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25 Patio Plants You Must Know About [ Specialty & Growing Conditions]

    The patio is the outdoor space used for lunching and hosting parties. It’s usually in the backyard. Patio is treated as an extension of the house into the wild and one with nature. They are a mini weekly getaway for the family. 

    Patio plants are meant to give a real outdoor feel for mini picnics. The plants are much more than looks too. It all depends on the choice of your setting if you want your patio more tropical looking and colorful or edgy and modern.

    There’s a plant and a vase for every setting. So, let’s look into few patio plants:

    1. Japanese Yew

    Japanese Yew

    They are dense evergreen plants with needle-like leaves and red fruits. 

    SPECIALTY

    They have the ability to grow up to 20-40 feet and in the right conditions can grow up to 50 feet. A pretty important point to be noted is that their seeds and foliage are pretty poisonous and it is also considered invasive in some states.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They are known for their survival in harsh winters and their resistance to drought. It is tolerant to a lot of conditions; it can grow in full to partial sun and can tolerate shade as well. It is prone to root rot if the soil is too moist and not well-draining. 

    2. Begonia

    Begonia

    Begonias have a wide variety of cultivars who are very adaptive to different growing conditions. Although they have tropical and subtropical varieties, they are grown as annual plants. 

    SPECIALTY

    They are sometimes referred to as the best of the container plants. They are showstoppers when it comes to beauty with their frilly ruffled flowers. There are mainly two types of begonias, the wax begonias and tuberous begonias.

    Wax begonias have succulent stems with shiny, rounded green or reddish-brown leaves; growing in a mounded habitat. The tuberous one’s are either upright or trailing with flowers being pink, yellow, white, orange or red.

     GROWING CONDITIONS

    They grow in full sun to shade. Sizes vary from 6-12 inch houseplants and 5 feet tall trees. 

    3. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope

    Heliotropes are shrubby plants growing in delicate bundles with an aromatic fragrance. 

    SPECIALTY

    They can grow from 1-4 feet long. They can get affected by powdery mildew. All parts of this plant are considered poisonous.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    These are temperate plants that grow in moist, rich loamy soil. They thrive in hot, dry places as they are heat and drought resistant.

    Seeds are the best way to grow them, sow them indoors in containers 10-12 days before the last frost of spring. They need 28-42 days to germinate in 70-75 degrees F. They need at least 6 hours in the sun.

    4. Boxwood Hedge

    Boxwood Hedge

    These dense, vibrant green shrubby plants with small leaves are infamous in the gardening world. 

    SPECIALTY

    They need full sun and that’s why they are best grown outside on the porch or patio. Their odour can be a disappointment sometimes. A lot of these varieties are commonly grown like the Japanese Boxwood, Korean Boxwood, Hybrids etc.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They need well-draining, neutral to slightly alkaline soil. They should be planted at the crown where the stem separates from the root. They grow in full sun or even in half a day of shade. The hardy American boxwood hedge grows from 10-12 feet. 

    5. Lantana

    Lantana

    These evergreen plants have broad leaves. 

    SPECIALTY

    They act as vines and that is why is best grown in hanging pots with the branches spilling over from the sides even so, scientists classify them as a shrub.

    They used to be considered invasive in warm areas but the new and improved fruitless varieties like ‘New Gold’ have reduced spreading. They bloom all year long in frost free areas. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They grow in full sun to a height of 6 feet and 8 feet wide. They thrive in well-drained soils but tolerate poor soils; they need alkaline soils with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. They are drought resistant and don’t need much watering. 

    6. Thread Branch Cypress

    Thread Branch Cypress

    This evergreen coniferous plant also called a white cedar is classified as semi-dwarf shrubs. 

    SPECIALTY

    They are characterized with a year round vibrant foliage and is the reason for it being such a good plant. They are drought resistant and can grow even in poor soils.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They are prone to root rot hence do not plant in soggy soil. They are slow growers taking 20 years to grow into their mature size of 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide.

    They grow well in full and partial sun as well, but can’t take much heat as they’re south facing plants. Pruning helps shape the plant. 

    7. Pentas

    Pentas

    These plants are great for all year round color to the garden. 

    SPECIALTY

    They grow in clusters of white, pink and red flowers. They got their name ‘Pentas’ because of their little star shaped flowers. Hybrids have introduced flowers of the lavender shade and mixed colours (with centres of pink and red). They grow up to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    Simply grow them inside during winters. Dig them up and shift them in containers, take them outside only when the temperature is around 75 degrees F. Fertilize them with granular fertilizer in spring. 

    8. Potted Blue Spruce

    Potted Blue Spruce

    These evergreen plants native to North America are favourites to be grown on a patio. 

    SPECIALTY

    These piny plants bring a classic texture and taste to the garden. They are super easy to grow. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    When growing outside, choose a light coloured pot so it doesn’t heat up fast and damage the roots. The pot needs drainage holes so the plant doesn’t sit in water.

