A screened porch is a great space to enjoy the beauty, life, and vibrancy of the outdoors without losing the comforts and amenities found inside the home. Potted plants are an easy and natural decoration for any screened-in porch, and as such, you may be wondering what plants do well in a screened-in porch or perhaps whether you can grow flowers on a screened-in porch. Before purchasing any plants, you'll first need to take into account the amount and quality of sunlight your screened porch receives throughout the day. If your porch receives little to no direct sunlight, there are many shade-loving and low-maintenance patio plants to consider.
Take Note of the Sunlight
Before making a list of the plants you prefer, you'll first want to analyze the sunlight coming into the space, noting which spots get sunlight, for how long, and from what direction. If there is no direct sunlight on your screened porch, then you might only be able to choose from plants that grow in deep shade. If part of the porch is privy to some sun or dappled shade during the day, then you'll have more choices. By understanding the conditions, you'll better be able to find plants that will thrive in the specific space your covered porch has to offer.
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Container Plants for Dappled Shade
Dappled shade is characterized by about three daily hours of sunlight that is filtered through an overhead canopy, creating spots of sunlight and shadows on the ground below. It is quite common on screened-in porches. Some screened porches won't receive even this amount of sunlight, but many will, and there are numerous container plants that flourish in dappled shade conditions.
Creeping Jenny, the evergreen perennial, is characterized by its chartreuse hue and easily brightens shady spaces, where it is often found spilling out of pots and hanging baskets. Keep it contained, though, as it can become invasive as a ground cover.
For a tropical look, the large, polished leaves of the elephant ear plant are the perfect addition to a screened porch. It likes bright, filtered sunlight and can tolerate partial shade. Elephant ears require constantly moist soil, especially during the warmer month.
The sweet potato vine, another favorite for hanging baskets, is a nonflowering cousin of the morning glory. Displaying heart-shaped leaves in an array of glorious colors, the vigorous vines grows well even in partial shade.
Potted Plants for Full Shade
The bright, variegated colors and patterns of the spade-shaped coleus leaves are happy to stand alone but are a brilliant addition to container gardens and come in a range of sizes, from 8 inches to 3 feet. Most coleus varieties, which prefer moist, well-fed soil, are true shade lovers, although some can tolerate partial sun.
In nature, ferns thrive in deeply shaded woodlands, so naturally, they are a good fit for other heavily shaded areas. Don't let their delicate leaves fool you, though. Ferns are quite hardy and can live a long life with proper care.
Hostas, a flowering summer staple sometimes called plantain lilies, need little to no direct sunlight and are a welcoming addition to a screened porch or patio. You'll need a wide pot, as their roots grow wider than they do deep, and keep in mind that when potted, they won't grow as large as they would if planted in the ground.