DIY Shade & Sun Planter

DIY Shade & Sun Planter

The Thriller, Filler and Spiller

We have a long paver walkway leading to our front door that was in desperate need of some color and life! The challenge with this space was that there was no southern or western exposure sun. This is the ideal solution for a DIY Shade & Sun Planter.

The limited exposure created some limitations on what plants and flowers we could use.

My husband and I were thinking of economical ideas to add some excitement to our entrance without taking up a lot of room.

Our Answer – DIY Shade & Sun Planter

Once we believed we had a solution I began to research ideas and learn the ideal plant life to grow in our walkway planter.

The key to a DIY Shade & Sun Planter that thrives in the location you choose is the plants and flowers you use and where the planter is placed. For example you must decide where you are placing the planter before you determine the plants and flowers to use.

The most important considerations are; will the planter sit in full sun, part sun or shade.

I found interesting wording for plants and flowers creatively used in a planter:  Thriller, Filler and Spiller.

The Thriller is placed in the middle of the plantings creating a focal point for the DIY Shade & Sun Planter. 

Thrillers Options:  

Persian shield, Hibiscus, Perilla, Dracaena, Geraniums, Elephant Ears, Caladium, Purple Foundation Grass, Mandevilla, Millet

Fillers Options:  Petunia, Begonia, New Guinea Impatiens, Coleus, Dusty Miller etc.

Spillers Options:  Ivy, Vinca, Sweet Potato vine, Bacopa, Alyssum, Creeping jenny(Lysimachia) etc.

Here is my attempt at making a Shade planter:

First I started by shopping for planters and found the best option is a Veradek planter at Home Depot:

The Veradek planter has a shelf insert, is all season (crack proof) and is self watering.  Check it out on their website:


I filled the planter almost 3/4 filled with potting soil, I used Miracle-Gro potting mix, but you can use any potting soil.



This will be a shade planter, placed in the front of our house by the entrance, facing north, so the planter gets very little sun.

Thriller Choice:

1 Caladium, common name Elephant Ear




1 New Guinea Double Impatiens 



1 Begonias


2 Coleus





3 Creeping Jenny


The Final Results:

So, we are very pleased with final results and anticipate this DIY Shade Planter filling out and exploding with color over the next few months. Check back as we add update photo’s show the growth progress.

DIY Shade & Sun Planter


You can see we get a wee bit of Sun mid day and it only hits a corner of the planter.

What do you think of this idea? What have you done for similar challenging areas of your home? For more Spring activities ideas check out this article – Best Spring Activities for Families

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