Container Plants that are Good for a Covered Porch

Are you looking for good plants for your covered porch or patio with some lush greenery and vibrant blooms? Look no further! Let’s dive into the world of container gardening and explore an array of really good plant options that thrive in covered outdoor spaces. 

Whether you have a cozy porch, a spacious patio, or a charming veranda, these container plants will add beauty and charm to your outdoor sanctuary. So, let’s get our hands dirty and discover the perfect plants for your covered porch or patio oasis!

The covered front porch of our home is a good place for summer plants.

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Say “Welcome!” with Plants

There is something so special about the warm welcome that front porch plants give!

When we moved into our current home, I was thrilled with the fact that the house has two covered porches: The main porch entrance where the front door is located, and the side porch where we enter the house from the side driveway.

But what plants work for which porch?

One space has full or partial shady areas at all times and one gets full sun most of the time. It took me a while to learn the best plants for each porch. But I figured out some great choices for gorgeous flowers and lush green plants as well as great choices for massive curb appeal.

Our covered front porch is the home for plants that have found good light.

Here are some lists of my favorite plants for your covered porch or patio!

Shade-Loving Beauties

If your covered porch or patio doesn’t receive direct sunlight, fear not! There are plenty of plants that will love the shady spots on your porch and can bring life and color to your outdoor space. Here are a few shade-loving plants to consider:

  • Impatiens: Known for their vibrant flowers in a wide range of different colors, impatiens thrive in shade and add a splash of brightness to any space. Their low-maintenance nature makes them a popular choice for container gardens or hanging baskets.
  • Ferns: With their lush and feathery foliage, ferns are perfect for creating a serene and calming atmosphere on your porch or patio. Choose varieties such as Boston Fern or Maidenhair Fern for their elegant appearance and ability to thrive in shade. These are my favorite plant for a beautiful (and easy) hanging basket. 
A Boston fern is planted in a hanging basket and hangs as a good plant for a covered porch.
  • Hostas: Usually planted as an in-ground perennial, these leafy plants are a great choice for porch planting. They come in various sizes and shades of green, making them ideal for adding texture and depth to your porch. They are low-maintenance and can tolerate shade well.
Several grow-pots of various hosta plants  sitting on a covered front porch.

More Shade Lovers to Consider

  • Begonias: With their vibrant flowers and attractive foliage, begonias are perfect for adding pops of color to your covered porch. Choose from different varieties such as wax begonias or rex begonias.
  • Caladiums: These tropical plants showcase stunning, colorful foliage and prefer partial to full shade. Caladiums bring a tropical flair to your porch with their unique and eye-catching leaf patterns.
  • Vinca: Also known as Periwinkle, vinca is an excellent choice for a partial shade porch. It produces small, colorful flowers in shades of white, pink, or purple and has glossy green leaves. Vinca is known for its ability to tolerate varying light conditions, making it a versatile option for partially shaded areas.
Plants good for a covered porch: Pink and white vinca are planted in a blue porch and sit on a side table on the covered porch.
  • Coleus: Coleus plants are renowned for their colorful and patterned foliage. They thrive in partial shade and bring a vibrant, artistic touch to your covered porch. With a wide range of leaf colors and patterns available, Coleus plants offer endless possibilities for adding visual interest and personality to your outdoor space.
  • Fuchsias: Fuchsias are known for their elegant, drooping flowers that come in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, and red. They prefer partial shade and add a touch of elegance to your porch. I absolutely love fuchsias with a purple and pink bloom combination!
Purple and pink fuschsia is a good choice for a covered porch.

Thriving in Partial Sun

If your covered outdoor space receives partial sunlight throughout the day, there are many choices that are also on the shade list. However, now you have a broader range of beautiful plants to choose from. Consider these options for your container garden:

  • Begonias: With their attractive foliage and stunning flowers, begonias are an excellent choice for containers on a partially sunny porch or patio. They come in various colors and sizes, offering versatility and beauty.
  • Coleus…again! The vibrant and patterned leaves of coleus plants make them an eye-catching addition to any outdoor space. They thrive in full or partial sunlight and provide a burst of color and texture to your containers.
Plants that good for a covered porch: Pink and green coleus planted in a blue planter.
  • Another repeat…Fuchsias! Fuchsias are known for their elegant and pendulous flowers that come in various shades of pink, purple, and red. They prefer partial shade and thrive in cooler temperatures, making them ideal for covered porches.
  • Salvia: Many salvia varieties, such as the popular ‘May Night’ salvia, can tolerate partial shade. These perennial plants produce striking spikes of vibrant flowers in shades of blue, purple, and red.
  • New Guinea Impatiens: This is one of my all-time favs! With their large and showy flowers, New Guinea Impatiens are perfect for brightening up a partially shaded porch. They come in a range of colors and bloom profusely throughout the season. Bonus…if you forget to water them (like I did once upon a time!), just a good watering will jolt them back to a beautiful life. (The perfect plant for forgetful gardeners!)

More Lovers of Partial Shade

  • Hydrangea: Yes, hydrangeas are stunning as a potted plant on a covered porch! After years of unsuccessfully looking for the perfect in-ground spot, I finally found hydrangea success by planting it in a pot and styling it on the front porch!
Good plants for a covered porch: A purple hydrangea plant is planted in a pot on a covered patio.
  • Lamb’s Ear: This low-maintenance perennial features velvety, silver-gray foliage that adds a unique and soft texture to your porch. It can tolerate partial shade and is drought-tolerant.
  • Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums are versatile annuals that can handle both sun and partial shade. They produce vibrant flowers in shades of orange, red, and yellow, and their trailing habit makes them perfect for hanging baskets or containers.
  • Ferns: Ferns are not only shade lovers but also adaptable to varying light conditions. They add a touch of lushness and provide a soft, feathery texture to your covered porch.
A shade loving hanging fern on a front porch with the American flag in the background.

