Best Summer Patio Plants to Spruce up your Outdoor Space

Make Your Outside Space Pop with Beautiful Summer Patio Plants

By Gina LiVorio Posted on 7/5/2022

Upgrade your outdoor living space for summer by adorning it with lush patio plants that add beauty, texture and ambiance to your patio.

Summer is the perfect time to spruce up your patio or front porch, giving it the refresh it needs for the season. Need some inspiration for patio plant choices? We have curated a list of the best patio plants, including options that thrive in full shade, full sun or a mixture of both.

After getting inspiration from this list of patio plants, read about the best patio plants specific to the winter’s cold weather. While gardeners run into issues with protecting their plants against low temperatures in the winter, choosing winter-friendly patio plants and taking care of them properly will allow your patio to look great all year.

Patio Plants: Caring for Outdoor Potted Plants

Yellow mums in a tilted planter

Outdoor patio plants consist of potted or container plants, which have unique care guidelines. First you have to choose the right pot, one with holes in the bottom that allows for drainage. The pot material doesn’t have any impact on the plants, it’s more of a style preference. Choosing terracotta, plastic or glazed pots are all great choices.

Deadheadding is a must for potted patio plant maintenance, which consists of pinching or cutting off the dying flowers or leaves to promote new growth. Fertilizing is another requirement for keeping your potted patio plants alive, which replenishes the nutrients they lose in the pot.

Watering is tricky for potted plants because if they get too much water or it doesn’t drain out properly, this will kill the plants. The general rule is to water enough where the soil is moist, and water more during the summer when the weather is warmer.

Patio Plants and Sun Exposure in the Summer

When discussing patio plants, we would be remiss to leave out its correlation to summer sun exposure. Plants that call for full sun will need about six hours of direct sunlight per day, while plants that call for full shade will get, at the most, two hours’ worth of sun each day.

It’s important to pay attention to the guidelines for each plant variety no matter how much you have your heart set on a flower or plant, because a plant that needs full shade won’t be able to tolerate the heat and vice versa. Start by observing your patio or porch space and picking up on how much sun it gets and at what points of the day.

In addition to plants that get full sun or full shade, you might also notice some plant labels that say partial sun or partial shade. Plants that need partial shade require between 3 and 6 hours of sunlight per day and can’t tolerate the intense direct sunlight. Plants that need partial sun need at least 3 hours of sunlight per day in the summer.

The Best Patio Plants to Spruce Up your Outdoor Space

Now that we know that before choosing patio plants you must determine how much sun your patio gets, this rule will help narrow down your choice. Sun exposure will determine how successful your plants will be and whether or not it fits in your patio’s climate.

Below we will outline the best patio plants, determined by how much sun or shade your patio gets.

Patio Plants for Full Sun

These patio plants are heat-tolerant and can handle being in direct sunlight for the majority of the day.

Patio Plants for Full Shade

The following patio plants prefer the cooler temperatures the shade provides. These are excellent choices to add some visual interest to shady porches and patios.

Patio Plants for Both Sun and Shade

The following patio plants are versatile and can thrive in both sunny and shady areas of your patio.

  • Black Eyed Susan
  • Salvia
  • Nemesia
  • Twinspur
  • Scaevola

Planning your Patio Plants with Hortisketch

Garden Savvy’s Hortisketch can help gardeners design their patio with the plants and flowers needed to make outdoor spaces vibrant and welcoming. Once your patio is designed, head on over to our suppliers’ page to locate the world’s best suppliers for all your gardening needs-over 1,600 vendors. It’s even possible to reference plans from previous years to monitor how your garden has evolved and create new plans to incorporate future gardening ideas.


Gardeners grow at Garden Savvy! We provide gardeners with the best tools to plan a garden, organize a garden, and research a garden, with Hortisketch, our Garden Manager and our catalog of gardening Suppliers. Get started on your dream garden today