DIY Patio Garden: 7 Gorgeous Patio Plants That Love the Shade

As more and more people get into gardening, a common issue appears: for one reason or another, their outdoor space doesn’t get much sunlight. Covered patios may be the only space some people have to grow plants, which is bad since most plants require direct sunlight to grow healthily.

Luckily there are several beautiful patio plants like Corn plant, Bromeliad plant, Pentas plant and Lantana plant that can survive or thrive in the shade. Growing these will add a much-needed splash of color to any shaded patio.

Shade Loving Patio Plants

These plants range from Sun-resistant to Sun-sensitive. Make sure you know when and where the Sun hits the areas of your patio before putting the pots down. Another helpful thing to know is what hardiness zone you are in since many of these plants do better in warmer environments.

Before you run out to buy flowers take some time to plan out space you’ll be working with. Potted plants can be moved around easily but if you plant in the ground it becomes a bit more involved later on. Umbrellas can be used to expand your shaded area or provide shade for you, check them out at

Coral Bells

This leafy plant looks good without full Sun and can even survive in dry conditions. They range in several colors from deep green to orange, purple, and a very dark red. Coral bells are one of the less sensitive plants on this list so consider planting these in the areas you aren’t sure about.

African Violets

While typically an indoor plant these can survive outside if you’re careful. While beautiful, African violets are very fussy when it comes to temperature range and watering. The leaves will rot if exposed to too much water so they need to be watered closer to the base.


These flowers enjoy lightly shaded areas and damp conditions. Primrose grow easily and are quite forgiving. They bloom earlier in Spring than most other flowers and have several colors of petals.


A very distinct looking flower, the actual flower grows into a bell-like shape and faces downward. They can grow in full Sun or partial shade and can live for up to two years. While beautiful, it is necessary to take caution if small children or pets are around because they are poisonous if consumed.

Lady’s mantle

Like the coral bells, this leafy plant can live in partial shade and still bloom. Take care not to put them in full-Sun for too long or they will get scorched. If you have space beyond the patio they will make for nice ground coverage but require pruning before they spread too much.


Easy to grow and beautiful, the best feature of these patio flowers is that they thrive in full shade. They have several colors of bloom and if you live in the south, they can bloom any time of year. Impatiens do very well in pots so if you have to you can bring them in to avoid a frost.


Heart-shaped and shade-loving, these tropical leafy plants look great in gardens or pots. Caladiums grow best in full or partial shade. They come from South America so be prepared to move them before a frost.

Starting steps

Now that you have some ideas of what patio plants to grow, check your hardiness zone and get growing. If you’re just starting out read our guide on basic landscaping for some pointers or look at some DIY articles for more ideas.

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