Sun-Loving Stars

If your covered porch or patio receives ample sunlight, you can take advantage of a wide range of sun-loving plants. Here are some sun-loving container plants to consider:

  • Geraniums: These classic beauties are known for their colorful flowers and ability to withstand the sun’s rays. Geraniums come in various shades, from bold reds to soft pinks, and they add a touch of elegance to any outdoor space.
Plants good for a covered porch: Two pots of pink geraniums flank the front door on a covered front porch.
  • Petunias: With their cascading blooms and vibrant hues, petunias are a popular choice for hanging baskets or containers on sunny porches. They are easy to care for and offer a long-lasting display of color throughout the summer.
A pot of pink petunias sitting on a covered front porch.
  • Marigolds: Marigolds are known for their cheerful, yellow and orange flowers that thrive in full sun. They are low-maintenance plants and provide excellent pest control properties for your porch.
  • Zinnias: Zinnias are sun-loving annual flowers that come in a range of vibrant colors, including pink, red, orange, and yellow. They are easy to grow from seeds and attract butterflies to your porch.
  • Portulaca: Also known as moss rose, is a drought-tolerant annual plant that thrives in full sun. It produces vibrant, colorful flowers in shades of pink, red, orange, yellow, and white.
Pink, white, and yellow portulaca is a good plant choice for a sun-loving covered patio.

Green Foliage Plant Options for Your Covered Porch

Include some of these green foliage plants on your covered porch or patio to create a lush and vibrant atmosphere. Their varied textures, shade of green, and low-light tolerance make them ideal choices for adding natural beauty to your outdoor space.

  • Snake Plant: Snake plants are excellent choices for low-light environments. They have striking long, sword-shaped leaves that come in various shades of green. Snake plants are known for their air-purifying qualities, making them both decorative and beneficial.
  • Chinese Evergreen: The Chinese Evergreen is a versatile plant that can tolerate low light conditions. It has attractive variegated leaves in shades of green, silver, or cream. This plant adds a tropical vibe to your porch and is relatively low-maintenance.
Plants that are good for a covered porch: A Chinese Evergreen plant on a patio.

More Foliage Options

  • Peace Lily: Peace lilies thrive in partial shade and are known for their elegant dark green leaves and white spathes. They also have air-purifying qualities, making them a popular choice for indoor and covered outdoor spaces.
  • Philodendron: Philodendrons are versatile plants that come in various shapes and sizes. They have glossy, heart-shaped leaves and can tolerate shade or partial shade conditions. Philodendrons are excellent choices for adding lush greenery and a tropical touch to your porch.
  • ZZ Plant: known for their hardiness and ability to thrive in low-light conditions, ZZ plants have glossy, dark green leaves that add a touch of elegance and drama to your porch. ZZ plants are also low-maintenance, making them ideal for busy homeowners.
  • Pothos: Pothos is a popular trailing plant that can tolerate a range of light conditions, including shade. It has heart-shaped leaves in various shades of green and variegation patterns. Pothos is easy to care for and looks beautiful cascading from hanging baskets or shelves on your porch. I also love to propagate pothos cuttings in water…the more pothos, the better!
Good Plants for a Covered Porch; Propagating a pothos plant in water.

How to Care for Plants on a Covered Porch

To care for plants on a covered porch, consider their light requirements, water them appropriately, and ensure proper drainage Also, be mindful of temperature and humidity, fertilize as needed, watch out for pests, and perform regular pruning and maintenance tasks. 

Throughout the growing season, it is a good idea to adjust watering based on the plant’s needs.  Use porch planters with drainage holes and choose plants that will tolerate the porch’s climate.

A small covered side porch with two large planters of plants that are good in full sun with a west exposure.

A covered porch or patio can add immense beauty and character to your home. With so many options for shade and sun-loving plants, the possibilities are truly endless!

Mix and match foliage based on the patterns, textures, and colors that you love the most for an entire outdoor space that feels like your own personal oasis. With a little bit of maintenance and watering, you can have lush blooms that make any porch come alive with color.  Fill your porch with plants and flowers and create an eye-catching welcome to your home that will leave visitors all smiles!


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Container Plants that are good for a covered porch.

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  1. Hey Missy, this is so helpful. I have one area that doesn’t get sun all day. Your front porch looks beautiful with all the plants and decorating. I would just want to relax and sit there all day.

    1. Hi Susan! I think the right light is everything when it comes to plants thriving or surviving! Hopefully this helped!

  2. This is such a great post, Missy! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful flower and plant options for porch areas. New Guinea impatiens are my favorites as well!!

    1. Hi Allyson! I have tried to grow hydrangeas in just about every spot in our landscaping and they never work. So, I thought…”why not just plant in a pot!” They love it!

  3. Wonderful post, thank you for sharing. I love these ideas. One of my all time favorites are also New Guinea Impatiens! I love the look they bring to containers.

    1. Aren’t they amazing! I have always loved Impatiens in general but am especially drawn to the New Guinea variety because of the larger bloom and wonderful leaf color! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  4. Hostas, ferns, and hydrangeas have always been home to me. My mom always has these in and around her home. She dries the hydrangeas and adds them to her decor. Thank you for sharing Missy.

    1. I love this, Cara! I always think of my mom when I grow geraniums. I love the special memories we associate with flowers!

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