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20 Best Patio Plants – Lush Plants for Decks and Patios

20 Best Patio Plants: No matter where you live, you want to make the most of the good weather days. Spending time on the terrace is even more relaxing when you add seasonal colors and interest with tub plants, window boxes, or annual beds, shrubs, and shrubs. And since many plants attract tons of pollinators, you can watch butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds while drinking your morning coffee or drinking your iced tea.

best patio plants
Best Patio Plants
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To find the right plant for your conditions, observe how much direct sunlight your terrace receives at different times of the day: full sun means more than six hours and the partial sun is about half of it. Full shade means that your patio has less than an hour or two of sun or little morning sun. No matter how much you fall in love with a plant, think about its needs before you buy it: shade lovers can’t handle the heat, and sun lovers can never do well in the shade. Before buying shrubs and perennials that return every year, check your USDA hardiness zone (find yours here) to see if the plant can survive the winter in your area. Check out our favorite yearbooks, perennials, and shrubs to add a touch of pizza to any patio.


Mandevilla is a beautiful flowering vine that needs a grid. It blooms with little care all season, and you can plant it for winter in cold climates when night temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Full Disclosure: It’s a bit messy indoors because leaves and flowers fall in low light. It likes full sun, although it benefits from the afternoon shade in the hottest climates.

Marigold flowers

There is a reason why these robust yearbooks have been popular for decades: they live on neglect! Marigolds are available in bright colors, including classic oranges and yellows. However, new varieties are available in cream white. They absorb the heat, hold to a hard freezing point, and look good in beds or containers without effort from you. Give them full sun.


Lavender has beautiful purple spikes and silver foliage; Once it’s established, it’s drought-tolerant. Give it full sun and plant a variety that will survive in your hardiness zone so it will return next year. Edge it on your patio or plant it near seating areas so you can enjoy the classic scent.


Do you have shadow Fuchsia thrives in full shade? This breathtaking yearbook is available in rich red, purple, and pink tones. It looks best in containers or baskets. Hummingbirds also love this plant. This plant is best bought at a local nursery because its delicate nature makes it difficult to ship intact or to germinate from seeds.

Ornamental grasses

Look for short varieties to add architectural interest to pots. Tall types provide excellent shielding when used to edge the patio in the ground or in pots. Most are perennial but read the label to be sure. Most need full sun.


This stunning shrub comes in many different sizes and types. The flowers of the hydrangea appear in early to midsummer and keep up to a hard freezing point. They are extremely easy to dry for flower arrangements or wreaths. Most species need some sun to bloom best, but they like shade in the afternoon in the hottest climates. Make sure you plant one that is suitable for your hardiness zone.


Blue, purple or white lobelia look wonderful in baskets or mixed containers. This year mostly needs shade, although it can take a little morning sun. It blooms best in cool weather. So if it looks ragged in midsummer, cut it back and it should recover in the fall.


Succulents are a fun option for a sunny terrace! They come in hundreds of sizes, shapes and colors and require almost nothing from you. Some are hardy and survive winter, but if not, you can safely dig up a few and pott them to put them on a sunny windowsill.


The pretty purple, pink or white flowers of this plant attract pollinators and last until frost. Torenia are lovely pots on a shaded terrace. Some have a slightly grape-like smell.


Every garden needs at least one rose! Shrub or landscape types are not as fussy as you might think, and they bloom from early summer to a hard frost. There are a number of varieties. So read the label and look for varieties that survive in your hardiness zone. They bloom best in full sun.

Sweet alyssum

With tiny white, blushing, or purple flowers, low-growing sweet Alyssum looks beautiful when draped over the sides of containers. Plant it where you can smell its wonderful honey-sweet scent. It is another of pollinator’s favorite. It needs full sun but needs some shade.


Think outside the box: New strawberry varieties have been grown more compact and decorative, and new blackberry and raspberry bushes have no thorns! Plant them as a low border or in decorative pots. They prefer full sun.


Nothing is better for a drama than a caladium! The heart-shaped leaves in striking red and pink tones make this plant a popular accent in pots or along edges. Enjoy them as an annual or dig out the bulbs before winter in cold climates and store them in a cool, dark place to plant them again next year. You are a shadow lover.


Angelonia loves the heat! These annuals with tiny orchid-like flowers are available in pretty pastel or deeply saturated tones. Some types stand upright, others fall out of baskets or containers. Give them part of the full sun.

Cherry tomatoes

Even if you have never grown anything edible, cherry tomatoes or dwarf tomatoes are a good start! Many new varieties are compact so they work well in containers – and they’re pretty too! Give them full sun.


Begonias are the answer to long-lasting color and easy maintenance. These annuals come in any size, shape and color, with some prefers partial shade and others tolerate the sun. Read the plant label to find out which type you are buying. A big plus: Begonias bloom throughout the season without having died or having to remove used flowers.


Catnip is a hardy perennial with gray-green foliage and small purple flowers for most of the summer. Pollinators absolutely love it! Newer varieties keep a more upright, hilly shape and do not fall over. Plant it in full sun on the edge of your patio or in containers.


This stunning yearbook is a hummingbird magnet! Prepare to enjoy the show with bright orange, red, or purple flowers all season long. Give Cuphea its own pot because it tends to push other plants. It likes full sun.


Herbs are some of the easiest to grow edible plants. Create a small herb garden next to your patio or put it in pots. Perennial herbs such as oregano, thyme, chives, and sage come back every year. Annuals such as coriander and basil are easy to grow from seeds. Some, like rosemary, can be brought into the house for the winter. Herbs need full sun.

Sweet potato vine

This yearbook has colors that range from lime green to deepest burgundy with interesting leaf shapes. It is extremely robust and requires a lot of space to spread out in the planter or in bed. It prefers full sun but takes some shade.

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