25 Plants for Shady Container Gardens

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)Many balcony container gardens are shady due to large trees, other buildings, awnings covering the balcony, and walls on either side of the balcony. Full sun allows for a wide range of gorgeous bloomers and full growth of vegetables, but all is not lost with shady balcony container gardens. You just have to know how to successfully plant a container garden in the shade, and you too can have a beautiful and lush garden. Here are 25 container plants that will do well in shadier container gardens. To learn more tips about planting on a shady balcony container garden, read “Tips for 4 Types of Shady Balcony Sites.”

25 Shade Plants

1. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
2. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum floribundum)
3. Bush lily (Clivia miniata)
4. Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’)
5. Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)
6. Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)
7. Meadowsweet (Astilbe spp.)
8. Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica)
9. Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)
10. Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)
11. Flax lily (Dionella spp.)
12. English ivy (Hedera helix)
13. Coleus (Solenostemon spp.)

14. Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.)
15. Impatiens species
16. Variegated ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea 'Variegata')
17. Variegated lily turf (Liriope muscari)
18. Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, formerly classified as Dicentra spectabilis)
19. Hosta (Hosta plantaginea)
20. Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum)
21. Jumpseed (Persicaria virginata)
22. Japanese anemone (Anemone hybrida)
23. Azalea (Rhododendron spp.)
24. Leopard plant (Ligularia spp.)
25. Many types of ferns

If there’s a container plant you really love, experiment with it to see if it will grow well in your balcony garden, but beware - it may be painful to watch it slowly die or grow weakly. Just know that if a sun-loving container plant doesn’t get enough light, it will grow fewer, smaller leaves and may not bloom. Although you will have to compromise and leave some light-loving container plants to sunnier container gardens, you can still create a thriving balcony container garden with the many shade-loving plants available.

Additional information