Ten easy plants to transform your patio

flowers on patio

Adding a few potted plants to your patio is a great way to spruce things up and give the area a lively, colorful, more natural feel. Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional gardener or own a green thumb to take advantage as there are a great number of easy-to-grow, low-maintenance plants that virtually anyone can grow. With this in mind, we thought we’d have a look at some of the most popular varieties of patio plants.

1. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are not only extremely easy to grow, but they also look really cool. They can easily be grown in a pot in a sunny area, but you can also simply sow the seeds straight into the ground around your patio. Depending on the variety, your sunflowers could end up growing well over 14 feet as long as they are properly supported and sheltered from strong winds.

2. Geraniums

These vibrant little flowers are available in a range of different colors and are sure to brighten up any setting. Plus, they’re so simple to grow that there’s virtually no chance of you killing them unless you forget to water the pots occasionally. With more than 420 different species, you are sure to find geraniums ideally suited to almost any growing condition.

3. Marigolds

The beautiful yellow, orange and red flowers found on marigolds make another fantastic choice for your patio. Marigolds tend to grow incredibly quickly from seed, meaning you won’t have to wait long before your pots and flower beds are flush with color. As well, numerous varieties are available to suit any need—from short, squat species ideal for pots and small containers to much taller plants that make a great border. One added bonus of planting marigolds is that they can help keep a variety of insects and other pests away from the rest of your plants.

4. Herbs

Basil, rosemary, mint, oregano, thyme and other herbs are super easy to grow in any sunny setting. Although they may not provide the beautiful look of other patio plants, growing an herb garden on your patio is a good way to save money and improve your cooking potential. Plus, all those fragrant plants will make your patio smell fantastic as well.

5. Gardenias

These beautiful white or pale yellow flowers grow well in large pots and will give your patio or deck a classic, elegant look. Although they can be a bit more difficult to grow in some areas and generally do best in partial shade, planting these annual shrubs is well for the extra effort.

6. Pansies

The cute, smiling faces of pansies are a great way to make your patio feel bright and cheery. You should easily be able to grow them from seed, but you can also find bedding plants to make things even easier. If you’re looking to get your child involved in the gardening, planting pansies is an excellent low-maintenance choice.

7. Fuschias

Fuschias are available in a huge number of different shapes and virtually every color imaginable. Toss a few of these plants in your hanging pots or containers to add a splash of vibrant color. As an added bonus, fuschia flowers are edible and make a delicious, colorful addition to salads and also a beautiful garnish.

8. Angelonias

Also known as summer snapdragons, angelonias grow anywhere from one to three feet tall and feature large spires full of fragrant red, white, pink, purple or blue flowers. Summer snapdragons are truly an outstanding beginner’s plant as these annuals are incredibly low maintenance and drought resistant. Plus, they generally work very well in container gardening since they tend not to compete for space.

9. Lantanas

A group of plants from the verbena family, lantanas are prized by gardeners for their large, beautiful blossoms that are perfect for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. They tend to be fairly drought resistant and do extremely well in more acidic soil. Some varieties feature a variety of different colors on the same plant, and you can find a number of trailing varieties that look beautiful overflowing the edges of hanging pots.

10. Pentas

Named after their small star-shaped flowers, pentas work extremely well in hot conditions and will stay in bloom throughout the entire summer. White, red and pink are the most common colors, but you can also find newer varieties in a range of purples and even mixed blooms. These plants tend to grow quite slowly, meaning its best to use bedding plants unless you have a greenhouse to start the seeds in. Like lantanas, they are great for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.

The Final Word on Patio Plants

The above list is by no means conclusive, as you can easily find a huge range of different species that may work well depending on climate and conditions. That being said, all of the above varieties are extremely popular and quite easy to grow. Therefore, if you’re just looking to get started with gardening, any of these 10 patio plants ought to give you an excellent chance of success. If you need help planning out your garden, you can always check out some free landscape design software.


Craig is a contributor and editor at Everything Backyard, a gardening and backyard website that covers everything from gardening tips to backyard projects. He loves to spend all the time he can outdoors and find every excuse to leave his house. If you can’t get a hold of him, he is probably on a trail or a boat.