Plants for a Shaded Patio

Patio plants are often planted in containers or in patio flower beds. Many patios are shielded from the sun with roof-type structures or with nearby trees. Shade-tolerant plants are best when selecting plants for a shaded patio. Choose varieties that grow well in partial or heavy shade.


Coleus is a popular patio plant that grows well in shade. According to Clemson University Extension, this plant is characterized by foliage that, depending on the cultivar, can be several colors. Combinations of green, pink, red, maroon and yellow are common. Depending on whether the coleus is compact, bushy or trailing, the foliage can reach 1 foot to 3 feet in height with a spread of 3 feet. Plant coleus in moist, well-drained soil in a location of partial shade. If using a pot or other container, choose a well-draining potting media and water the plant regularly. Container-grown coleus is more vulnerable to insufficient water. After the coleus has been planted for one week, check the soil every three to five days for dryness. Water when the soil is dry at 1 inch deep.


According to the United States National Arboretum, five species of hydrangea are widely grown in the United States. They produce clusters of colorful flowers and dark green foliage. Some varieties of hydrangea reach 4 to 6 feet in height and width. Plant hydrangea in moist, well-drained soil. Water the plant regularly, especially during periods of hot weather. Shade is important for this plant, especially when grown in hot climates. Hydrangea can also be grown in deep shade, but it will generally produce less flowers.


Impatiens plants are the number one bedding plant in the United States, according to the Iowa State University Extension. They are also popular patio plants. They can reach 12 to 18 inches in height and produce colorful flowers amidst glossy foliage. They prefer moist, well-drained soil and a partially shady location, but they will also grow in a heavily shaded area. Fewer flowers are produced in heavy shade. Water impatiens when the soil feels dry.


This bulb plant is among the earliest to bloom each spring. Depending on the location, some crocus plants even bloom in winter. The colorful blooms appear amidst short stems and foliage that is green, yellow or variegated. Plant crocus bulbs in well-drained soil in a partially shady location. Many cultivars of crocus can tolerate exposure to sun, but one variety in particular, Dutch crocus, grows best in partial shade.

Keywords: plants for shade, patio shade plants, shade plants

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Kelli Bingham is a freelance writer with nearly a decade of experience in the field. Her works have been published in publications including eHow. She is currently pursuing a degree in business.