The Best Hanging Plants for Shaded Porch Baskets

Dreaming of a vibrant and welcoming porch, but your space gets more shade than sun?  No worries!  This guide will unveil the best hanging plants for shaded porches, turning your cool retreat into a flourishing oasis.  

Get ready to discover a variety of shade-loving plants, from cascading ferns to colorful blooms, that will add a touch of life (and maybe even a pop of color!) to your shady haven!

best hanging plants for shaded porch include multi-colored coleus plants.

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Dreams on the Porch

The front porch was the first thing that captured my heart when we bought our home. 

I immediately thought of sitting on the porch swing, sipping tea, and reading a great summer novel surrounded by a beautiful hanging basket full of flowers. One between each of the porch pillars!

Well, most of this came true.

Once we bought the house, a porch swing was our first purchase.

And, yes we sit and drink tea on the porch.

And, yes, I have read many a good (and bad) novel relaxing on this lovely porch.

But the flower part of my dream took a few years to figure out.

I tried petunias and lobelia. (I love purple flowers!) Fail.

I tried geraniums. Those on the northwestern side did well. Those on the northeastern side…Fail.

Not surprisingly, I was choosing flowers that thrive in full sun rather than in partial to full shade.

Sun-loving plants just won’t cut it in an area with partial shade or full shade. 

They’ll get leggy, struggle to flower, and leave you feeling defeated. 

Reality Check on My Shaded Front Porch

My story turned the corner when I decided one year to plant ferns.

Just ferns. Only ferns. This was a little tough given my penchant for vibrant colors. (I love my pinks!)

But I discovered that I really love ferns!


Within two weeks, I was seeing continued fullness, lime green growth, and receiving all sorts of compliments from friends and strangers who walked by the house.

Of course, this was while sitting on my porch!

I thought I had learned my lesson but then discovered that there are LOADS of outdoor hanging shade plants and flowers out there, just waiting to grace your porch with their beauty.

This guide will introduce you to some of the best hanging plants for shaded areas, helping you create a lush and inviting escape. 

So grab your favorite beverage (iced tea, of course!), pull up a chair, and get ready to add some serious shade-loving style to your outdoor space!

Shining a Light on Shade

Before we dive into the glorious world of shade-loving hanging plants, let’s talk about light levels. Understanding how much sun your porch gets will be key to choosing the right plants.

  • Full shade: Receives no direct sunlight throughout the day.
  • Partial shade: Gets a few hours of direct sunlight, usually in the morning or evening.

Pro tip: If you’re unsure about the amount of light your porch receives, observe it throughout the day.  This will help you determine if it’s full shade, partial shade, or something in between.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – the best plants for shady areas like your porch!

Fern-tastic Foliage

  • Boston Ferns:  These iconic beauties are a classic for a reason. Their lush, green fronds cascade elegantly from hanging planters, adding a touch of the tropics to your shady porch.  Boston Ferns prefer consistent moisture and well-drained soil.
  • Kimberly Queen Fern:  This fern boasts beautiful, arching fronds that can grow quite long.  Kimberly Queen Ferns prefer partial shade with consistently moist soil.  They’re a great option for adding a touch of drama and elegance to your hanging baskets.
  • Asparagus Fern: No, it’s not a true fern, but this airy beauty offers feathery, needle-like foliage that softens shady hanging baskets. Prefers partial shade, moist soil, and good air circulation.
  • Maidenhair Fern:  Known for its delicate, fan-shaped fronds, the Maidenhair Fern is a stunning addition to any shady spot. Keep the soil moist and the humidity high for best results.
Maidenhair fern for a porch shade loving hanging basket.

Flower Power in the Shade

Believe it or not, there are plenty of flowering plants that thrive in the shade! Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Impatiens:  A long-time favorite for outdoor hanging baskets, Impatiens come in a wide array of colors and bloom throughout the growing season. They prefer moist soil and partial shade.
Pink impatiens for shade hanging baskets on the porch.
  • Fuchsias:  Boasting showy flowers in shades of pink, purple, and white, Fuchsias are a delightful choice for a shady porch.  However, they do require consistent moisture and well-draining soil.
Shade loving fuschia plant for hanging baskets on the front porch.
  • Dragon Wing Begonias:  These beauties are known for their vibrant, cascading flowers that come in shades of red, pink, and orange.  Dragon Wing Begonias prefer partial shade and moist soil.  They’re a great choice for adding a burst of color to your shaded porch.
  • Pansies: These cheerful little faces are classic choices for hanging baskets, offering a wide range of colors including purple, yellow, white, and bicolor combinations. Pansies bloom in cool weather, from early spring to late fall, and prefer partial shade with moist soil. They’re a fantastic way to add a touch of charm and seasonal color to your shady porch
Pansies in hanging baskets.
  • Lobelia (Trailing Lobelia):  This cascading beauty features dainty blue, purple, or white flowers that bloom throughout the summer.  Lobelia thrives in partial shade with moist soil and is a great low-maintenance option for adding a touch of whimsy to your hanging baskets.
best hanging plants for shaded porch include purple and blue lobelia.
  • Rieger Begonias:  These versatile flowering plants come in a wide range of colors, including red, pink, white, and coral.  Begonias offer nonstop blooms from late spring to late summer and thrive in partial shade with moist, well-drained soil.  They’re a great choice for adding a burst of color to your hanging baskets.

