Which Plants Can You Grow on Your Garden Decking?
Posted on 22 May 2023

Now that we are getting to the warmer months, your garden will likely start to take on a new, more vibrant appearance. The stunning plants and flowers create a stunning display that welcomes not only nature into your garden but guests too.

Flower beds line the sides of the garden, hanging baskets gently swing from fences or walls and bird baths aid the feathered friends as they fly from place to place. Each adds to the allure of your garden but what about your decking?

Whilst we may focus on the green spaces of our garden to add some colour, scent, and beauty we often forget that our deck can also add some stunning additional quality to our garden.

But where do you start? Especially if you are not particularly green-fingered?

Let’s take a look.


What plants look good on decking?

If you are looking to add some floral delights to your decking you would be best off weighing up the options before committing to a certain plant, flower or perennial.

The most important factor is light. The plants and flowers need light to help them grow and bloom into something beautiful but depending on how much light your deck gets could change your decking from a plant paradise into a floral failure.

Look at your deck and judge if it is in an area that gets lots of sun, or if it tends to remain shaded  Plants and flowers thrive off sunlight but too much can scorch them and see them die, too little and they do not bloom as they should.

We have picked a few different plants and flowers that could suit decks that are more shaded than others as well as those that get more consistent sunshine.

Best plants and flowers for a shaded deck

If your deck is in a shaded area of your garden, it will naturally be a little darker than other parts of your outside space and this can be a great opportunity to add some welcome brightness.

There are an array of fantastic plants and flowers you can choose from for shady areas. We have picked a selection that is sure to add a nice pop of colour to your decking.

  • Group Coleus, Verbena, Joseph’s coat and Calibrachoa together in a container for a set of flowers that enjoy similar water and shade requirements. With the variety of colours this gives you, they can sit almost anywhere on your deck to give you a nice summery vibe.
  • The Creeping Jenny with its yellow flowers offers a great pop of summer sun whilst you are in the shade.
  • Heucheras will sit comfortably in the shade and provide you with year-round colour. Match them with other species and you’ll benefit from a pretty patchwork effect.
  • Lenten roses or hellebores are another great addition to a shady deck. Find pink Lenten roses and compliment them with yellow Acorus or purple violas for a truly colourful container on your decking.
  • Our last choice gives you not just some great colour but a great appearance too. Oxalis Triangularis loves the shade and will give you a mix of greens, purples and burgundies to enjoy. It benefits from either partial or full shade and will give you some stunning foliage to brighten up your decking.

Best plants and flowers for a bright deck

If your decking is in a prime hotspot there are some plants and flowers that just lend themselves to basking in the sunlight. This often means that they may need more watering than others but if you maintain the levels of care they need, your deck can look incredible throughout the summer and beyond.

We picked a selection of the best flowers and plants for a decking that gets a lot of sunlight.

  • The Rose of Sharon, also known as Hibiscus syriacus is one of the must-haves if you want your deck to look colourful. It loves the sunlight and will thrive in the warmer weather. With really colourful flowers it will help add to your already bright composite decking.
  • The Dahlia loves a bit of sun and can be combined with other late-season plants should you wish. There are a variety of colours available, but we really like a peach dahlia., we just think its colour shouts “summer!” They can grow tall so factor this into where you plan to put your container.
  • Lavender provides a welcome scent to your decking as well as a nice colour. Known to be relaxing, this could be the ideal plant to have on your sunlit deck after a hard day at work or dealing with the kids!
  • Zinnias will look great when the sun hits as they come in such stunning colours. Pinks, purples, reds, whites and many more certainly add splashes of colour. Like the Dahlia, they can grow quite tall so consider their positioning when adding them to your decking.
  • Petunias are a popular choice, largely due to the colour variety. This allows you to match them to your specific garden style if you wish. Consider them in a hanging basket or pots for the best look.

Using planters on your deck

You could further expand your design capabilities by factoring in some planters made from composite decking for the deck itself.

These work for plants or flowers that thrive in shade or sunlight and add a spectacular finishing touch to any deck. With no warping, rotting or fading, you can have your deck showcase your floral favourites and add a really strong focal point to your decking.

Whilst many of the plants and flowers we mentioned on our lists prefer to be planted separately, many thrive among others. A composite decking planter is the perfect place to make that happen!


If you are looking to transform your garden be it for the summer or any other part of the year, speak to our team. We are experts at residential decking installation and also regularly take on commercial decking projects ensuring that gardens, restaurants and hotels can enjoy a safe, long-lasting, deck for their users.

Our millboard decking is a composite that is built to last. With the appearance of wood but with added longevity, quality and safety features, composite decking from The Southern Decking Company will give you years of pleasure in your garden.


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