Best Shade Flowers For Pots: Beautiful Blooms To Brighten Up Containers

Add a burst of color to a shaded porch or dark corner of your garden with fabulous shade flowers for pots. Here are our top picks to lighten up your space.

Angel wing begonias in pots on a shady front porch
(Image credit: racheldonahue / Getty Images)

Sunlight is a must for many flowering plants, but there are a surprising number of shade tolerant flowers for containers. Although most need at least a few hours of sun per day, a few potted shade flowers will bloom in partial or full shade. Read on for information on shade loving flowers for pots.

Choosing Shade Flowers for Pots

Before growing shade flowers in containers, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the various levels of shade. For instance, partial shade generally denotes an area that receives three or four hours of sun per day but not in the middle of the day. Partial shade, suitable for many potted shade flowers, can also include dappled light filtered through the branches of deciduous trees.

Full shade includes spots that get very little light. Deep shade refers to areas that receive no direct sunlight. Very few plants, if any, bloom in total, deep shade.

Best Shade Flowers for Pots

Good choices for shade loving flowers for pots include:

  • Astilbe - Smaller varieties of astilbe, which top out at about 12 inches (30.5 cm.), are great in containers. Choose a spot in partial shade.
  • Impatiens - Popular for partial shade, but not full or deep shade. Look for impatiens with long lasting double or single blooms in a wide range of vibrant colors.
  • New Guinea impatiens - An easy-to-grow plant, New Guinea impatiens tolerate quite a bit of shade but appreciate a little morning sunlight.
  • Browallia - Also known as sapphire flower, the dwarf varieties are best for most containers.
  • Fuchsia - Another popular shade loving flower for pots is fuchsia. This hummingbird magnet blooms all summer with very little sunlight.
  • Bush lily (Clivia ) - Although these potted shade flowers tolerate full shade, bush lily benefits from a little morning sun or dappled sunlight. 
  • Torenia - Also called wishbone flower, Torenia likes partial or filtered shade and will wilt in hot, direct sunlight.
  • Nicotiana - Flowering tobacco thrives in partial shade but isn’t a good choice for full or deep shade. Compact varieties are generally best for containers.
  • Tuberous begonias - Tuberous begonias grow with very little direct sunlight, making them a good choice for partial or filtered light.
  • Wax begonias - Wax begonias thrive in partial shade. 
Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.