19 Vegetation For Stunning Hanging Baskets Within the Shade

Shade-loving plants make gorgeous hanging basket combinations to brighten up dark garden areas. They add vertical interest, allow us to appreciate details up close in shaded seating areas and entryways, and flourish under canopy cover.

Colorful blooming options for shade are plentiful, and when combined with dynamic foliage plants, hanging arrangements feature diversity in color, leaf texture, and form. From tall and upright to spreading and trailing, beautiful selections for shade abound.

When designing planting arrangements with focal points, filler, and trailing specimens, pair the proper selections to specific shade conditions. Many plants perform well in partial shade and dappled light, especially with morning sun, while others tolerate bright, indirect light and even deeper shade.

Common cultural requirements for many shade plants include regular moisture, organically rich soils, and good drainage for the best vigor and flowering. Some are drought-tolerant once established, and many are carefree growers. Here is a list of beautiful selections for shady hanging baskets with long-lasting blooms and a tapestry of foliage. These plants combine effortlessly and quickly cool down hot summer days, provide tropical respite, or even culinary accents.

‘Dragon Wing’ Begonia

With striking foliage and vibrant blooms, begonias thrive indoors and out.

‘Dragon Wing’ begonias make beautiful hanging basket specimens with dramatic flowers and foliage. Easygoing and adaptable, begonias tolerate deep shade, heat, humidity, and dry conditions. They’ll fill a planter with slightly arching canes, “winged” leaves, and pendulous flowers. 

Angel wing begonias, too, tuck nicely into shady spots for unusual texture and foliar interest. Their wing-shaped leaves feature dramatic mottling in rich tones. Silvery dots mark deep green, wing-shaped leaves with red underside. Clusters of white, red, pink, or salmon blooms suspend from arching stems.

Begonias grow well as houseplants and overwinter or live indoors year-round. They are lovely in an interior hanging basket. Many varieties are bred for a more compact form, bolder leaf pattern, and longer bloom time. Their flowers are edible with a hint of citrus flavor, so pinch a few from the basket to garnish summer salads and desserts.


Wizard Scarlet Coleus displays vibrant scarlet leaves with deeply serrated edges in a large hanging basket in the garden.Vibrant coleus varieties add colorful charm to shaded containers and beds.

Coleus stands out in shady containers with a wide array of leaf colors, from lime to purple-black, in broad, ruffled, or narrow leaf shapes. Varieties are upright or trailing and “fill” or “spill” over a hanging basket in tones from lime to purple-black.

Use trailing varieties like ‘Burgundy Wedding Train’, and try ‘Dark Heart’ for deep red and lime green contrasting tones. Coleus spills and softens the edges of raised beds, blurring them into the landscape.

Coleus thrives in warm temperatures from spring through frost and overwinters indoors. Trim leafy stems if plants get leggy in the basket. In late summer, light purple bloom spikes accent the plant, though it’s best to pinch off the blooms to promote lush foliage.

Sweet Potato Vine

Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato Vine) showcases heart-shaped leaves in shades of green and purple, trailing gracefully from hanging pots in a greenhouse.Colorful and resilient, sweet potato vines cascade beautifully in hanging planters.

Ornamental sweet potato vines trail (and keep trailing!) for vertical interest in suspended planters. Their large leaves are deeply lobed or heart-shaped in chartreuse, dark purple, and variegated.

Sweet potato vines lend a tropical look and bold color to annual containers. They’re easy-care vines tolerant of periods of dryness, high heat, and humidity. Shady spots provide relief from intense afternoon rays and temperatures, which lead the vines to wilt. Resilient sweet potato vines perk up with regular water.

Sweet potato vine shows the most color and vigor in partial shade (rather than deep shade) and sunny conditions. Grow hanging sweet potato vines in dappled light or morning sun.


Impatiens walleriana is known for its lush, green foliage and profusion of small, colorful, single flowers in shades of pink, blooming in a hanging container in the garden.Colorful impatiens bloom profusely in shady spots from spring to frost.

The sweet blooms of impatiens cover plants from spring until frost, flourishing in warm temperatures and shady garden locations. Their single or double blooms in a rainbow of colors shine against petite dark leaves.

From ballet pink to neon orange, impatiens suit any shade-loving hanging basket display. While classic impatiens usually form a soft mound that gently spills over edges, trailing varieties are available for a twist on the originals in planters.

