Shade plants for planters and baskets1


Hanging Baskets and Containers for Shade

The biggest question I would get asked by people who visited the garden center I worked at is what plants are good for shade.

They would look up at our dazzling ceiling full of beautiful hanging baskets and then be delivered the message… none of those will work for you. But if your home is on the shady side of the street, you can still achieve a riot of color.

Here are some great choices that will get you growing!


 Garden Girl USA


Most of you know that fuchsias are happy in the shade, but what if you want more? I actually find it shocking that there isn’t a nursery doing mass production of shade hanging baskets and containers.

Seriously, are there not at least

half the homes on the wrong side of the street!

Oh.. and maybe you DO face south or west but because you’re an apartment dweller or townhouse owner, your shadow comes from the very close building neighboring your only available outdoor space.

Yes, I DO understand and I think it’s time the growers address this too. But since I haven’t seen it done yet, I will share with you these suggestions that you can use to create gorgeous shade hanging baskets and containers.

A quick word about beloved Impatiens, they have had a tough go the last couple of years succumbing to a terrible virus. They simply break down into mush and die. Horrible. We will have to wait for the growers to come up with a disease resistant variety, but until then….



Shade plants for planters and baskets 3


Wax Begonias are widely available at garden centers and come in deep red, coral, white, and yellow. Trailing Begonias are know by many names including Dragon Wing or Angel Wing begonias. These come in white, orange and red.


Shade plants for planters and baskets 2


Coleus is grown mostly for it’s leaf color but it does shoot up a flower. I pinch those off and to get your Coleus nice and bushy, I suggest you do the same.


Shade plants for planters and baskets 1


Ivy… yes ivy. It does just fine in the shade and it will make a great trailer in your basket. These too come in variegated form so you can find one with yellow splotches or white tipped leaves that will add some more color to your combo.


Shade plants for planters and baskets 4


The trusty Fern…. more than just a landscape plant! You could use a deer fern, asparagus or a fox tail like I did here. The house plant varieties we use in the north will do just fine in the summer months in your shade hanging basket, treat them like you would any other annual plant for seasonal use or rescue it for the winter and bring it inside.


Shade plants for planters and baskets 5


These hanging baskets made for the shade didn’t last 20 minutes in the greenhouse after I made them up, a customer scooped all 6 of them and I was back to the potting shed to make more… it’s hard to find pretty shade loving hanging baskets made up. So make them yourself!

Don’t stop there, add Hosta’s or Heuchera’s to your basket, even Vinca or Hakone grass! Combine shade loving perennials with some seasonal annuals to create an amazing combo full of textures and bright colors and you won’t feel like your missing out on all the pretty planters everyone else gets to enjoy.

Let’s take a look at some more great shade loving combos….

these planters are from Gethsemane Garden Center in Chicago but all of the plants used can be put into hanging baskets for shade too.


Shade plants for planters and baskets


The planters above have Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’, Foxtail Fern, Torenia (the purple flower), Wax Begonias, Coleus.


Planter Designs, Sow and Dipity 18


These planters have the same as above but with a deer fern and some Caladium’s.


Planter Designs, Sow and Dipity 22


This lovely red and green combo contains Coleus, begonias, Caladium’s and Creeping Jenny.


Planter Designs, Sow and Dipity 33


This last planter was spotted outside of a building in Chicago. It had some boxwood, coleus, Dragons Wing Begonia’s and Creeping Jenny.

Make the most of your shady situation by simply thinking outside the pot. Hope this post inspired you to put together some baskets of your own that are made in the shade.

Wait…. there’s more!!

Check out these other awesome design ideas….

14 Designer Planters for Spring

14 Designer Planters for Spring


10 Window Box Planter Ideas


10 Window box planter Ideas


And if you have a small space garden, then this super easy vertical basket is perfect for you!!

IKEA Strawberry Planter


There are so many awesome posts coming up this spring, don’t miss them…

Subscribe for more garden goodness