Trailing Beauties

Trailing plants are a great way to add volume and interest to your hanging container. Here are a few shade-loving options:

  • Sweet Potato Vine:  This fast-growing vine comes in a variety of colors, including purple, green, and chartreuse.  Sweet Potato Vine thrives in partial shade and moist soil. Their trailing habit is lush and quick-growing! This is one of my favorites to grow by itself or combine with other shade flowers.
Sweet potato vine plants are one of the best hanging plants for shaded porch.
  • English Ivy:  A classic choice for trailing greenery, English Ivy is a low-maintenance option for your shaded porch.  It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and can handle some sun exposure.
  • Variegated Creeping Jenny:  A stunning variation of the classic Creeping Jenny, this variety boasts vibrant green foliage with a creamy-white margin.  Variegated Creeping Jenny thrives in partial shade to full shade and prefers moist soil.  It’s a great way to add a touch of brightness to a shady area.
  • Spider Plant:  This easy-care plant is a great choice for beginners.  Spider Plants produce long, cascading stems with baby spiderettes that add a whimsical touch to hanging baskets. They prefer bright, indirect light and well-drained soil.
A spider plant is good choice for  best hanging plants for shaded porch

Beyond the Basics

Now that you’ve got a taste of some fantastic shade-loving options, let’s explore some additional factors to consider when choosing plants for your hanging baskets:

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zones:  This map indicates the average coldest winter temperatures in your area.  Knowing your zone will help you choose plants that can survive your local climate.  You can find your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone by searching online.
  • Container Size:  Make sure to choose a hanging planter that’s the right size for the plants you select.  A larger basket will allow for more root growth and will need to be watered less frequently than a smaller one.

This is without a doubt my favorite hanging basket to use. While available in different sizes, I like to go with the 20″ so that my plants have lots of room to grow! Click HERE to check it out.

  • Watering Needs:  As mentioned earlier, some shade plants prefer consistently moist soil, while others do well in well-drained soil.  Be sure to research the specific watering needs of your chosen plants.
  • Color Scheme:  Do you have a particular color palette in mind for your porch?  Many shade-loving plants come in a wide variety of colors, so you can create a truly personalized hanging basket masterpiece.

Let’s Get Planting!

Now that you’re armed with all this knowledge, it’s time to bring your vision to life! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Classic Elegance:  For a timeless look, combine Boston Ferns with white Impatiens. This combination offers a beautiful contrast of textures and colors.
  • Vibrant Oasis:  Create a burst of color with Dragon Wing Begonias (red), Fuchsias (purple), and Creeping Jenny (chartreuse).  This combination is sure to brighten up even the shadiest porch.
  • Trailing Magic:  Let loose the cascading beauty of Sweet Potato Vine (purple) and English Ivy. This low-maintenance combo is perfect for adding lush greenery to your shady haven.

Remember, these are just a few ideas to spark your creativity. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect combination of plants that suit your style and your porch’s specific light conditions.

Bonus Tips for Hanging Basket Success:

  • Use a good quality potting mix:  This will ensure proper drainage and provide the nutrients your plants need to thrive.
  • Fertilize regularly:  During the growing season, feed your hanging basket plants with a balanced fertilizer according to the package instructions.
  • Deadhead spent flowers:  This will encourage your flowering plants to produce more blooms throughout the season.
  • Water consistently:  Pay attention to your plants’ watering needs and adjust your watering schedule as needed.  Generally, hanging baskets dry out faster than container plants on the ground, so be sure to check the soil moisture regularly.
  • Bring them indoors in winter:  If you live in an area with harsh winters, tender perennial plants like Impatiens and Fuchsias can be brought indoors and enjoyed as houseplants.  Just be sure to place them in a location that receives bright, indirect light.
A fern hanging in a basket with the American flag behind it.

With a little planning and care, your hanging baskets can transform your shaded porch into a vibrant and inviting outdoor retreat.

Have fun exploring the world of shade-loving plants. Let your creativity bloom!

Happy Planting!


P.S.  Don’t forget to check out your local garden centers!  They’ll have a great selection of shade-loving plants and can offer expert advice to help you choose the right ones for your porch.  They may even have beautiful pre-made hanging baskets ready for you to take home and enjoy!

Don’t Forget to Pin It!

Pin the image below to your boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

The Best Hanging Plants for Shaded Porch Baskets.

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  1. Great post with lots of good information! I have a shaded porch and am always looking for hanging plants with color. I’m going to try some of your suggestions!

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