The shade-loving Impatiens walleriana is susceptible to downy mildew, especially in damp and humid conditions. Look for the BeaconⓇ and Imara™ series for selections with improved disease resistance. Impatiens grow best in organically rich soils, with regular moisture a key to vigor.


Torenia fournieri bears oval-shaped leaves and charming, trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of pink and white, with yellow markings.Vivid trumpet-shaped flowers brighten shady gardens from spring to frost.

Torenia brightens the shady annual arrangement with multi-colored trumpet flowers in bright pink, blue, purple, yellow, magenta, and white. The blooms resemble snapdragons and drape prettily on leafy stems.

Torenia lends a soft look to the display in its full, loosely mounding form. The vivid hues punch up the color scheme in rich pigments, available in single colors or mixes for a complementary design. Plants bloom from spring until frost with little care; just give them a trim if they lose form to retain their shape and promote new growth.

Torenia performs best in moist, well-drained soils and doesn’t like soggy soils. Some varieties aren’t well-suited to high heat and humidity. The ‘Summer Wave’ and ‘Kauai’ series feature improved heat, humidity, and drought tolerance.


Close-up of three flowering potted Browallia plants featuring oval, deep green leaves and delicate, star-shaped violet flowers with white centers.Starry blooms thrive in shade, perfect for vibrant hanging planters.

Browallia is a true shade-loving annual with starry, five-petaled white, blue, or purple flowers. Also known as amethyst or sapphire flower, rich hues in jewel-toned colors are a real highlight. Deep green leaves lend a lush backdrop to the charming blooms.

The ‘Bell’ series offers trailing selections, while ‘Starlight’ is a compact grower. The ‘Troll’ series boasts dense plants, and all are prime for shaded hanging planters. Browallia blooms from early summer through frost and overwinters indoors for multi-season flowering.

Browallia is a low-maintenance plant that requires little care other than consistent moisture. Pinch back stems to encourage branching for a bushy form. 


Fuchsia displays delicate, serrated leaves and pendulous, tubular flowers in shades of pink, purple, and red, showcased in a spacious white hanging pot on the porch.
Delicate blooms on trailing stems attract hummingbirds all season long.

Fuchsia is a favorite for hanging baskets in the shade. Its highly ornamental blooms are white, pink, red, magenta, purple, and bicolor. Single or double flowers suspend delicately from arching stems, especially in trailing varieties.

Plants fill a basket as a single specimen with a long bloom season. Heavy blooms in spring and early summer repeat flower into fall, and the bobbing florals draw hummingbirds.

Fuchsia needs bright, indirect light to thrive, even in shady conditions. Grow plants in rich soils with regular moisture. They’re somewhat drought-tolerant when established. Fuchsia hanging baskets overwinter indoors, though they can be a challenge.

Rex Begonia

The Begonia rex Zumba in a hanging container features strikingly vibrant and intricately patterned leaves with shades of dark green, silver, and green, adorned with swirls and splashes of contrasting colors.Intricately veined leaves adorn gardens and outdoor living spaces beautifully.

Rex begonias add unique foliage to shady garden areas and are perfect for adding up-close detail on decks, patios, and porches. Their intricate leaves have prominent veins and margins and red undersides. They vary in size, range, and color.

Some rex begonias feature huge purple-lined leaves with silver interiors, while others are bright red, deep pink, or dark green, depending on the variety. Somewhat ruffled leaf margins give added flare to the unusual compositions.

Rex begonias can be finicky if overwatered or in dry environments. They prefer high humidity and regular moisture, erring on the dry side between watering sessions. Fertilize plants when new growth begins in spring with a slow-release organic selection.


Strobilanthes dyerianus has iridescent purple leaves with metallic silver accents and green outlines and veins.With iridescent purple leaves, it thrives in bright, dappled light.

Strobilanthes, or Persian shield, is a striking tropical plant with a loose upright habit that provides a focal point in shady planters. The plant has unique, iridescent purple leaves edged in deep green. The long, lance-shaped leaves reach a full color of metallic royal purple and yield a lush look.

Strobilanthes is a fast grower in warm temperatures with regular water and rich, organic soils. It’s a carefree plant and withstands drying out between waterings. 

Plants grow in the shade but color best in the morning sun or dappled light (the afternoon sun can scorch leaves or cause them to fade) if your hanging basket location allows.

