Shade Plants for Front Porch Containers

The front entrance of your home is where you want to make the first impression.  Front porch is the first thing that will greet your guests. We want to make it as attractive and appealing as possible. 

To make your porch as inviting and welcoming,  style it with container plants.  Don’t let that shady porch stop you from dressing it up.  There are plants that thrive in shady areas.

Here are some suggested shade plants for front porch that will help brighten it up to create that lasting impression.

1. Hostas

Hostas are perennials and grown for their beautiful foliage. Their attractive foliage display starts from spring till fall. They thrive in the shade and are low maintenance. They can tolerate drought. They are available in several varieties, each showing its own distinct shape, size and color.

When planting in a container for a shady porch, pick a small leaf one to combine with shade loving colorful annuals. In the fall, remove from the container and plant in your garden.

Hostas under a tree in our backyard

2. Impatiens

Impatiens are popular annuals because of their bright colors. They like shades and are ideal for areas like porches where there is not a lot of sunshine being received.

Plant in containers where there is proper drainage. Avoid direct sunlight in the afternoon. Place in area where they will get morning sunshine and shade in the afternoon. Water until the water starts dripping down the drainage holes. Ensure that the top inch of the soil is slightly dry to the touch before the next watering, to avoid rot and disease.

3. Creeping Jenny

Creeping jenny is a perennial ground cover. It provides beautiful foliage and produces small yellow flowers from early summer and continue to flower sporadically through the fall. It thrives both in shaded and sunny areas. It provides beautiful foliage but is very aggressive and invasive. Growing in a container is ideal as it can take over your garden.

Plant in the spring to enjoy its flowers in the summer. Water regularly. It needs moist soil but not soggy.

creeping jenny in a container in our front yard garden bed

4. Begonia

Begonias unlike other flowers, prefer shady areas and will bloom from summer till fall. They should be protected from bright and intense heat. They have big bright flowers that brighten shady areas in your garden. Plant them under big trees where there is filtered light and they will thrive best. Ideal for container gardening to brighten up shady front porches.

When planting begonias in containers, ensure that the containers have drainage holes. They prefer fertile and well drained soil.

5. Japanese Forest Grass

Japanese forest grass is a slow growing plant. It has slender stems that gracefully arch. There are many colors of the Japanese Forest Grass, they can come in solid color or striped.

Once it’s established, it requires little extra care.

Use a container with drainage holes. It prefers moist soil but not soggy. Putting a compost over the top can help conserve moisture. It tolerates most conditions as long as it is kept moist and in low light situations.

6. Ivy

Ivy is an evergreen and one of the popular ground cover plants. It is easy to care for and will thrive in any light level, from full sun to deep shade. It can climb up a trellis, grow around and wrap up a structure or drape beautifully down a hanging basket. It is fast growing and considered an invasive plant. If you are considering on planting it in your garden, ensure to have it contained if you don’t want it to take over the areas in your garden.

If planting in a container, ensure that your container has drainage holes. Watering should be done when the soil is dry to the touch. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Don’t let the roots sit in the water to avoid root rot.

ivies in my porch

7. Ferns

Ferns are perennials that can be grown as indoor or outdoor plants.  They are either deciduous or evergreen.  Deciduous  means that it loses its fronds in the winter (fern leaves are referred to as fronds).  They are easy to grow. They thrive in shade and require moist soil . They can be planted alone in containers or mixed with other plants for added contrast. 

ferns under a tree in our backyard

Tips for assembling your plants in a Container

Just remember these 3 things.

1. Thrillers

2. Fillers

3. Spillers

my front porch container plants


Thrillers are the tallest plants that should be planted at the center or at the back of the container.

Fillers are the medium-sized ones that you plant to fill in the middle section of your container.

Spillers are the ones that you plant by the edge of the container to allow them to hang and cover the front edges of your container.

It is ideal to use 3 and up to 5 plants at the most, depending on the size of your container. Overcrowding the pot will look cluttered. For your fillers, opt for flowers with bright pop of colors for a beautiful contrast. A nice foliage as a thriller like hosta or fern and an ivy vine or creeping jenny for spillers. When you pick flowering annuals, always refer to its planting label as you want to ensure that it will thrive in shady areas in your porch.

What about you, do you have any favorite shade plants for front porch?


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