These tender plants and annuals do well in my shaded planters. Other than the lobelia, they will drop at the first frost, so they can only go outside in May. Depending on our fall weather, they will bloom until September, or up to October if we are lucky.
The Begonia ‘Ruffled White’ live up to their descriptive name, with plenty of rippled petals. They look like carnation flowers, but will have a much longer bloom period. I add begonias to most of my planters, because the large blooms with lots of petals are very showy, and bloom all summer. The begonias never complain about a shaded site, even on my front porch where there is really no direct light.
Begonia ‘Double Camellia Pink’ is very attractive with the lighter pink bud of petals in the middle. This is the first year I’ve tried it, and I’m pleased with how good the flowers look. I have the Begonia ‘Nonstop Pink’ as well, which put on a terrific display. This planter has some double flowering Impatiens in a light pink apple blossom colour to go with the dark and light pink begonias. You can see more begonias and shade plants in this previous article.
Begonia ‘Picotee Lace Pink’ is a frilly begonia, with slightly lighter tips to the petals. I grew this begonia last year, too. It is full of blooms, and keeps producing them all summer long. This one is competing for space with some cascading Lobelia erinus ‘Regatta Sky Blue’. The two flowers have the same colour intensity, so they work well in the same planter.
Most of the planters have Lobelia erinus ‘Regatta Sky Blue’ cascading down over them. This trailing lobelia has an abundance of pretty, blue flowers that don’t take up much room in the soil, but provide lots of blooms, half obscuring the sides of these dark blue pots. This flower is an expert at mingling and goes with just about any plant. It likes some extra water, like many of the other plants in these containers.
Lobelia erinus ‘Riviera Sky Blue’ is an upright mounding lobelia. I usually use it in my flowers beds, but I’ve planted some in the containers as well. These short plants are nestling back in, under some of the larger leaves. They add a splash of blue in contrast to the darker leaves. The lobelia are the hardiest of all of the plants in the containers. They can flower through some of the first light frosts, so you get a long bloom time from early season until October or so. In Edmonton our summers are fairly mild, so the lobelia performs very well.
This is a no-name Caladium with very eye-catching white and green markings. I like to know the exact variety or cultivar of a plant, so if I enjoy it, I can find it again. Unfortunately, this plant was not named or labelled. The lighter colour was appealing for the shade, in order to show up better against the shadows. There are some white begonias in this planter, but from this camera angle the large tropical Caladium leaves are obscuring them. You can just see a few white petals petals at the edges. This pot has green, white and blue colours in it.
This red patterned Caladium is colour matched by the red begonia. Then the red ladybug decided to accessorize the right planter. There is blue lobelia cascading down around the pot too.
I’ve planted Fuchsia ‘Swingtime’ for the last couple of seasons, as its flowers are exceptionally pretty. The darkest pink fat buds open to show the flaring white petals inside. It’s an eye-catching combination that looks fantastic swinging from the planters. In a warmer climate the Fuchsia would have a longer life, but here the tender plants gets a brief summer to flower.
I don’t even see a fuchsia flower when I look at this photo. All I see is a dancing pink octopus in a frilly white tutu. He’s mastered dancing en pointe.
This year I planted some Colocasia ‘Bikini Tini’ (elephant ears). The colouring on the leaves is fantastic, including a slight bluish cast. For the last three years I’ve planted Colocasia in my back planters that get a brief exposure of early morning light, and then dappled light through the willow leaves for the rest of the day. These plants do fantastic in this location, up until the cold weather.
Bikin Tini looks even better from behind. You can see the slight bluish-green glaucus cast of the leaf, and the darker ribs. Plus, you can see the intricate network of veins swirling across the leaf. I would definitely get this particular Colocasia again, as it is a knockout plant.
This Zantedescha (calla lily) has terrific speckled leaves, and fiery red flowers. I always look for the calla lilies with speckled leaves, as the pattern looks like sunlight is playing across them throughout the day. These plants get mostly dappled light, and a bit of early morning sun.
Here is a closeup of the wonderful speckles on the large Zantedescha leaf. I like some bold leaves in the planters around the back patio, otherwise the small flowers look a little lost against the garden background. This planter also has some blue lobelia and pink begonias.
The annual Schizanthus ‘Rose bicolor’ does very well in the medium part shade on my back patio, but not on the deeper shade of my front porch. I’ve tried schizanthus in the planters that receive no direct light and it dies, so I save it for a part shade location. It gets paired up with some white begonias, and of course the pushy lobelia plants squeezed their way in at the edges.
Here are some of the shade pots from last year.
What do you like to put in your shaded planters?