Ideas + Advice


The Best Plants for Hanging Baskets in Shade: 9 Ideas

If there's one home decoration that's growing in popularity, it's the hanging basket. Consisting of a basket attached to a hook, it can be filled with any flora you want, from lush ferns to colorful flowers. And, it can fit nearly anywhere in or outside your home.
Since plants are living things, you might be wondering: what's the best place to put them? It's a common misconception that plants should be in the sun, when, in reality, there are plenty of plants that thrive in shade. Moreover, plants that are compatible with shade tend to be lower maintenance. Here are a few of the best plants for hanging baskets in shade.

1) Fuchsia

Are you looking for vivid flowers that will catch the eye of passerby? If so, fuchsia fit the bill. These vibrant, purple-red flowers will begin to droop over the hanging basket as they grow, ultimately concealing the container and creating the effect of floating flowers. And, despite their bright colors, they don't need brightness to grow.

Fuchsia plants depend heavily on shade to grow properly. Not only does shade prevent these flowers from wilting, but it also helps decrease the amount of water they need. Generally, you should water fuchsia about two to three times a week.

2) Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding heart flowers get their name from their pink-red color and distinct shape, which resembles a heart. Each flower has a single white-pink droplet that hangs from the "heart," adding to its beauty and uniqueness.

Unlike many other flowers, they bloom for several weeks, as opposed to year-round. To ensure these beautiful flowers live as long as possible, you have to plant them in the shade — too much sun can cause them to die quickly.

3) Ferns

If you want to bring some lush foliage to your home, ferns are the perfect plants for you. You can count on these large, leafy plants to liven up your porch, patio or interior rooms with bright greenery. They look especially stunning when hanging above your head in a basket.

As an added perk, ferns are easy to care for. They don't need to be watered frequently, and you don't have to worry about trimming them. The most important thing is making sure your fern is in a shady area if it's outside. The shade will help the plant retain moisture, consequently lengthening its lifespan.

4) Chenille Plants

When you think of beautiful flowers, caterpillars probably don't come to mind. However, that may change once you hang a chenille plant in your yard. Named for the French word for caterpillar, these bright red flowers have a furry, insect-like shape that casually droops over a hanging container.

In the morning, chenille plants have no problem battling the hot sun. Once afternoon hits, however, they start to depend on shade. This is because they have moist soil, which dries out quickly in warm weather.

5) Begonias

Begonias are bright flowers that radiate positive energy. They come in a range of colors, from light pink and orange to deep red and white. Some varieties, such as Dragon Wing begonias, grow quite fruitfully, resulting in a flurry of flowers filling your hanging basket.

What makes begonias unique is that they can thrive in both full shade and sun. However, if you hang them in the shade, you can water them less frequently. Generally, you should water these plants every two to four days.

6) Creeping Jenny Plants

These plants may have an off-putting name, but appearance-wise, they're nothing but delightful. A perennial plant, the creeping Jenny has long, lush leaves with small, yellow flowers. When planted in the ground, they spread like weeds; thus, they're best when placed in hanging baskets, where they can be contained.

Creeping Jenny plants can do well in both sun and shade. The most important thing is making sure they have moist soil, which will encourage healthy growth. Regardless of where they're planted, you should aim to water them daily.

7) Coleus Plants

Coleus plants rely on both their vibrant colors and rough textures to stand out from the crowd. They come in tons of colors, including red, orange, yellow, green and brown. The edges of the leaves are slightly ruffled, adding to the already eye-catching appearance.

The care regime varies depending on the type of coleus plant, but most do well in partial or full shade. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing the colors to weaken and growth to slow down.

8) Coral Bells

Do you like the simplicity of plain greenery, but also crave the vibrancy of colorful flowers? Why not enjoy the best of both worlds with coral bells? These plants feature large, clover-like leaves with dark red and pink patterns. Over time, these patterns start to resemble bells (hence the name).

While coral bells can survive in the sun, they do best in partial shade, especially if the weather is warm. All you need is a shady spot, some moist, rich soil and about an inch of water a week, and these plants are good to go.

9) Hostas

Whether you're an experienced gardener or a total novice, you can count on great results when planting hostas. These large, leafy plants feature colorful hues — you can find them tinted in cream, yellow, green or even blue.

To care for them, all you have to do is plant these green giants in shade and water them regularly. Start with daily watering, then reduce water to about once a week. The end result is a beautiful, lively decoration that makes your home stand out!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.