Colorful Shade Loving Perennials for Show Stopping Containers
on Apr 24, 2019, Updated Jan 16, 2023
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Here’s a list of colorful shade loving perennials for show stopping containers to spruce up your curb appeal and add a splash of color to your landscape. Shade plants don’t have to be boring or ugly when you use this list as a guide.
Colorful Potted Plants for Show Stopping Shade Loving Containers
Heavy shade can be one of the most challenging garden situations for gardeners to deal with, but often porches, patios or overhangs create deep shade.
Whether you want to create a porch or patio container accent piece, or increase curb appeal with colorful plants in an entry way garden, these shade-tolerant plants can help gardeners working in full shade. You need to take the shade into consideration when choosing the right plants for your space.
Coralbells for Foliage and Flowers Make a Beautiful Shade Loving Plant
Coralbells (Heuchera) do well in shade container combinations because they need well-drained soil and will tolerate even deep shade. This lovely perennial is hardy to USDA plant hardiness zone 3, so they can survive a pretty cold winter.
Heuchera plants grow 1-3′ tall and wide, making them versatile to use in a variety of container combinations. In large shade containers, they act as filler plants, giving lots of body and filling in the gaps around larger accent pieces.
In small shade containers, heuchera becomes a taller focal point by using one of the larger cultivars and more eye-catching foliage color choices. Coralbells are available in a very wide variety of color options from dark maroon, to bright green chartreuse colors. Make sure you give them room to grow if you plant them in containers.
Lily-of-the-Valley for Fragrance – Make Great Spring Shade Plants
These delicate looking flowers are some of the hardiest bulbs to grow in containers and tolerate full-shade. Like many shade flowers, lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) blooms in the spring and prefers moist, rich soil. This perennial also needs lots of room in containers.
The bell-shaped flowers are usually white, but there is a cultivar that produces pink blooms as well. Hardy to zone 3, lily of the valley plants are a great addition to many garden landscapes. I love adding lily of the valley plants into the shade gardens and containers for their sweet fragrance.
Caladiums offer Bright Foliage and Long Lasting Shade Color
One of the absolute favorite shade plants of all time, caladiums do very well in deep shade and are one of the easiest bulbs to grow in containers. That’s because caladiums should also be planted in well-draining soil, so they tend to do well in container combinations. Gardeners who are wondering how to grow caladium bulbs are sometimes just told – put them in the ground and let them do their thing. Caladiums are perennials in zones 9-11 and treated as annuals in colder climates.
Caladiums grown for their attractive foliage which is usually variegated in two or three of the following colors; green, white, red, pink, rose or salmon. The leaves grow in rounded, heart-shaped leaves or thinner lance-shaped leaves with a variety of edgings as well. Hundreds, if not thousands, of cultivars are available but most caladiums grow around 1-2′ tall and wide.
Shade Plants like Begonia can be One of the Best Potted Plants for Shaded Porch
While not perennials, begonias can be brought inside to over winter. Not only are they beautiful flowers, but some cultivars have highly attractive foliage. One cultivar I saw at a garden center recently called ‘Benitochiba’ was a stunning purple color! Choosing purple or maroon foliaged begonias makes a great contrasting choice to the green, white or silver caladiums in a container combination.
Begonias make excellent container plants for shade containers because they need well-drained soil that isn’t too soggy. They also have long growing seasons so you won’t have to switch out the container plants very often. Plant begonia tubers in the spring and enjoy the wide variety of flower colors. Add interest to containers or shade gardens by choosing a rounded, or weeping, begonia and then watch them trail!
Dicentra spectabilis, or Bleeding Heart, is a beautiful perennial that blooms pink or white arching heart-shaped flowers. Cool areas with moist, fertile soil and shade, are the conditions Bleeding Heart prefers. They do well in containers as long as you give them room to grow without overcrowding.
Do you have a favorite shade loving perennial I didn’t mention? Share it in the comments!