Favorite Shade Loving Plants for the Front Porch

I’ve been growing plants on my front porch in a large container for years. There’s nothing like a pretty planter full of flowers to greet your guests. The problem is that this area is covered, and shrouded from the sun by a large red maple tree. So I’ve had to experiment with shady loving plants in order to grow a lush and full planter. Here are my favorite shady plants for the front porch, and below I’ve made a short video with tips on planting.

Shade Loving Plants for the Front Porch

It’s hard to find flowering plants that do well in the shade. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box.


Here are a few tips:

  1. Use colorful foliage instead of flowers.
  2. Try flowering plants that are marked “part-sun”
  3.  Don’t just stick to annuals – try houseplants and perennials


When it comes to planting my large front porch container I  tried a few different variations. My all time favorite is Lamium. This little guy grows with out fail.

End of Season Planter ~ Favorite Shade Loving Plants ~ gardenmatter.com

Look how big it grew last season from only two, 4-inch pots, over-flowing in front. At the end of the season you can plant it somewhere in the garden, and often it will comes back next year.

Perilla Magilla ~ Favorite Shade Loving Plants ~ gardenmatter.com

That big guy in the back it is Perilla Magilla. Again, look how much it grew from one 4 inch pot in just a few months.

Other Favorite Shade Loving Plants

When filling a container for your shade loving plants consider the following:

  1. One tall plant in the middle or back. (Perilla, Coleus, Rex Begonia, Grasses)
  2. Plants that will fill around the tall plant. (Imatiens, Fuchia, Browallia, Coleus, Begonias)
  3. Plants that will trail or vine over the sides of your container. (Lobelia, Bacopa, Lamium, Trailing Fuchsia)

Bottom line is, even if you have a shady spot, color and blooms can still be grown with the right plants and a little creativity.

Learn tips and ideas for a how to create a planter full of shade loving plants for your front porch or other shady spot in your landscape.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. cecelia cole says:

    Where do you go to find the plants mentioned above? Home depot doesn’t carry them.

  2. What is the name of the plant that looks like a heart shaped ivy, white center with green on the edges? I would love use that in one of my container groupings. It is lovely and rather unusual.

    • I found it. Lamium. 🙂

      • Hi Karin,

        Lamium is the best performers in the pot. It comes in a variety of colors, even a gold one. This one is called Orchid Frost. Does really well in low light and sometimes over winters for me. They sell it with the annuals in nurseries here I think it is a perennial.

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