The Coast News Group
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Finding the perfect patio plants

Patios are outdoor extensions of the home, and with just the right plants, patios can quickly become the best room outside of the whole house.

Whether it’s a small apartment deck or a backyard oasis, patios need a little bit of flowers and greenery to enhance their look.

Certain plants can be useful to have on the patio for purifying air or providing shade and privacy; other plants are simply easy on the eyes.

Choosing the right plants will depend on how much shade and access to sunlight it requires, according to Hassie Ficher of Green Thumb Nursery in San Marcos.

“A lot of people are choosing fruits and vegetable plants, which require sun,” Ficher said.

Plant lovers don’t necessarily need a garden to grow fruits and vegetables either.

Many such plants can be planted in containers and will grow nicely on a small deck or patio as long as they have sunlight.

Ficher said ferns also make for great patio plants, as well as flowering plants like azaleas, camellias, hibiscus and lantanas.

More green options for the patio include elephant ears and philodendrons.

Ficher said many people are buying more plants like lantanas, gomphrena and pentas to attract butterflies. Another popular plant for butterflies around here is milkweed.

“We’ve sold tons of milkweed this year because that’s what the Monarch caterpillars eat,” Ficher said.

Sage and salvias are also great choices for those who want to attract more hummingbirds to their patios, though Ficher said they do require some maintenance to promote new growth for the next season.

Other great outdoor plants include succulents, which like bright areas and are water resilient. Succulents add a variety of green shades and even the occasional little flower.

With the right plants, the patio can become a lush, vibrant, happy place with fruits, vegetables and wildlife.

The best part?

It’s only one step outside of the home.