7/1/2021 | By Kari Smith

It is that time of year when it’s elbow to elbow in the lawn and garden section of home improvement stores, and nurseries have full parking lots. Plant season is in full swing – and whether you have a green thumb or not, greenery always makes a home look good. Want to decorate your front porch with some vibrant flora? We’ve got the best plants for your porch, to ensure they stay healthy and fertile all season long.

But before you shop, do a bit of research. A nursery employee will likely be able to tell you what plants prefer full sun, partial sun, or part shade – but they won’t be able to tell you which applies to your situation. Note where the sun is in the sky when you first wake up. Step outside each hour to see where the sun is as compared to the spot you are looking to plant. Knowing how much sun your plants will get will help determine which plants will best thrive in that location.

Many people like to grow container plants on a porch or patio. Given that most porches or patios are either covered or largely shaded by the walls around them, they sometimes make the mistake of putting full-sun plants in these partial-sun or shady spots. Fortunately, many plants will work well in these not-so-sunny spaces.

Best Plants for Your Porch: Flowers


Some of the best plants for front door planters are flowers! Begonias in particular are a great option for either partial or full shade, making them a great option for the front porch. Be sure to check their soil before watering, as this plant needs good drainage, and prefers damp (not wet) soil. There are also many varieties and colors to choose from, including red, orange, pink, white, and even some bi-colored plants.


Impatiens are another one of the best plants for your front porch – they are popularly seen in hanging baskets. This plant does well in full shade, making it a great option for spots that never get direct sunlight throughout the day. Their brightly colored flowers range from lilac and purple to orange and red. Be sure to keep the soil moist, but well drained.


Hostas are not a colorful plant, but their beautifully lush leaves in varying shades of green make them a popular choice for landscape design. They are also popular with deer, so if you live in an area where deer are common, try growing them in a hanging pot instead of on the ground, so they do not become a snack for wildlife. They are very hardy, easy to grow, and come in many different varieties. They are also great for attracting bees, if you are looking to draw pollinators to your yard or garden.

Related: 8 Ways to Help Your Plants Survive Hot Weather

Best Plants for Your Porch: Vegetables


As a vegetable, kale is one of the best plants for your porch. Kale grows well in shadier spots, and thrives in both cool and warmer seasons. Its beautiful leaves – whether curly or smooth – can be ornamental before eating, and it can be grown in containers or planted in the ground. Be sure to pick leaves before they get too large for a better taste, and remove stalks before using in salads or soups.

Broccoli and Cauliflower

Broccoli and cauliflower also grow well in the shade, and like kale, can grow in cooler weather. Interesting fact: cauliflower heads actually stay whiter in the shade. If your cauliflower is planted in the sun, in fact, it is recommended that you tie (or secure with a rubber band) the outer leaves to keep the sun from yellowing the cauliflower head once it is a couple of inches in diameter.


Radishes are a great option for growing on a porch in the shade. To grow from seed, plant seeds about ½ deep in potting soil. Soil needs to remain moist, but be sure that pots have holes in the bottom for drainage. The seeds are quick to germinate – in about a week – and you can thin to 1” apart at that point.

These are just a few of the best plants for your porch, but there are many more. Whether your plants are for consumption, or simply to improve your view, there are many options to brighten this summer’s front-porch sittin’!

Kari Smith

Kari Smith is a frequent contributor to Seniors Guide, helping to keep those in the senior industry informed and up-to-date. She's a Virginia native whose love of writing began as a songwriter recording her own music. In addition to teaching music and performing in the Richmond area, Kari also enjoys riding horses and farming.

Kari Smith