Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Aug 28
5 min read
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Written By Chris Tweten

Plants add so much to the overall aesthetic of your home. It can bring zen, boost curb appeal, and make your home look more inviting.

But you need to find the right type of plants if you want to showcase them on your porch. Can the plants handle direct sunlight? Does it need shade? Or will they match the porch’s aesthetic?

Gardening is no easy feat, as there’s a lot to consider. To help you out, we curated a list of plants that are easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing for most homes.

Petunias

There are four main types of Petunias you can choose from—Grandiflora, Multiflora, Floribundas, Millifloras, and Trailing (Wave) Petunias.

Multifloras are smaller than grandifloras, but produce more flowers. Grandifloras are a great option if you want larger flowers. Floribundas are bred to be an improved version of multifloras blooming larger flowers faster.

Mature milifloras grow an average of 8 inches tall and wide and produce 1 to 1½-inch blooms. Trailing petunias bloom in multiple colors and can spread between 2 to 3 feet.

petunias purple

But, no matter what type of Petunia you choose, the heat of the sun won’t be something to worry about. They’re relatively heat tolerant and do well in containers. Watering needs may vary depending on container size, local precipitation, and high temperatures.

For the best results, avoid shallow watering. This can prevent deep-root growth. For good soil health, fertilize monthly using a balanced fertilizer for faster blooming.


canna lily

Canna Lily

Canna lilies will give an ornamental and tropical feel to your patio. You can get them in a variety of colors such as red, yellow, orange, cream, or pink. It can also be easily incorporated into a centerpiece.

The flowers bloom best when they are exposed to full sunlight. However, hotter climates impact how long the flowers can last. Make sure to plant them in organic, rich, and well-drained soil.


Boxwood Topiary

Boxwoods are a classic porch plant. They fit with most aesthetics since they can be grown tall, bushy, or pruned and shaped. The plant is a favorite among gardeners as they’re slow growing with a uniform leaf pattern. They grow 2-8 feet tall and wide, depending on your chosen variety.

Consider placing the plant in an area on your porch that is protected against the wind. They have shallow roots that you’d want to protect from extreme winds and heat.

For soil, add organic garden mulch about three inches thick around the plant. Don’t put mulch right at the foot of the trunk, as this can attract pests.

boxwood topiary

Spiral Cypres Topiary

The Cypress Topiary is one of the most popular large plants on the market. But, they’re especially popular when they’re shaped as spirals.

It gives off a classy look that can elevate any porch. However, it requires a bit more maintenance. For starters, the water needs to be high in acidity to promote growth.

To get its spiral shape, the Cypress needs pruning at least twice a year. You can buy it already spiraled, or shape it yourself while it is still immature. Start with tying a landscaping ribbon to the tip of the Cypress.

Next, wrap the ribbon around the Cypress down to the base without pushing it into the foliage. Then, adjust the ribbon evenly to determine the distance between spirals. Trim to shape.


Roses

Roses are elegant and iconic. These look beautiful on any porch or patio. But as a rule of thumb, you’d want to avoid big shrub roses. This type of rose can easily outgrow your pots.

Just be sure to place them where they get good sunlight and enough air circulation. For the best blooms, add fertilizer. Some use liquid rose fertilizers when growing younger plants.

The frequency and amount you need to use depends on the product you have. Follow the directions for your fertilizer accordingly.

roses on fence

Beginner-Friendly Porch Plants You Almost Can’t Kill

If the plants above seem too daunting, don’t worry. Here are plants that look great on a porch that is easy enough to grow and maintain even for beginners.

cactus

Cactus

Cacti are the ultimate beginner-friendly plant. They thrive under direct sunlight and are some of the most low-maintenance plants out there. But, you need to ease them into the sunlight.

Start them off under a protected area on your porch. Then, gradually move them to a spot with more sunlight.

You can easily over-water cacti. The same goes for under-watering. Ideally, the soil should dry to around 10-20 percent before watering again.


Ferns

If you want a plant with strong survival instincts, look no further than ferns! Much like a cactus, ferns don’t require much maintenance when matched with the right location. Most ferns do best with some shade. Ferns need moist, but well-draining soil.

Ferns also don’t get many pests. However, slugs can still damage ferns if left unattended. Creating barriers made from crushed eggshells can be a good deterrent against these slugs.

fern leaf up close

pink begonia

Begonias

Despite the heat of the sun, Begonia’s are sure to bloom with vivid colors. However, you can’t leave this plant out in the sun. Four to six hours of morning sun is recommended to encourage blooming.

For watering, Begonia’s just need the soil to be moist. Avoid overwatering and getting water on the foliage. When the flowers are damp, they become more susceptible to diseases like powdery mildew. They also don’t need much fertilizer, only when they’re actively growing.

Key Takeaways

Plants provide aesthetics, clean up the air, screen off sunlight, and add value to your home. Before investing in porch plants, consider the following:

  • Choose plants that fit the current aesthetic of your porch.
  • The right frequency of watering depends on a variety of factors, including the amount of rain, exposure to sunlight, and humidity levels.
  • Some plants need more maintenance than others.
  • Plants like Petunias have long-lasting blooms.
  • Most porches are shaded. Be mindful when choosing full-sun plants.
Chris Tweten, Representative of PerfectPlants

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