Make the Most Out of Your Space With the Best Potted Plants for a Shaded Porch

Rayna Skiver - Author

May 2 2023, Published 3:35 p.m. ET

Variety of potted plants on a porch with white rocking chairs
Source: ISTOCK

Despite what many might think, you don’t need a big yard full of sunlight in order to care for plants. There are actually a lot of plants that thrive in the shade — some even prefer it.

But how do we know which species are shade-tolerant and shade-loving? Keep reading to discover some of the best potted plants for a shaded porch, as well as other outdoor spaces.

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Two large hostas in blue pots outside
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Hostas are beautiful plants with large, green leaves. Also known as plantain lilies, hostas thrive in nutritious, well-drained soil, and they love receiving lots of water. Depending on the variety, this plant prefers either partial shade or full shade, according to HGTV. It’s important to note that rabbits and deer tend to find this plant incredibly tasty, so you might have to keep an eye out for them.

Coral bells

Close up of small coral bells in pot outside
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Coral bells, also known as heucheras, are shade-loving perennials that come in all sorts of different colors. These plants look great in pots, making for some nice outdoor decor — they’re also deer and rabbit resistant, which is a handy advantage. If you’re a beginner, this easy-to-grow plant might be a good place to start.

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Large fern in square pot outside on shaded porch
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Ferns are a fun way to add a touch of green to your porch. These unique-looking plants are very easy to take care of — just give them enough water to stay damp and keep them out of the sun. To allow them to flourish even more, add some organic mulch and make sure that they’re protected from strong winds and heavy rains.

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Close up of mint plant
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Not only can mint thrive in a shady location, but it also comes with a lot of practical uses. Nothing beats the satisfaction of using a plant you grew yourself in a nice, homemade meal. Mint can be added to a ton of different recipes as well, such as smoothies, teas, salads, soups, yogurt, and even dessert.

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Side view of purple phlox in a large pot outside
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For a pop of color, add a potted phlox to your porch. These exciting little flowers have a wonderful aroma and come in many different colors, such as pink, purple, red, and white. According to the Mt. Cuba Center, both woodland and creeping phlox grow well in shaded areas. This plant is easy to grow and tends to be very disease-resistant.

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Coleus plant with leaves that have dark red center and light green edges
Source: ISTOCK

Coleus varieties love the shade and are extremely low-maintenance. This plant is both interesting and eye-catching, and it can add a lot of fun colors to a space. If you’re looking for a large plant, this is a great option.

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Creeping jenny

Various outdoor plants, including creeping jenny, a bright green, trailing plant
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Creeping jenny is a bright green climbing plant that can do well in either sun or shade, The Honeycomb Home explained. It’s best to grow this plant in a container, as it can be very aggressive. This one is a great option if you’re looking for something that will trail up and along your porch.

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“Snow Cap” sedge

If you’ve noticed that most of your plants are various shades of green, this broad-leaved sedge will offer a much-needed change of scenery. The “snow cap” will earn its name by providing some brightness to your outdoor space, with its long, white leaves. This plant prefers partial shade and will grow happily when it’s in moist, fertile soil.

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