The 8 Best Plants to Grow Under Your Pergola

Aarons Outdoor Living is proud to be a leading supplier of pergolas for Australian backyards, helping homeowners create inviting outdoor living spaces. Pergolas offer a covered, shady area perfect for entertaining guests, housing a spa, or even providing a space to park vehicles.

To maximize the potential of these versatile structures, choosing the right décor is essential. Potted plants are an excellent way to make your pergola more inviting and enhance the overall ambience of your outdoor space.

K E O A P S PThe right pergola plants can transform your backyard into a lush, welcoming oasis. To help you select the best plants for your pergola, Aarons Outdoor Living has compiled a list of top choices that thrive in the shade and elevate the look and feel of your outdoor living area. From lush ferns to vibrant Hibiscus, these plants will breathe life into your pergola and create a space you’ll love spending time in.


Ferns are an excellent choice for adding lush greenery to your pergola and enhancing the overall ambience of your outdoor living space. These versatile plants are well-suited for growing in pots, making them perfect for incorporating into your pergola design as potted or hanging plants. Ferns can grow lusciously, creating a dense, textured canopy that softens the look of your pergola and provides a refreshing, natural feel to your outdoor area.

T B P T G U Y PThese pergola plants thrive in shaded environments, making them ideal for the covered area beneath your pergola, especially if your outdoor space is prone to humidity. Keeping the soil consistently moist is crucial to ensure your potted ferns flourish. Regular watering and misting will help maintain the humidity levels ferns crave, encouraging healthy growth and vibrant foliage.

With their lush, cascading fronds and tolerance for shade, ferns are a top choice for pergola plants. They effortlessly add a touch of natural beauty to your outdoor living space, creating an inviting and relaxing atmosphere that you and your guests will love.

Boat Lily

The Boat Lily, also known as Moses-in-the-cradle or cradle lily, is a stunning addition to any outdoor living space. This versatile shrub boasts long, slender leaves in captivating shades of green, often adorned with striking purple or pink undersides. When incorporated into your garden pergola or outdoor living area, the Boat Lily adds a vibrant pop of colour, breaking up the monotony of an all-green palette.


One of the most appealing aspects of the Boat Lily is its ability to attract butterflies. These enchanting creatures are drawn to the plant’s unique foliage, adding an extra layer of beauty and interest to your outdoor space. While Boat Lilies can tolerate some shade, they thrive in warm, sunny areas. Planting them in ample sunlight will encourage healthy growth and more vibrant colours.

Whether planted directly in the ground or displayed in decorative pots, Boat Lilies are a fantastic choice for enhancing your outdoor living experience. Their eye-catching appearance and butterfly-attracting qualities make them a standout among pergola plants, infusing your garden with visual interest and a touch of whimsy.


Azaleas are among the best pergola plants, offering a stunning display of vibrant, colourful flowers that make them the perfect addition to any outdoor room. These versatile shrubs are well-adapted to most climates across Australia, making them an excellent option for homeowners looking to add a touch of beauty to their pergolas.

One of the most appealing aspects of Azaleas is their long flowering season, which typically starts in springtime. This means that you can enjoy a spectacular show of colour for several months, enhancing the visual appeal of your outdoor living space. Azaleas come in a wide range of flower colours, from soft pastels to bold, vibrant hues, allowing you to choose the perfect shades to complement your pergola’s décor.

T B P T G U Y PWith numerous varieties available, you can find Azaleas well-suited to various climates, including those that thrive in hot and dry conditions. Whether you prefer pastel pink’s classic charm or deep red’s striking beauty, there’s an Azalea variety that will perfectly suit your taste and the style of your outdoor room.

As one of the best plants for pergolas, Azaleas offer a long-lasting, colourful display that will elevate the beauty and ambience of your outdoor living space.


Contrary to the common misconception that palms are only suitable for bright, sunny tropical climates, these versatile plants are an excellent choice for pergolas in various settings. While many palm species thrive in full sun, several varieties are well-adapted to growing in pots and can flourish in the shaded areas provided by a pergola.

Incorporating potted palms into your pergola design allows you to create a luxurious, tropical hideaway in your outdoor area. The lush, green fronds of palms add a refreshing, exotic touch to your outdoor space, transporting you to a beachside paradise without ever leaving your home.

T B P T G U Y POne of the greatest advantages of using palms as pergola plants is their widespread availability. Most nurseries offer a variety of palm species in pots, making it easy for you to find the perfect plants to suit your outdoor area and personal style. Whether you prefer the classic elegance of a Kentia palm or the unique, sculptural look of a Sago palm, you’ll have no trouble finding the ideal potted palms to enhance your pergola.

With their ability to thrive in shaded areas and instant tropical appeal, palms are a fantastic choice for transforming your pergola into a lush, inviting oasis.

 Tiger Grass

Tiger grass, with its striking bamboo-like stalks, is an excellent choice for creating a tropical, Asian-inspired atmosphere in your outdoor living space. When planted in pots or beds around your pergola, tiger grass adds a unique, textural element that instantly evokes a sense of tranquillity and serenity.

