The 5 Best Potted Plants for Your Front Porch, Gardening Experts Say

Make your porch pop with these plants.

Whether you paint your door a special color, add a cute welcome mat, or set up a little seating area, your front porch makes a first impression about your home. "The porch is a transitional space that brings together both the architecture of your home and your garden landscape," says Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal.  And one of the easiest ways to make this space pop is with potted plants.

When it comes to choosing which plants to add here, experts say to keep in mind the amount of sunlight the area receives, the climate of your region, and the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve. Keep reading to discover the perfect potted plants for your front porch.

READ THIS NEXT: 8 Easy Outdoor Plants That Don't Need Sunlight.


Big Hanging Ferns
Becky Sheridan/Shutterstock

Ferns are ideal for porches that are shaded or receive indirect sunlight. You can keep them on the ground or have pots and baskets hanging for even more of a lush, green experience.

"Ferns love moist soil, so don't skip watering, especially if your ferns are in hanging baskets (which always dry out more quickly anyway)," says Erinn Witz, a garden expert and co-founder of Seeds and Spades.

Witz adds that you grow ferns for their foliage, so you don't have to worry about deadheading (a process of pruning where old growth and seed heads are removed from the plant to promote new growth) or bloom-boosting fertilizer.

Some ferns even go through color transformations and will change from red and orange before fully blooming to green, Alex Kantor, owner at Perfect Plants Nursery, tells Best Life.


Big Pot of Petunias
Jeff Caverly/Shutterstock

Petunias are a popular flower. They come in a variety of colors, so you can pick what works best for your front porch.

"They are versatile, bloom profusely, and require moderate sunlight (at least six hours)," says Emily Jones, professional gardener at TomatoMentor. They need regular watering, do well with any potting soil, and don't need much fertilizer to bloom.

Witz recommends the standard petunia varieties for pots due to their compactness, and the wave varieties for hanging baskets because they form long trailing stems.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Clever Ways to Make Your Yard More Private, Experts Say.


Various colors of Coleus plant in a terra-cotta pot
Fusso_pics / Shutterstock

Witz believes there's no better porch container plant than Coleus. It tends to keep its shape and doesn't spread too much—so you can still put other things in the space.

With over 1,000 types to choose from and an easy-to-maintain vibe, Coleus seems like a must-have. "Some are tamer in color, while others have bold magenta or deep purple," says Witz. "Most varieties do best in part shade—they're great for adding color to porches surrounded by large trees or a wide overhang."

You have to water them enough to keep the soil moist, but like ferns, they're foliage plants, so there will never be deadhead blooms.


Row of Geraniums on Porch
Lapa Smile/Shutterstock

Geraniums do well in pots and survive easily with moderate watering and sun exposure. They're also repeat bloomers, so it's no wonder they're a classic porch choice.

"Think about it, they are bright, colorful, and extremely resilient," says Clayton. Jones mentions that they come in various colors depending on the season.

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Penny Mac Hydrangeas

Penny Mac Hydrangeas
Dan Gabriel Atanasie/Shutterstock

Penny Mac Hydrangeas are the classic and colorful version of this flower. Kantor explains that the bloom clusters can be blue or pink depending on the soil's pH.

"The blooms can even turn out lavender if your soil is a good mixture of alkaline and acidic soil," says Kantor.

Not only are hydrangeas nice to look at, but they can also easily be grown in a pot. They're a low-maintenance plant that thrives in partial sun/partial shade settings. Plus, they bloom multiple times a year.

Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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