Plants brighten an outdoor space with dramatic foliage and flowers, but they can feel like a challenge to care for, depending on the varieties you choose. If you’re a beginner gardener, here is helpful advice on the best plants for your patio. From drought-resistant succulents to flowering perennials, there are plenty of options for creating a vibrant and flourishing outdoor retreat.

Plants for Your Patio: Herbs

Herbs are a great way to add life to a space; plus, they make fantastic additions to your cooking. Rosemary, oregano, and sage require minimal maintenance but will reward you with fragrant foliage all summer. Place the plants in well-drained containers in areas of full sun. Many herbs repel pests, and the best part about a patio herb garden is you can take a few cuttings to add fresh flavor to a summer meal.


Succulents are a great choice if you don’t have a lot of space or time to tend a garden. These drought-resistant plants come in all shapes and sizes, making them ideal for any outdoor area. Succulents require very little water and are available in a variety of colors and textures to enliven any area. Choose from species like aloe, jade plant, echeveria, and sedum.

Hanging Plants

Hanging plants are a great way to take advantage of vertical space in your patio. They can brighten an area or create a natural border between two spaces. Ideal choices for hanging baskets include ivy geraniums, petunias, fuchsias, and begonias. Check the plant’s requirements for light and water before purchasing and verify it’s a good choice for the conditions on your patio.

Flowering Perennials

If you’re looking for something more permanent, choose flowering perennials. These plants will come back year after year, providing color during the summer. Lavender, salvia, and hostas are good choices for patios. Check the sunlight and water requirements before incorporating the plants into your outdoor space. Lavender prefers more sunlight, while most hostas do well in shadier areas.

Tall Ornamental Grasses are Perfect Plants for Your Patio

For a dramatic effect, add tall ornamental grasses to your patio. These plants are easy to grow throughout the summer months. Varieties like pampas grass, fountain grass, and lilyturf are all great options. Keep in mind that some of these plants can spread aggressively, so growing them in planters on the porch or patio is a great way to keep them contained.

No matter what type of plants you choose, it only takes a little planning and maintenance to make your outdoor living spaces feel more lively and welcoming. With these plant varieties in mind, you can grow a vibrant and flourishing patio garden.

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