7 Best Potted Plants That Thrive in Shade - Backyard Boss
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7 Best Potted Plants That Thrive in Shade

Some gardeners are lucky enough to have a yard bathed in sunlight most of the day, while others simply want to add more pots to their space. Other gardeners are just trying to find plants that will survive in their shady areas. Whatever your yard looks like, there are shade-loving plants that will work for you!

Do you have limited sunlight? Are you looking to spruce up the corners of your home with potted plants? Shade loving plants are the way to go! There are plenty of stunning annuals and perennials available that thrive in the shade. Better yet, there are plants that are happy in pots, giving you the opportunity for more growth around your home!

Wondering which potted plants thrive the best in the shade? Check out these seven plants that are content away from the sun and in a potted home of their own!

1. Begonias

terracotta pots filled with red begonias
Image credits: congerdesign via Pixabay

When asking what plants grow well in pots, begonias are one of the first mentioned. These extremely colorful, bushy flowers are perfect for those looking to brighten up a shady spot around their home.

Begonias are annuals that produce lively little flowers all through the summer months. They do best in the shade, as too much time in the hot sun will scorch the plant. Plant your begonias in a hanging basket, container, or pot filled with well-draining soil for a healthy plant! Add organic matter to the soil for an extra boost.

2. Hostas

green hosta leaves
Image credits: Katie McMurray via Pixabay

Perky green leaves of various shades and patterns? Yes please! Hostas are another plant that thrive in the shade. While most commonly grown in the ground, hostas work well in pots too. The pot you select needs good draining and must be filled with healthy potting soil. These stunning plants also like to be slightly root bound so opt for a smaller pot.

Hostas are perennials that go dormant over the winter, appearing again the following season. However, when planted in pots, hostas will not survive for the next year unless overwintering is completed. If you are determined to see your hostas reappear next year, store them in a cool place (garage or shed). Over the winter, water them only when the soil is very dry. Then, when the growing season begins, place it back in its spot and wait to see if they come back!

3. Impatiens

shade loving purple impatiens in a pot
Image credits: dference via Pixabay

Looking for flowers that will cheer up those shady corners of your home? Impatiens are another great option! Coming in red, white, pink, purple, yellow, and other shades, they are a great addition to shaded front entrances! Because, who doesn’t want to be greeted by pops of color when you come home!

Impatiens, also known as spotted-touch-me-nots, can grow up to 30 inches. They enjoy wet soil, so make sure to water them twice a week or when the top layer of soil is dry.

These annual flowers will fill up any pot, and most varieties do best in full or partial shade. Impatiens are lovers of moisture, so regular watering (especially for potted impatiens) will promote a bright and healthy plant.

4. Succulents

succulents in a pot outdoors
Image credits: Duc Anh Nguyen via Pixabay

Succulents are often thought of as a household plant, but many of these distinctive plants are happy left outdoors too! Though succulents grown indoors require plenty of sun, when bringing them outdoors, keep them in the shade. Too much direct sunlight will burn or scald your plants!

As succulents require less watering than other plants, they thrive in pots so long as they have good drainage. Some succulent varieties that do well outdoors in the shade include hens and chicks, string of pearls, haworthias, and others!

Pro Tip: Want to keep your succulents for next year? Bring them indoors for the winter season!

5. Monkey Flowers

Red Flowering mimulus cardinalis Scarlet monkey flower plant
Image credit: John R Martin via Shutterstock

Mimulus cardinalis, or monkey flowers (due to the monkey-like appearance of the flowers), are plants that loves the shade! These plants are easy to grow in containers and are known for their love of being waterside. If you have a pool or pond, it’s a great idea to place them in that area.

The plants require regular watering to keep them healthy and happy, and if cared for, will display delicate, scarlet flowers. Not only will these flowers add red splashes to your landscape, they also draw the attention of hummingbirds!

6. Boxwood

Various pots filled with boxwood plants
Image credits: cocoparisienne via Pixabay

When considering shrubs and bushes that thrive in the shade, buxus, or boxwood varieties are a great option! This shrubbery grows in partial shady areas, and is best situated somewhere away from strong winds. Boxwood shrubs need regular watering and soil with good drainage. To contain moisture for your boxwood, many gardeners recommend adding mulch around the top layer of soil in your pot.

It is important to note that boxwood is sensitive to extreme temperatures. Though it is a perennial, it may require attention and protection from harsh winter conditions. Protection over the winter includes potentially wrapping your potted boxwood bush in burlap.

 7. Coleus

Pink, green, and yellow leaves of a coleus plant
Image credits: hartono subagio via Pixabay

Why settle for typical green leaves when you could have foliage of varying colors? Coleus is a shade-loving plant that comes in combinations of colorful leaves like pink, red, orange, or yellow! Coleus are annuals that thrive in partial shade, showing off their unique leaves all season. When planting coleus in pots, use well-draining soil and a pot that allows for good drainage. To improve the color, size, and health of your plant, fertilize it in the summer during its active growth phase.

Get Potting!

Ready to fill those shady spots of your yard with stunning potted plants? For those wanting pops of color, consider planting begonias, impatiens, or monkey flowers. Prefer to have bright greenery in your shade? Opt for hostas or boxwood. Want original and unique plants, then succulents and coleus plants are perfect for you! Whatever shade-loving plant tickles your fancy, find the ones you love to grow in pots and spruce up your landscape!