indoors during cold weather.
Impatiens is a popular container plant that works well for a patio. According to the University of Vermont, this plant gets its name from its seed pods "impatiently" bursting when they become ripe. Impatiens bloom in late spring to early summer in a range of colors, including shades of pink, salmon, orange and white. Aside from being a popular patio plant, they are also the number one bedding plant. Depending on which cultivar you choose, impatiens can be grown in the shade or sun. They prefer well-drained, moist soil, so water them thoroughly once each day. When properly cared for, impatiens will bloom right up to the first frost. Be sure to bring them in from the patio during cold weather.
According to the University of Florida extension, there are somewhere between 8 and 30 species of aspidistra. This common patio plant is a perennial evergreen. Adaptive and durable, some varieties of aspidistra are known for their ability to survive in less than favorable conditions, including low light and insufficient water. Depending on the species, some aspidistra have striped foliage, while others have spotted foliage. Although this plant does bloom, the flowers usually go unnoticed because they appear at the base of the plant and are not showy. Some cultivars of aspidistra may survive winter conditions, but it is a good idea to move them inside during cold weather.