The tall, slender stalks of tiger grass sway gently in the breeze, creating a mesmerizing effect that encourages relaxation and mindfulness. Incorporating this pergola plant into your design allows you to transform your outdoor area into a peaceful retreat, perfect for meditation, yoga, or simply unwinding after a long day.

T B P T G U Y PWhile tiger grass is a beautiful and low-maintenance pergola landscaping option, it has some specific growing requirements. This plant thrives in warm, frost-free areas and may not survive in regions that experience prolonged periods of cold weather. Additionally, tiger grass has relatively high water requirements, so it’s essential to ensure that it receives adequate moisture, especially during hot, dry spells.

With its unique appearance and ability to create a tranquil ambience, tiger grass is a fantastic choice for homeowners looking to add a touch of Asian-inspired charm to their outdoor living space. By providing the right growing conditions and care, you can enjoy the beauty and serenity of this stunning pergola plant for years to come.


Camellias are a stunning addition to any pergola, boasting bright and delicate-looking flowers that add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your outdoor living space. Despite their fragile appearance, Camellias are remarkably durable plants that can adapt to various climates, making them an excellent choice for pergolas across Australia.

One of the most impressive aspects of Camellias is their ability to thrive in areas prone to frost and high temperatures. This adaptability means that homeowners in various regions can enjoy the beauty of these pergola plants without worrying about their ability to withstand challenging weather conditions.

T B P T G U Y PWhile Camellias are relatively low-maintenance, they do have high water requirements. To ensure that your Camellias remain healthy and continue to produce their stunning blooms, it’s essential to provide them with adequate moisture, especially during dry periods.

Camellias’s large, vibrant flowers are the real showstoppers, adding a burst of colour to your pergola and elevating the overall aesthetic of your outdoor living space. With a wide range of hues, from soft pastels to bold reds and pinks, you can choose the perfect Camellia variety to complement your pergola’s style and colour scheme.

As a durable, adaptable, and visually stunning pergola plant, Camellias are a fantastic choice for homeowners looking to create a beautiful and inviting outdoor oasis.


Hibiscus is a stunning flowering plant that can transform a pergola into a tropical hideaway. Hibiscus flowers instantly evoke a sense of paradise with their exotic appearance and vibrant colours. They are an excellent choice for homeowners looking to create a lush, inviting outdoor living space.

One of the most appealing aspects of Hibiscus is the wide variety of colours available, ranging from soft yellows and pinks to deep reds and purples. This diversity allows you to choose the perfect hues to complement your pergola’s style and colour scheme or create a striking contrast that draws the eye and adds visual interest.

T B P T G U Y PWhen in bloom, Hibiscus flowers feature a distinctive trumpet-like shape that adds a touch of elegance and drama to your outdoor area. By incorporating a variety of Hibiscus colors into your pergola design, you can create an eye-catching display that is sure to impress guests and passersby alike.

In addition to their stunning visual appeal, Hibiscus plants offer another significant benefit: their ability to attract butterflies. These beautiful creatures are drawn to the vibrant colours and sweet nectar of Hibiscus flowers, making your pergola a pollinator haven. Creating a thriving environment that supports butterflies and other beneficial insects can contribute to your outdoor living space’s overall health and biodiversity.


The Ponytail palm, also known as the Elephant’s Foot palm, is a unique and eye-catching plant that makes a fantastic addition to any pergola. With its distinctive appearance featuring a large, bulbous base that thins out towards the top and long, thin green leaves cascading down, the Ponytail palm adds a touch of whimsy and visual interest to your outdoor living space.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Ponytail palm is its adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions. This hardy plant can thrive almost anywhere in Australia except mountainous regions that experience frigid temperatures. Whether your pergola receives full sun or partial shade, the Ponytail palm can adapt and flourish, making it an excellent choice for homeowners nationwide.

T B P T G U Y PAnother advantage of the Ponytail palm is its widespread availability. Most nurseries offer Ponytail palms in various sizes, from small tabletop plants to larger specimens that can make a bold statement in your outdoor area. This means you can easily find a Ponytail palm that suits your pergola’s size and style without waiting to grow from a seedling.

With its unique appearance, adaptability, and ready availability, the Ponytail palm is a fantastic option for adding a touch of exotic charm to your pergola and creating an inviting, visually striking outdoor living space.

Elevate Your Pergola with the Perfect Plants

We’ve explored some of the best plants for decorating pergolas, as recommended by the experts at Aarons Outdoor Living. From the lush greenery of ferns to the vibrant blooms of Hibiscus, each plant can transform your outdoor living space into an inviting, visually stunning oasis.

When selecting plants for your pergola, it’s essential to consider factors such as climate, sunlight, and maintenance requirements to ensure that your chosen plants will thrive and maximize the potential of your outdoor area. Incorporating a mix of the plants highlighted in this article can create a beautiful and functional pergola, providing a welcoming space for relaxation and entertainment.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own pergola design, we encourage you to explore the stunning examples created by Aarons Outdoor Living. Our team of experts is always ready to assist you in transforming your backyard with a custom pergola tailored to your unique style and needs. Contact Aarons Outdoor today and take the first step towards creating the pergola of your dreams.

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