Your choice of things to use when decorating a porch with plants needs careful consideration, as your porch will be making a statement about you and will be the first thing that any visitors to your house will see. So when you’re decorating a porch with plants don’t just consider using those plants that might please you, but will also those that will make any visitors feel welcome and see that your house is a well maintained and homely one.
Local Conditions and Plants in your Porch
The actual plants you can put in your porch will depend on factors including the type of porch you have and the locality in which you live. Porches basically come in two types in the USA; enclosed ones or open ones that are really a verandah. Some plants are suited to being kept outside and some only inside, so that could be a limiting factor in the plants you can install in your porch.
Also, especially if you’ve an outdoors porch, the alignment of your porch to the sun could be important; with some plants needing a lot of sun, whilst others positively hate too much sun. Finally of course there’s the weather. A porch plant that can thrive in the New Mexico climate might not do too well in Montana and vice-versa. So with all the above in mind here are some plants you can consider for your porch.
Porch Plants to Consider Using
First up you might like to consider potted Azaleas. A member of the Rhododendron family this plant will sit well in any porch in a pot of your choice. An ideal winter plant they’ll do well in an outside porch in the south or an indoor one in the north, even through the winter. To keep them at their best for the longest time possible; don’t let them get too warm but do keep them moist. They like loam based acidic compost with a monthly feed.
More of a bush that can grow up to about 6 feet is the Jade Tree. This is ideally suited to southern facing porches that get a lot of sun. It will need some nurturing to keep in top condition in northern climes, so keep it in a free draining sandy soil feeding it once a month when its in flower, when it should also be kept moderately watered, the rest of the year just keep it moist. The Jade Tree has year round foliage and delightful small white star shaped flowers from the autumn onwards.
Particularly for outdoor porches having a climbing plant like Honeysuckle for a rich scented porch plant is always popular. However, to be slightly different why not try a Jasmine. Flowering through the winter and into early spring it also has foliage on display for the rest of the year. It can grow to 10 feet tall and will benefit from being regularly cut back.
Particularly effective as a hanging plant is the Spider Plant, especially a variegated one, which will give you an eye catching feature all year around in your porch. So long as they’re not in direct sunlight and are watered to keep them moist, the Spider Plant is a pretty low maintenance porch plant.
Just about any potted evergreen will be the ultimate in low maintenance porch plants, the Pygmy or Miniature Date Palm is one such porch plant.
If you live in a frost free area it can be left out all year round, otherwise it will do best in indoors porches. This plant does like a lot of sun and when mature it will grow small bowl shaped flowers. Pygmy Date Palms grow to about 6 feet from a cluster of feathery trunks.
Photo by Pamela Heywood, Creative Commons Attribution License