Selecting Plants for a Porch – My Strategy and Recommendations

 One of the best features of my house is the big screened in porch in my backyard. Except for the coldest months of the year my family – including our cats – love to spend time here. When we moved in almost 10 years ago I was excited to add plants to the space, but quickly realized that not all plants work well in this environment. Though my porch is on the south side of the house it is actually quite shady, making most flowering plants not an option. Additionally, I am notoriously bad at watering my containers, so my plants need to be highly drought tolerant. Read on to learn about some evergreen perennials that have worked great for my space for several years.

Aspidistra elatior

Aspidistra elatior

Evergreen perennials are great for adding tropical texture to a porch. Both Aspidistra elatior (pictured) and Rohdea japonica are shade and drought tolerant, and can live in containers year round. The aspidistra is taller reaching 2-3’ while the Rohdea has a more sprawling texture.

Dryopteris erythrosora and other large ferns

Dryopteris erythrosora To provide a fine textured contrast I love to add large ferns. Both Dryopteris ethrysora and Dryopteris x australis (Dixie Wood Fern) have performed well in containers and make a bold statement.

Need plant recommendations for your porch or other garden space? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at (919) 619-4460 or fill out our online contact form. Our expertise is landscape design and installation, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!