By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
Hanging baskets are an extremely popular addition to porches, patios, and garden hooks. Overflowing with blooms, hanging baskets easily add color and a sense of abundance to growing spaces. Even those with limited space can incorporate baskets into the design of their outdoor living space. Baskets also offer a versatile option for growing in areas that may be less than ideal for other plants – like shade. Fortunately, choosing shade tolerant flowers for hanging baskets is quite simple.
Before selecting hanging shade flowers, you’ll first need to ensure that proper growing conditions for each plant will be met. This means that baskets should be filled with well-draining potting soil or a soil blend specific to the particular flower type. Additionally, all plant hooks and hanging equipment should be strong and properly secured.
When choosing shade tolerant flowers for hanging baskets, you will also need to determine how much shade the planting area actually receives. While some hanging basket flowers for shade will do best in full shade, others may need some sunlight in order to bloom well. Maintaining this balance is important.
Next, begin planting shade flowers in hanging baskets according to the desired visual design. In most cases, baskets are planted with a “thriller, filler,” and spiller” effect. These terms refer to the overall shape and appearance of each plant selected. Thriller plants draw the most attention. Filler plants help fill in the gaps and empty space in the container, and spiller plants refer cascade or hang from the basket.
Shade flowers for hanging baskets will need frequent watering, though not as much as plants grown in sun. Hanging baskets dry more quickly than other containers, and this is especially true for those located under mature trees or porch overhangs. Establishing a routine of irrigation and feeding will be key in keeping hanging baskets looking beautiful all growing season long.
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A perfectly placed hanging basket filled with bountiful blooms can add a colorful touch to a shaded front porch or bland garden spot. Selecting the right plant for the right spot will ensure lasting color that spills out all season long.
There are plenty of colorful plants that love the low, filtered light of a tree-filled property or a shady corner of a screened porch. If you have a spot that only gets morning sun, or no sun at all, we offer several hanging flowering plants that thrive in shade.
Here are our top 5 hanging baskets for shade.
Chenille plants are a gorgeous and unique option for your hanging baskets. Named for the French word “chenille” or “caterpillar,” this tropical plant features furry blooms that look like furry caterpillars or bushy foxtails. These blooms come in red and strawberry colors, as well as different lengths, depending on the variety you choose. Chenille blooms non-stop for enjoyment all year round.
The chenille is a hardy plant that can handle full sun in the morning, however, it does best when it has afternoon shade during hot summers. It needs moist soil, which is another reason why harsh sun that can dry out the plant should be avoided.
This excellent shade plant is also commonly used as a houseplant. Consider bringing your plant indoors during the winter. Simply deadhead fading flowers to maintain this jewel-colored plant.
A fuchsia is a showy flower that takes an unusual, pendulous shape. The fuchsia’s bright flowers contrast nicely with its dark green foliage, creating a beautiful hanging basket for your porch or garden. The plant blooms throughout the summer and comes in a variety of pink, purple and white colors.
You’ll love that this delicate-looking plant is not complicated to care for. It prefers lower temperatures and doesn’t like a lot of sunshine. Your plant will thrive in shade to partial shade. Too much sun will prevent your plant from offering the fullest blooms.
Winter your hanging plant indoors so that they can thrive all year long.
Add brilliant blue-purple color and velvety green leaves to your garden and hanging baskets with Streptocarpellas. This plant will stand out against other pink and red blossoms. The cascading flowers will last from spring to fall, plus they attract hummingbirds.
Maintenance for this plant is simple! Streptocarpellas thrive in part shade to shade. They can handle up to 6 hours of sun if your porch gets morning light, but should get 4 to 6 hours of part sun and 4 hours of full shade.
Monitor the soil of your Streptocarpella and water as needed.
Another recommendation for a shading-loving hanging plant is the classic bleeding heart. This stunning plant features heart-shaped pink-red flowers with a single hanging droplet and arching stems. The look of these blooms are hard to forget!
Unlike some of the other popular shade plants that bloom almost year-round, bleeding heart flowers blooms for several weeks. Their flowers will die off quickly if exposed to too much sun, so be sure to find that shady or partial sun spot for it to hang. They also need to be well-watered throughout the summer.
No de-heading is needed and you can expect the plant to bloom again next season.
Torenias create a lovely, bright spot in your shady areas. These plants boast velvety bi-color or tri-color flowers, featuring purples, pinks, white, and yellow. The flowers are shaped like little trumpets among beautiful green leaves. Upright and trailing varieties are available.
