Altum’s houseplant picks for your porch, patio & entry.
It’s a hobby of ours to stay in touch with design and decorating trends and houseplants have been popping up everywhere. They’ve always had their rightful places on windowsills, nightstands and in entryways. But in warmer spring and summer weather, we’re seeing new varieties on porch and patio tables, ledges, in bowls and dishes and dangling from cool macramé hangers. And why not? They really do spark joy wherever they show up.
On porches, patios and in entryways, we’re paying attention to light exposure and we appreciate the added bonus of fragrance, color and texture. Plus, can you think of a better way to make a good first impression than welcoming folks with pretty plants? I mean, really.
So we thought it might be practical and fun to ask around the garden center for some of our favorites picks for porches, patios and entries. We’d love to hear yours, too.
Front Porch or Patio
First impressions are important, so we love a plant that is well matched to its environment. We want it to look great without a lot of fuss. An inviting fragrance as people come and go is always a bonus.
Ferns love shady (low to moderate light) spots, so are perfect hanging from a porch or patio overhang. They’re lush and full and love humidity. We love these in a series of three or five hanging, in window boxes or containers lining a porch. Keep in mind that hanging plants dry out faster, so check to make sure the soil stays damp, sometimes watering twice a day in warmer months.
MINT, BASIL or CHAMOMILE
A hint of these fresh scents as you and your visitors pass by has the power to make you smile. They love the bright light, but water daily in hot summer weather. If temps are under 75 degrees, you can probably stick with watering once a week.
Plucked right from the pages of Pinterest, succulents like Sedum, Haworthia, Echeveria, Crassula (or Jade), Aloe, Agave, Kolanchoe, Rhipsalis, Senecio, Aeonium and so many others look stunning in shallow bowls and pottery. Summer weather is their sweet spot (they won’t make it outside in frosty spring and fall and forget about winter), and as long as they get about six hours of bright sunlight, they’ll be happy. Depending upon where you have them, and with the right amount of rain and well-drained soil, you may not need to water them at all. Just in case you do, let them dry out completely between watering.
ENTRYWAY OR SUNROOM
With proximity to windows comes lots of natural light. So make choices that thrive in the sun and won’t require a lot of extra watering.
See above for a little succulent primer. When you’re bringing these beauties indoors, let them dry out completely between watering and be sure to plant them in airy, well-drained soil. We love grouping multiple varieties in big bowls or planting individually but clustering pots together in one area.
Another busy-person-friendly plant that will stay handsome with little work. Varieties like Opuntia, Rebutia, Echinocereus, Mammillaria and the Christmas Cactus are architectural accents that are tough to kill, quite frankly. Just give them as much bright light as possible, they like to stay warm and dry out completely between watering (as in the top ½ inch of soil is dry to the touch). We love these eclectic characters in big baskets and rustic pots.
Tough, beautiful and easily adaptable…we can all aspire to be like the Rubber Plant, right? The oversized, glossy leaves are gorgeous and the Rubber Plant is a rockstar when it comes to cleaning indoor air. Your Rubber Plant craves the bright, indirect light of your entryway or sunroom. Err on the side of less is more when it comes to water or your leaves will turn yellow and fall off. If the leaves look a little droopy, that’s the sign for a little more moisture.
Otherwise known as the Split-leaf Philodendron, or Swiss Cheese Plant. With medium to bright light, the large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves of the Monstera will split and appear full of shapely holes. Pair your Swiss Cheese Plant with a nice glass of Pinot Noir and otherwise stylish surroundings. Also, the bigger the pot, the larger the leaf and let yours dry out between watering.
What are your favorites?