    They need full sun during their growth stages otherwise they grow well in shade too. When the winter gets too harsh, they should be brought inside. 

    9. Coleus

    Coleus

    These plants bloom to have coloured leaves.

    SPECIALTY

     They provide a great foliage for a colourful patio. They have the most gorgeous varieties ranging from red, yellow, pink and maroon. They are one of the easiest plants to grow from seeds as they root easily. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They can even be propagated easily using cuttings if done 8-10 weeks prior to spring frost. These bushes grow up to 36 inches. They grow well in partial shade although some can tolerate sun too.

    They need well-draining, rich soils. They require moistness. Liquid fertilizer can be applied during spring and summer to boost its growth. 

    10. Brown’s Yew

    Brown's Yew

    This calm and peaceful shrubby plant is a yew that is characterized with slow growth. 

    SPECIALTY

    These shrubs vary in how they grow, some may grow tall and some may even bend or prostate. Nevertheless, they grow to about 6 to 8 feet when mature.

    They are related to the coniferous family and hence produce cones and sporophylls. Their foliage and seeds are toxic to humans and livestock.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They grow best in partial shade and in well-draining soils of pH levels 5 and 7.5. Before planting makes sure the soil is loose enough.

    If the soil is heavy clayey soil, then add organic humus for better drainage. Water the plant once a week to keep it moist. 

    11. Bromeliad

    Bromeliad

    These cup shaped vibrant flowers have almost all species native to North America. 

    SPECIALTY

    The flowers cascade into each other forming a beautiful pattern, although the plants tend to fade away after blooming but can be regrown from their pup plants. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

     They require a fair amount of sunlight while growing for them to start blooming. These plants need good watering only once a month. They usually grow on rocks, logs etc. and hence need drainage holes on the pot.

    They love rich, organic soils with good drainage. Repotting can be done once in 4-5 years and not during winter because the roots are resting then.

    12. New Guinea Impatiens

    New Guinea Impatiens

    They have great petal colours to be used as bedding plants or container combinations. 

    SPECIALTY

    The leaves provide a great foliage with long graceful leaves with light green on the inside and dark green on the edges. The plants grow up to 12-15 inches tall. The plants are slightly toxic and not fit for consumption.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    Medium light is best suited for the plant. They need rich, well-drained soil to grow and a shady space to thrive in. The soil pH needs to be 6 to 6.5. Water according to the moisture of the soil. 

    13. Winter Gem Boxwood

    Winter Gem Boxwood

    These evergreen perennial shrubs are rich and dense. 

    SPECIALTY

    They are a great fit for small hedges when grown in multiples. They thrive in both partial and full sun. They grow to a full height of 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They grow in well-draining soil but evenly moist soil. They can be planted before the shoots grow out, in spring. Plant them in late summer or early fall. The plant needs regular watering in the growing season. In hot weather, they need watering once a week. 

    14. Million Bells

    Million Bells

    They grow sophisticated little bell flowers with a variety of colours.

    SPECIALTY

    They can be grown without having to worry about tobacco budworm that plagues petunias. They bloom effortlessly from spring to fall. They grow to a size of 6 to 10 inches high and 12 to 18 inches wide. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    Soil-potting mix or well-draining soil is required. The soil potting mix is an actual excellent choice when mixed with humus and compost as it also gives the necessary drainage. The soil needs to be of neutral pH. Keeping the soil moist is important.

    15. English Boxwood

    English Boxwood

    These small leaved plants are evergreen shrubs that are characterized with slow growth. 

    SPECIALTY

    They are favourites among landscape designers and are a symbol for royalty. These short shrubs grow up to 2 feet in height and width. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They grow in full and part sun. Boxwoods grow best in loose, loamy soil as they are prone to root rot. They grow all year round and have a thick, dense structure.

    Use drip irrigation instead of overhead watering and keep spraying fungicides on the plant to keep away the fungus.

    16. Ornamental Pepper

    Ornamental Pepper

    Bushy green foliage with fruits that stand upright.

    SPECIALTY

    The fruits come in assorted colours and the flowers tend to change colors as they ripen giving a whole another array of colours. They are supposed to be perennials but are grown as annuals. They can also be grown indoors. The plants grow from 6 inches to 3 feet tall.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They require full sun for its optimum growth. They thrive on rich loamy soil and the pH should be slightly acidic 6.0 to 6.8.  Treat the plants with compost and manure. They are tolerant to droughts, but it’s good to keep them a little moist. 

    17. Ligustrum

    Ligustrum

    These plants are also called privets and are some of the easiest shrubs to grow with tolerance to a lot of conditions. 

    SPECIALTY

    They are adaptable to most of the conditions and that’s what makes it so popular and favourite to many. Fertilize them in summer and spring for healthy plants.  