Golden Creeping Jenny

Lysimachia nummularia in a large stone flowerpot features small, round leaves in bright gold-green shades on thin stems with small yellow star-shaped flowers, cascading from the pot.Its chartreuse foliage cascades elegantly, enhancing any garden arrangement.

Golden creeping jenny, ‘Aurea,’ features attractive chartreuse foliage that dots trailing stems. The look is lush and vibrant, with long, flat stems suspended from hanging basket arrangements. The limey color complements any tone of blooming annuals or exciting foliage plants and brightens shady areas.

Golden creeping jenny, ‘Aurea,’ spreads less aggressively than the straight Lysimachia species, which is invasive in some areas. It’s easily maintained in containers by clipping stems if they grow too long.

Golden creeping jenny thrives in full sun to partial shade, where it’s more gold in sunny spots and lime in shadier zones. Leaves become brassy or blanched in too much sun.

New Guinea Impatiens

Impatiens hawkeri (New Guinea Impatiens) bears glossy, lance-shaped leaves with finely serrated edges and large, showy flowers in pink color.Their vibrant foliage and larger blooms elevate garden aesthetics beautifully.

New Guinea impatiens bring exotic appeal with larger flowers and leaves than the classic tuberous garden impatiens. Their elongated leaves are often deep in color with a metallic sheen, creating bold contrast in color and texture. New Guinea bloom selections carry the same pastel and neon tones of common impatiens.

New Guinea impatiens grow in deep shade and tolerate sunnier areas better than the tuberous I. walleriana. They’re more resistant to mildew diseases, making them an adaptable choice for various growing regions, including humid environments.

These florific annuals grow and flower best in soils high in organic matter with regular moisture. Available in upright, mounded, and spreading selections with solid or variegated leaf coloration, New Guinea impatiens provide a blooming focal point in shady hanging baskets.

Chenille Plant

Acalypha hispida in a white hanging pot displays fuzzy, long, red catkin-like flowers that hang gracefully amidst green foliage.Its fuzzy, vibrant plumes evoke a tropical allure in gardens.

The chenille plant is one of those wild bloomers with long, fuzzy red plumes that drape from arching stems. The drooping flowers resemble soft cattails in pink and red tones, giving the plant a tropical look.

While plants grow tall in their native range, they’re more commonly grown in hanging baskets and containers across other growing zones. A great species for hanging planters is Acalypha pendula, a dwarf plant reaching only three to seven inches tall.

The chenille plant thrives outside in warm seasons. Move it indoors over the winter and give it heavy pruning in spring to promote good form for new growth. Stems take regular pruning to maintain a containerized form.


Sutera cordata displays glossy, green leaves and clusters of small, trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of purple, cascading gracefully from hanging baskets.Its cascading blooms bring cheer and elegance to any garden.

Bacopa is a showy little trailing plant with flat-petaled white, blue, purple, or pink flowers. It makes an ideal cascading bloomer in partial shade with a tidy appearance and cheery flowers from spring through frost.

Bacopa cools down a bright color scheme and adds to pastel combinations. It’s lovely among rich greens or purple foliage plants and gives a gentle infusion of color. White bacopa instantly brightens shady zones.

Bacopa is a carefree annual, but it fades in extreme heat. In hot summer climates, look for heat-resistant varieties like ‘Tried and True’ or ‘MegaCopa,’ with more prominent blooms. Bacopa needs organically rich, evenly moist soils to thrive, though it tolerates drying out between waterings.


Lobelia erinus shows fine, lance-shaped leaves and clusters of small, vibrant blue flowers in a hanging pot in a shady garden.Its vivid blue blooms cascade beautifully in garden landscapes.

Lobelia shows a profusion of striking blue flowers that contrast highly as “fillers” to hanging baskets. Tubular blooms cover gray-green leaves from late spring through frost. Additional bloom colors include powder blue, lavender, white, and pink on plants that trail or mound, depending on the variety. Masses of dainty flowers cover plants when in full bloom.

Like bacopa, lobelia blooms best with some sun exposure, especially morning sun or dappled light and afternoon shade protection. In hot climates, look for heat-tolerant varieties like ‘Techno Heat Dark Blue’ for longer blooming during the summer heat. 

Cut plants back after each bloom period to encourage successive flushes. Lobelia thrives in moist, rich, well-drained soils.


