Hosta flowers whimsically wave in the breeze above its lush foliage.

Shade-Loving, Potted Flowers

by Victoria Weinblatt

Shade-loving potted flowers brighten up low-light areas. Potted plants serve numerous purposes, including creating privacy, providing focal points and blocking unsavory views. The most important feature of any pot is drainage holes. These outlets allow extra water to escape, which helps prevent fungal diseases, and lets oxygen in, which aerates the root system. If you have a favorite decorative pot with no drainage holes, place pot liner, made of plastic or peat, inside it.

1. Perform Best in Full Shade

Full shade is the best place for pots of hybrid begonia "Benitochiba" (Begonia "Benitochiba") and hosta "Invincible" (Hosta "Invincible"). If you live outside of U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, grow "Benitochiba" as a houseplant and take it outdoors in the summer. It sporadically produces small, pink flowers and displays coral-red foliage with silver splotches. "Invincible" has large flower heads of fragrant, pale lavender, lilylike blossoms in late summer and grows in USDA zones 2 through 9. For best results, clip its dying leaves before the middle of spring.

2. Perform Best in Partial Shade

Excellent in containers, English cowslip "Cabrillo" (Primula veris "Cabrillo") and Japanese Joe-pye weed "Pink Frost" (Eupatorium fortunei "Pink Frost") perform best in partial shade and have medium-sized flowers clusters. In mid- to late spring, "Cabrillo" bears fragrant, nodding, soft yellow trumpets in USDA zones 2 through 9. Outstanding for window boxes, it mixes well with spring bulbs or rock garden plants. "Pink Frost" bears deep pink, fall flowers amid dark green foliage with bold creamy yellow edges. It’s reliably easy to grow in USDA zones 4 through 9.

3. Spikes of Flowers

For full to partial shade pot-friendly perennials that sprout spikes of flowers from midspring to early summer, try foamflower "Oakleaf" (Tiarella "Oakleaf") and carpet bugle "Dixie Chip" (Ajuga reptans "Dixie Chip"). "Oakleaf" has medium-sized spikes covered in pale pink blossoms and features bronzy-red foliage in fall. It’s evergreen in the mild winter climates of USDA zones 4 through 9. "Dixie Chip" has small spikes covered in deep blue flowers amid cream-colored foliage splashed with pink and green. It grows in USDA zones 3 through 9. Both plants are superb edging in large, mixed pots.

4. Bell-Shaped Flowers

For shade-loving potted flowers with bell-shaped blossoms, try spotted bellflower "Cherry Bells" (Campanula punctata "Cherry Bells") and fancy-leaf coral bells "Pinot Noir" (Heuchera "Pinot Noir"). Expect huge, deep rose-pink, dramatically drooping flowers on "Cherry Bells" all summer long. A choice companion for hostas, it thrives in partial shade in USDA zones 3 through 9. The tall sprays of small, ivory flowers on "Pinot Noir" come out in late spring to early summer in USDA zones 4 through 9. A good choice for full to partial shade, it features purple-black foliage with silver markings.

About the Author

Victoria Weinblatt began writing articles in 2007, contributing to The Huffington Post and other websites. She is a certified yoga instructor, group fitness instructor and massage therapist. Weinblatt received her B.S. in natural resources from Michigan State University and an M.Ed. from Shenandoah University.

Photo Credits

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