Torenias prefer morning sun and afternoon shade and are heat-tolerant once established. Some pruning may be required to keep flowering and shape. With proper care and watering, flowers will last from spring until first frost.
These are just a few of our favorite options for hanging baskets that thrive in the shade. For help finding the right plant for your unique porches, gardens, and yards, we are happy to discuss even more varieties.
Contact us today or stop by in-person and browse our greenhouses filled with beautiful blooms and pick your favorites from our many varieties!
Annuals don’t keep coming back the same way perennials do, but they have plenty of advantages for a seasonal garden. Here are our top choices for the best annuals to suit shady parts of your yard.
The sweet asylum is one of the hardiest and drought-resistant annuals you can plant in the garden. This flower naturalized in the United States, and you can find it going in the wild in many regions of the country.
The sweet asylum gets its name from the beautiful fragrance produced by the plant. If you smell the plant, it’s hard to think that it’s a part of the mustard genus. These plants aren’t tolerant of cold conditions, and they’ll die if frost lands on them.
With bright orange and yellow flowers, the calendula is another annual that looks fantastic in shady areas of the garden. With culinary and medicinal uses, the calendula is a staple in cottage gardens throughout Britain.
Also referred to as the “pot marigold,” the petals of the calendula are useful in cooking and as a natural yellow food coloring in cheese and butter. When using calendula in stews and soups, it provides a similar spicy taste to saffron.
Line your flowerbeds with calendula, or plant it near the vegetable patch to keep pests away. The calendula doesn’t require much maintenance and grows readily throughout the summer season into the later fall. Keep plants away from the frosts, as the cold weather will kill them.
The fuchsia is a stunning exotic flower featuring a two-tone color scheme. It’s a delicate flower with an unusual shape, and great for growing in shady parts of the garden.
We like growing fuchsia in hanging baskets in shady areas of the yard, such as under the pergola or the patio awning.
This tall flower is ideal for planting in shady areas of your yard. The flowers provide the garden with some early-season color, being that they come into bloom faster than most other plants in the yard. After you see the impressive results of growing these flowers, they’re sure to become a staple in your flower beds every year.
The variety of Larkspur you plant in your garden depends on where you live in the United States. Some types prefer colder climates, while others like warm weather. After the plants establish themselves in the flowerbed, they require little maintenance during the growing season.
These flowers have cute little “faces” that provide your garden with plenty of colors throughout the spring and summer months. These flowers prefer moist soil and do well in wet landscapes.
The flower blossom from spring until the early fall, and you can find them growing around streams, rivers, and wetlands. Plant them around the borders of your garden, and remember to keep the soil moist.
These fast-blooming flowers are some of the first to emerge in the growing season, bursting into bloom in the early springtime in regions of the United States., Some varieties only bloom in the wintertime in some areas of the world.
Pansies are a member of the Viola genus, originating from another small flower known as the “Johnny-Jump Up.” Mix in a few of the original violas into your garden landscape to bring some color and depth to the shady areas of your yard.
Growing snapdragons in flower beds provide the shady areas of your garden with some fantastic mid-season color. This mid-sized plant does well to balance out the taller and shorter plants in the flowerbed, providing a new visual aesthetic to your gardening experience.
There are numerous types of snapdragon, including dwarf, intermediate, and tall plants, with flowering stems that produce flowers with a range of colors. Snaps come in almost every color except blue, and they contrast well with other early-blooming plants in the garden.
Snapdragons can reach heights of up to 3-feet, or they can be as short as 6-inches. You can start your snapdragons early to ensure they flower in the early part of the growing season.
This plant is relatively hardy and can handle frosts. The plant also produces a pleasant fragrance that wanders through the garden in the springtime.
Here’s another stunner whose bright foliage steals the show. This annual's brilliantly colored leaves range in endless variety from ruby red and yellow to pink, orange, and blends in a range of psychedelic colors and patterns. The leaves also vary in shape and size, growing lance-shaped to rounded, edged in ruffles or serrated jags. For a lightly shaded patio, we love 'Stormy Weather,' 'Tammy,' and 'Copper Splash.' Each one looks refreshing in an apple green glazed pot.
Care: Pinch the tips to encourage bushy, vigorous growth the flower spikes are spindly and ruin the overall look of the plant. Coleus prefers rich, loose, well-drained soil with regular water and feeding.