Mint features small, serrated leaves with a refreshing aroma, cascading over the edges of the hanging container.Create an aromatic herb garden that delights both eyes and palate.

Mint is a versatile grower that creates a soft, spreading carpet of freshly scented leaves. For a fun spin on traditional hanging baskets in partial shade, opt for an herb arrangement with visual appeal and culinary goodness. 

Mint, available in numerous varieties for flavorful interest, becomes a mounding, trailing specimen in hanging baskets and accompanies other partial shade growers like lemon balm and thyme. The variation in foliage size and texture makes a beautiful display.

Mint and other herbs benefit from frequent harvests and trimming to prevent plants from getting out of bounds, flowering, and producing seeds. Mint is ideal for container growing to keep it from spreading into other garden spaces and for easy harvesting.


Tropaeolum displays round, green leaves and cheerful, spurred flowers in shades of orange, yellow and red, in a hanging basket against a blue sky.Colorful blooms and edible foliage make garden displays vibrant and versatile.

Nasturtium has round, true green lily-pad leaves on stems that climb or trail. It bears tubular yellow, orange, red, or cream flowers, sometimes all on the same plant. Newer varieties feature unique characteristics like deep maroon blossoms, variegated foliage, and trailing qualities for added interest. 

With a loose and rambling form, nasturtium lends itself to informal hanging basket displays. It can stand alone as a single display or accent ornamental and edible designs. The leaf and flower of nasturtium are edible and have a peppery flavor. 

Nasturtiums are easy-to-grow annuals that grow well in hanging baskets starting from seeds. They tolerate dry conditions and partial shade, especially in hot, southern climates. 

Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’

Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’ is characterized by silvery, heart-shaped leaves cascading gracefully from a hanging basket.Silvery cascading foliage adds elegance to any container garden display.

Small, fan-shaped leaves line silvery stems that trail to form a dense, cascading silver container feature. 

While dichondra only reaches about four inches high, fast-growing runners reach three to four feet long. If dichondra gets a little spindly or spreads outside its bounds, give plants a trim to sculpt them back into shape.

‘Silver Falls’ grows from full sun to dappled shade. It handles heat, humidity, and medium to dry soils as long as they’re well-draining.


The Phalaenopsis amabilis plant is known for its thick, leathery leaves and large, exotic flowers in white color with large rounded petals and a modified lip.Thriving in hanging planters, orchids beautify both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Epiphytic orchids naturally grow in trees with exposed roots that absorb water and nutrients from the canopy. They also grow beautifully in hanging baskets, indoors and out. 

Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, Vanda, and some Epidendrum and Dendrobium are well-suited to suspended planters that provide good aeration for epiphytic roots. To prevent root rot, use a bark or orchid-specific potting blend with a basket with large drainage holes. Wood-slatted baskets tailor-made for epiphytic orchids do the job. Terrestrial orchids, too, can grow in hanging baskets with suitable soils and drainage.

Orchids grow well outdoors in warm climates in partial shade with supplemental watering. Bring them indoors during winter months or grow them year round in bright, indirect light.

Staghorn Fern

Platycerium bifurcatum features large, green fronds resembling antlers and grows epiphytically in a container.Suspended in wire baskets, these ferns showcase their striking form.

Staghorn ferns make handsome hanging specimens. Their broad, blue-green, deeply lobed fronds resemble the forked antlers of deer or elk. Coppery shield fronds form around the basal clusters, which multiply and overlap as the ferns grow, for a striking habit.

Like orchids, staghorns have epiphytic roots that absorb water and nutrients. Their shields capture nutrient-rich debris from the tree canopy that breaks down for the plant to use in growing. They’ll thrive suspended from a tree or arbor in dappled light and shade.

Choose a wire basket for staghorn ferns and line it with moistened moss or coco fiber. Fill it with a well-draining potting mix. The fern will grow into the soil and eventually cover the basket with shield and basal fronds. Use a solid chain to suspend these long-lived and weighty ferns.

Final Thoughts

We sometimes think of shade as a limiting factor for flowering plants and dynamic foliage since there are nearly endless selections for sunny garden spots. But shade-loving varieties abound, often bringing unique adaptations in flowering and leaf variations that don’t appear in other plants. 

Create your shaded hanging basket based on showy anchor plants surrounded by filling and spilling plants for an overflowing display or with a single specimen to steal the show. Pair like-selections regarding cultural requirements, and enjoy the inviting display throughout the warm season.

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