    GROWING CONDITION

    These lovely plants are very adaptive and tolerant. They grow in full sun and in partial shade. They shouldn’t be grown anywhere near places where there is salt content in the water. For optimum growth well-draining soil must be used. 

    18. Creeping Jimmy

    Creeping Jenny

    This fast growing plant also called Moneywort grows an interesting cascade of small pad-shaped light olive green leaves.

    SPECIALTY

    The leaves grow on trailing stems. They also produce flowers that bloom in summer. They have rapid growth. A single plant can spread 2 feet wide and root on its way.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    While growing, space them 12-18 inches apart and they’ll grow a 4-8 inches’ tall carpet soon. They should be grown in early spring to ensure the bright yellow summer blooms. They need moist but not soggy soil. In hot climates, save them from direct exposure to the sun as the leaves might get blanched in the sun. 

    19. Hibiscus

    Hibiscus

    These are beautiful tropical species and a sight to behold.

    SPECIALTY

    While growing hibiscus’, grow the hardy cultivars and not the tropical one’s.  You can choose the cultivar according to the space and design because both dwarf and tall varieties of the plant exist.

    The sizes range from 2-3 feet to 8 feet tall. Planting hibiscus in containers is the best option as they can be moved inside during the frosty season.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They require a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight in a day during their growing period although afternoon shade would be great during summers.  They require a lightweight, rich and well-draining soil because they are prone to root rot. 

    20. Pelargonium

    Pelargonium

    These plants are also known as zonal geranium. 

    SPECIALTY

    They are actual dwarf varieties growing up to only 5-6 inches tall.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They are actual perennials that are grown as annuals, they may overwinter in some regions. They bloom best when they receive full sun and can grow in partial shade too.

    The pretty plants are not fussy about the soil but a slightly acidic soil would do well. Growing them from seed is the best option because they can be bred to be disease resistant.

    21. Japanese Mockorange

     Japanese Mockorange

    These fascinating plants are also called Wheeler’s Dwarf Pittosporum. 

    SPECIALTY

    They are native to Japan, Korea and China. The beautiful shrubs have dark green leaves and small orange colour scented flowers. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    When grown in partial to full sun, they grow to 6 to 15 feet tall. If you’re looking for the dwarf varieties then go for the Wheeler’s Dwarf and Cream De Mint which grow up to 2-3 feet tall.

    They can grow in all kinds of soil rich and clayey and any kind of pH as long as it drains well. During its early years pruning is needed and then maintenance becomes easy. They are basically tough shrubs that can handle a lot of conditions. 

    22. Canna

    Canna

    The plant boasts bright flowers that could paint a beautiful scenery for your patio. 

    SPECIALTY

    They might actually resemble tropical plants because of their vibrant colour but there are a few cultivars native to America. They are incomparable for their ease of growing and the bulk that they produce. They grow up to 8 feet.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    The plants thrive in wet soil and full sun. The soil needs to have a pH of 6.0-6.5. They need to be planted when the soil reaches 50 degrees.

    not plant them in windy areas as the wind can shred the leaves and give them a ratty appearance. The full sun helps ensure the best growth as the shade can make the foliage floppy. 

    23. Bamboo

    Canna

    These fast growing trees give an edgy vibe to the patio. 

    SPECIALTY

    Bamboo varieties are native to most of the continents. All these varieties are found in cold regions which means they are naturally adaptive to cold temperatures.

    They are fast growers and are pretty invasive so the shorter varieties are considered perfect. It grows up to 4-8 feet.

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They need frequent watering and hence it is important to keep the soil moist at all times. Poorly draining soils don’t suit the plant and that is why when using heavy soils, incorporate grit and gravel in it.

    24. Dwarf Alberta Spruce

    Dwarf Alberta Spruce

    They are immensely dark green and are tidy, easy-maintenance plants that stay in conical form.

    SPECIALTY

    These dense evergreen spruces are the best choice for a great specimen plant. They grow up to 3 feet tall and that is why they require a 3-gallon container. They can be grown on the ground as well. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They are cold tolerant up to 50 degrees F. They don’t like the hot and dry winds. Before moving it outdoors, they should be hardened.

    They should be kept in shady areas with filtered morning sun and afternoon shade. The soil needs to be well-draining and consistently moist.

    25. Gardenia

    Gardenia

    These plants are gifted with soft white blossoms that are traditionally grown for their captivating fragrance. 

    SPECIALTY

    The plants grow from 2 to 8 feet high characterized with dark glossy green leaves. The flowers bloom from mid-spring to summer. 

    GROWING CONDITIONS

    They grow best in the hot and humid weather. They thrive in well-draining, moist soils; not soggy but moist soils. Don’t overwater the plants and also don’t let it dry too. Add a lot of organic matter like compost. They also like acidic soils with pH 5 or 6.