Best Shade Plants & 30+ Gorgeous Container Garden Planting Lists

When we think of shade plants, we often picture lush plants with deep green foliage and very few flowers.

The truth is: there are some very showy, colorful and easy care shade loving plants that will add much needed vibrant colors and cheerfulness to a dark shady spot, such as a covered patio, or the north side of your house.

colorful and easy care shade loving plants in pots

Here are 30+ stunning shade plant garden combinations, with complete plant lists for each of them, and designer tips! Just write down your favorite ones and have fun plant shopping! 🙂

If you have a sunny location, here are 30+ stunning planting lists of sun loving plants!

24 stunning container garden designs with plant list for each and lots of inspirations! Learn the designer secrets to these beautiful planting recipes. - A Piece Of Rainbow

30+ stunning planting lists of sun loving plants!

If you plant a colorful container, tag us on instagram @apieceofrainbow. We always love seeing what you create! =)

1 & 2. So many beautiful colorful shade plants!

All the plants in both of these containers below are perfect for full shade ( in hot sunny climates like California ) and partial shade ( in less sunny places like Pacific Northwest ).

flowering shade plants in large container garden

Plant List 1: Start from top –  Pink Fuchsia,Pink Begonia, Coleus mixed varieties , green Sweet Potato Vine

Plant List 2: Cordyline fruticosa / Hawaiian Ti plant ,  Caladium ‘Rosebud’, Dragon Wing Begonia, Lobelia ‘Techno Blue’ ( Source: 1 | 2 )

3 & 4. Choose the best shade plants for your locations

Look at the color of the wall and surrounding environment. For example, red foliage would not be as showy in front of a red brick wall as green foliage.

foliage shade plants in patio planter

Plant List 3: Boston Fern, Maranta leuconeura / Prayer Plant, Heuchera ‘Key Lime Pie’, Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ / English Ivy  ( from the beautiful portfolio of Laura Berman at Green Fuse Photos  )

Plant List 4: Coleus mixed varieties , green Sweet Potato Vine, purple Sweet Potato Vine ( Source )

5 – 8. Planting design: secrets of three

Choose a combination of shade plants so you have dramatic focal point, fillers, and trailers. You will see these 3 design elements  used in many of the planters here!

Plant List 5: Colocasia esculenta /Elephant Ears, Purple Plectranthus, Orange Impatiens, Red Stem Pilea

Plant List 6: Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum / Peace Lily, orange Kalanchoe, Croton,  Tradescantia zebrina / Wandering Jew, Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ / English Ivy ( Source: 5 | 6 )

Plant List 7: Diffenbachia / Leopard Lily, Actaea racemosa, Caryopteris ‘White Surprise’, Red Begonia tuberosa, Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ / English Ivy, Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny (via Deborah Silver)

Plant List 8: Myer’s Asparagus Fern, Imaptiens, Pathos ( Source )

9 & 10. White looks great in shade!

Some shade plants have white foliage or highlights, which can really brighten up a shade location.

Plant List 9: Caladium ‘White Christmas’,  Boston Fern, Red Begonia tuberosa, Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny ( The Garden Diaries )

Plant List 10: Boston Fern, green Sweet Potato Vine, White Petunia, White Daisies ( Botanical Blitz )

11 – 18. Foliage as colorful as flowers

Lots of shade plants have showy foliage with bright colors While flowers may last a few weeks these colorful leaves last year round!

You will find foliage colors ranging from hot pink, red, chartreuse,  to orange, deep purple, and more!

Plant List 11: Cordyline fruticosa / Hawaiian Ti plant , Coleus ‘Rustic Orange’ ( viola nursery )

Plant List 12:   Caladium, Pink Impatiens, green Sweet Potato Vine ( decor chick )

Plant List 13: Petunia mixed varieties , Coleus mixed varieties , green Sweet Potato Vine

Plant List 14: Cordyline fruticosa / Hawaiian Ti plant , pink Begonia tuberosa, Coleus, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ / Golden Japanese forest grass, Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny ( Source: 13 | 14 )

Plant List 15: Aspidistra elatior / Cast-iron plant, green Coleus, red Caladium, Asparagus Fern, Hedera helix ‘Variegata’ / Variegated English Ivy ( Source )

Plant List 16: Coleus mixed varieties , green Sweet Potato Vine, purple Sweet Potato Vine ( Source )

Plant List 17: Coleus ‘Rustic Orange’, orange Impatiens, “Yellow Moon” Torenia (Thanks to our reader Sheri for correcting one mistake earlier!)

Plant List 18:   Japanese Maple, Gartenmeister Fuchsia, green Sweet Potato Vine ( Source: 17 | 18 )

Plant List 19 – 34: You can see 16 more beautiful and easy care shade loving plant containers and plant lists here –

How to create beautiful shade garden pots using easy to grow plants with showy foliage and flowers. And plant lists for all 16 container planting designs! - A Piece Of Rainbow

See more plant containers and plant lists here !

If you have a sunny location, here are 30+ stunning planting lists of sun loving plants!

24 stunning container garden designs with plant list for each and lots of inspirations! Learn the designer secrets to these beautiful planting recipes. - A Piece Of Rainbow

30+ stunning planting lists of sun loving plants!

Happy garden planning! See you in a week!

13 Comments

  1. A wonderful selection of shade ideas, Ananda! I’m always looking for new ideas for my window boxes on my porch. Please note that the small yellow flowered plant in #17 is not a calibrachoa but rather “Yellow Moon” torenia. Torenia is a great plant for shade with yellow, blue, and purple varieties.

  2. these are gorgeous. I live in the northeast. Any chance these shade lovers would do well indoors in the fall? I’d love to continue to enjoy them.

  3. It’s all beautiful but when you don’t know the names of the different plants it’s impossible to tell which is which.. just a list of plants in a container doesn’t really help.

  4. OMG !!!! Love this site. I have lots of planters and every yr. I have to make a decision on what flowers to put in them. They certainly dont look as beautiful as these!!! now I can go flower shopping and put together an arrangement. Thank you sooooo much !!! The only thing is I wish you had an icon so i could print these up.

  5. These are all so gorgeous! Mu husband has the green thumb in the family. I think I will show these to him so that he can use these ideas!

  6. These are so beautiful! I have to admit that I buy plants for container gardens every year…..then they die within a few days. My neighbor though? Hers thrive and last all spring and summer long.

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