A pleasant ambience. Coordinating your porch furniture and plants will create a more inviting environment. Rattan or wicker pieces look best with exotic tropicals like palms, hibiscus, and oleanders; ferns are also a nice complement. Sleek contemporary furniture, on the other hand, looks more at home with terra-cotta planters filled with brightly colored summer annuals and flowering shrubs.
Open or enclosed? For an open porch, metal, resin, or tropical-hardwood furniture will stand up to the elements better than rattan or wicker. Grow annuals and perennials in pots or plant a climber to cover the railings. An enclosed porch is safe for painted wood or antique furniture.
Allow for air. Both you and your plants will be more comfortable if the porch is well-ventilated. Make sure a breeze can move through; if not, install an overhead paddle fan to keep the air circulating.
Watering porch plants. If you have many, install a spigot close to the porch to make watering easier. Make sure any rugs and mats on the porch are water resistant.
A vacation for houseplants. Putting houseplants on the porch in summer gives them a break and affords more protection than they would have in the yard. Place small plants on shelves and large ones on the floor. Locate all where they will get bright and indirect light, but no direct sunlight, from midmorning to late afternoon.
Overwintering. An enclosed porch is a good place to store tender plants during cold winters. But you'll need to use a space heater or move the plants to a warmer location if the temperature dips close to freezing.