How to Illuminate Patio Plants


Patio plants can create structure, height, texture, perfume, flowers and edibles for the gardener. Often these plants are attractive and placed in prominent locations, making them excellent candidates for nighttime illumination. With modern solar light fixtures, a patio garden can be well lit for up to 10 hours using solar fixtures designed to uplight plants, light the general area, or to line the patio, creating a light perimeter that both highlights plants and allows for evening outdoor entertainments.

Step 1

Make a sketch of your patio and indicate the location of special trees, shrubs or plants that you would like to highlight with illumination. Indicate the location of steps or pathways that you would also like to light. Uplights can showcase unusual or attractive tree trunks. Hanging lights can cast light around a garden area, lighting up many plants at once. Stake-type lights work well for lighting ground cover, paths and steps.

Step 2

Select the type and size of fixtures that will work best in your garden. Because solar lights rely on sunlight to charge, these fixtures need a daytime location that will provide for constant sunlight or they need to be light enough to be carried to a sunny spot on days where you want to illuminate your patio plants for special gatherings.

Step 3

Charge your solar lights fully. Wait until dusk to place your light fixtures so that you can accurately judge the type of light, the direction of the light and the function of the fixture. Move lights around in your landscape until you achieve the illumination experience that you like the most.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper and pen
  • Solar light fixtures


  • Lowes: Low Voltage and Solar Exterior Lighting
  • Solar Powered Landscape Lighting
  • Finer Living: Solar Powered Landscape Lighting
Keywords: illuminate, patio, plants

About this Author

F.R.R. Mallory is a senior at UC Berkeley completing degrees in both Neuropsychology and English. She has been published since 1996 in both nonfiction and fiction, books, short stories, articles and essays. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.