The 8 Best Plants to Grow Under Your Pergola

Aarons Outdoor Living proudly supplies pergolas to Australian backyards, adding a covered, shady area that is perfect for entertaining, keeping a spa or even a space to park vehicles. While these structures might be grand, they are made even better with the right décor. Many homeowners choose to use potted plants as a great way of making the pergola look inviting and using the space to its full potential. These plants need to be able to be grown in shady areas. Aarons Outdoor living is here to help with a list of the best pergola plants.


To add some greenery to your pergola, ferns are an excellent choice to use. They do well in pots and can really grow into something luscious. They are perfect for shaded areas that are prone to humidity, but make sure the soil stays moist.

Boat Lily

This plant of many names (you may also find it called Moses-in-the-cradle or cradle lily for example) is a shrub that has long leaves in shades of green and purple/pink. If you like your greenery but want to inject a pop of colour here and there, then a boat lily is ideal. They do best in areas that tend to stay warm.


Azaleas make the perfect flowering plant for pergolas all over Australia. They do well in most climates and have a long flowering season, starting in the springtime. You will get a wide range of colours on the flowers, making for a pretty setting under your pergola. There are different ones to choose from, including those that do well in particularly hot and dry climates.


Although we may think of palms being ideal for bright and sunny tropical climates, they actually do quite well in pots in shaded areas. You can turn your pergola into your own tropical hideaway with these! They are often readily available in pots from most nurseries.

Tiger Grass

Tiger grass is another plant that can bring a tropical, yet Asian atmosphere with their bamboo-like stalks. If you’re looking for a tranquil look and feel to your pergola, then tiger grass is a good choice of greenery. Tiger grass needs to be in warm, frost-free areas only in order to survive, and they need plenty of water too.


Camellias have some really bright, delicate looking flowers, but in reality, these plants are very durable. They can be grown in most areas, including those that are prone to a bit of frost and those that tend to get quite hot. They just need a lot of water regardless. You’ll be rewarded with large vibrant flowers that bring some colour to your pergola.


Here is another flower that will turn your pergola into a tropical hideaway. Hibiscus come in many colours, all with a trumpet-like shape when in bloom. Some homeowners like a variety of colours to really make for an eye-catching area. They also attract butterflies, a welcomed key player in pollination in a thriving environment.


What makes a ponytail so unique is its large base that thins out towards the top where long, thin green leaves overhang. They will grow anywhere in Australia aside from mountainous regions. Ponytails do well in both full sun and shade and can be bought ready to go from most nurseries.

Don’t have your pergola yet? Have a look a some of the pergolas we have already created for many homeowners for some inspiration or give us a call to discuss how we can help transform the look and feel of your backyard.

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