So let’s take a look at our containers in the shady back garden, shall we?


Here’s a view of the patio, which is ringed with containers. Overall, I’m pleased with how they look.


The star in most of them are the Caladiums that I grew indoors from tubers. This was much more affordable than purchasing plants, though I did make a mess of the back porch for a few weeks.

I just learned from Google that Caladiums aren’t just called Caladiums, they have common names. These include Elephant Ear, Angel Wings, and Heart of Jesus. I think I’ll just keep calling them Caladiums.


I normally like containers that are overflowing with plants. My original hope had been to underplant the Caladiums with the new mildew-resistant Beacon Impatiens. Sadly I could only obtain 2 of these plants. So instead I used some ‘Diamond Snow’ Euphorbia, plus some Shockwave Petunias that I got free from PanAmerican Seed. The Petunias would be better off with more sun, but they’ll just have to tough it out.

Even so, I never did get enough plants to really fill up all the containers in the Back Garden.


You can barely tell this is a container. It’s actually the base of an old concrete birdbath. In addition to Caladiums, there are 2 perennials growing successfully in there: ‘Patriot’ Hosta and Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia syphilitica). The Great Blue Lobelia is also growing in a couple of the other containers – you can see them in the top photo. Looking forward to the flowers, though I’m going to have to sneak some stakes in there.


Here are those 2 Beacon Impatiens. No sign of downy mildew, so that’s good.


The containers on the back porch are mostly full of herbs: mint, dill, parsley, and cilantro. Chipmunks are fond of the dill and parsley, so I’ve fortified them with chicken wire.

I suppose I could have a wider variety of foliage plants in these containers, but I prefer to have a lot of what I know I like. Which is to say, Caladiums.

45 Comments on “This Year’s Containers for Shade”

  1. I love the caladiums, especially the white varieties. Have you ever tried any of the charming oxalis bulbs? I let them die back in the pots, over winter them in the garage (above freezing), and come spring add a little compost, water and wait!

  2. Your front and back gardens never cease to amaze me. There is always something new. I like the containers of caladiums and euphorbia “Diamond Snow”. This is the first time in many years that I have planted caladiums in containers. They are very satisfying.
    Would you consider a post on how you have grown (and I assume over-wintered) your caladiums from tubers, because they are expensive ready to plant from the nursery?

  3. This is my second attempt at a comment! Love the caladiums. Would you consider a post on how you grow (and I assume overwinter) the tubers. Purchasing the ready to plant varieties from the nursery is an expensive proposition.

  4. I’m happily joining the chorus of Caladium lovers. I particularly love the second picture container. I haven’t heard of or seen ‘Diamond Snow’ Euphorbia before and it seems like the perfect companion to the Ghostly Caladium. The pink veins in some of the leafs provide just the perfect amount of color to complete the grouping.

  5. I adore white caladiums! They look so great in your containers! I grew ‘Moonlight’ caladiums one year, but was unsuccessful in overwintering them. The ‘Diamond Snow’ euphorbia looks really great with them too.

  6. Wow, your containers look fabulous! Bravo! I didn’t grow any Caladiums this year, but you’re reminding me how wonderful they are. I didn’t think to grow them from tubers, or to try to overwinter the tubers. Maybe I’ll have to try that. The pots look great surrounding your sitting area!

  7. I can only echo the previous comments! The Caladiums are so very beautiful… and their common names are fun.
    I learned from your posts the rule of thrillers, spillers and fillers. 🙂 In your containers, there surely are thrillers.
    Many white and variegated leaves and white flowers look very elegant. Love the big fern too.

  8. I just gave away the few blooming plants I had, because I just don’t get enough sunlight on my new patio. Even my cacti are suffering. Maybe I’ll give the caladiums a try. I have a pot, and if it succeeds this year, I could do more next spring.

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