best plants for full shade
Fri, Jan 14, 2022

The Best Plants for Shade: What to Choose If There Is Little Sun in the Garden

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Do you want to organize an attractive flower garden, but your site is located in a place where the sun is a rare guest? Don’t be upset! With the right plants for shade, you can brighten up even the darkest corner of your garden.

When creating flower beds from shade-loving flowers, you need to do good drainage on the site and do not forget about regular watering, especially during a dry period. After all, these plants are moisture-loving.

Most shade-tolerant plants are not sown (since there is not enough light for the seeds to germinate) but are propagated by segments of rhizomes, rooted cuttings, bulbs, or tubers. Plants that bloom in summer and autumn are planted in spring, and those that bloom in spring are planted in autumn. Let’s find out what plants grow well in shade.

Best Plants for Shady Areas

good plants for shade


Heucheras are excellent plants for shaded areas. Their genus has been a boon to plant breeders. The leaf colors are endless: silvery, burgundy, purple-black, chartreuse, salmon, and rusty orange, to name a few. The leaves of heuchera are the main attraction, however, some types also feature spectacular blooms on long, thin stalks.


plants that grow in shade

Ligularia, often known as the leopard plant, has a big leaf structure and is rightfully one of the best plants that grow in shade. The Rocket varieties, for example, have gorgeous yellow-orange blossoms. They like partial shade and enough water in general.

Beesia Calthifolia

plants for shade

The evergreen Beesia calthifolia has strongly veined glossy leaves that emerge golden and stiff tall stalks with white, starry blooms. For deep shade, this plant has lovely leaves. Flowers bloom from April through June.

Wood Spurge

full shade plants

There are several spurge variants, but Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae is one of the most attractive shade-tolerant plants that can grow in full shade. It has lime-green blooms atop dark green foliage starting in late April. It’s ideal for dry shade and looks great under trees and along forest borders. Furthermore, it has the potential to become invasive if left untreated.

Winter Aconites, Eranthis Hyemalis

plants for shaded areas

Our list of shade plants cannot but include these beautiful plants. Aconites form clumps and bloom in late January and February, producing masses of bright yellow blooms. They thrive in moist shade, so they’re ideal for a shady border or forest garden.

Bellflower, Campanula

list of shade plants

Bellflowers come in a wide range of colors and variations, with the majority of them preferring to grow in the shadow. From summer through fall, Campanula lactiflora produces lovely clusters of purple-blue bell-shaped blooms atop heart-shaped green foliage. It works well in classic or cottage garden planting designs and is ideal for growing near the back of a border. Its blossoms, like those of other bellflowers, attract bees and other pollinators. If you are looking for beautiful full-shade flowering plants, be sure to check out this option!



Due to the lovely shape of their blossoms, which develop in early spring, these little plants that thrive in shade are also known as fairy wings or bishop’s hats. They don’t enjoy being walked on, so place them where no one will step on them. However, these are some of the best plants for full shade, so we highly recommend you take a look at this plant!

Bleeding Heart

best plants for full shade

In late spring to early summer, bleeding heart (or Lamprocapnos spectabilis), produces pink-red, heart-shaped blooms with white tips that dangle on arching flower stems. It thrives in gentle, moist shade and looks great in bunches amid bushes.

Lungwort, Pulmonaria

deep shade plants

These good plants for shade get their name from their speckled leaves, which are said to resemble lungs. Distinct cultivars have different leaf markings, which are best seen in mid-spring when the plant is putting on new growth following flowering. They’re great as a groundcover plant, especially in shaded areas. They have pink, violet, purple, blue, white, and red funnel-shaped blooms in a variety of colors.

Cranesbill Geranium

plants that like shade

Cranesbill geraniums come in a variety of colors and varieties, with many complete shade plants. Geranium phaeum, also known as dusky cranesbill, is a shade-tolerant plant that quickly establishes a dense weed-suppressing matt of green, deeply lobed leaves with distinctive purple blotches around the center, from which small, nodding purple flowers with yellow centers bloom on tall stems from late spring to early summer.


total shade plants

By far, one of the most popular shade plants is hydrangea! This luxurious flowering shrub can be the most impressive flowering shrubs in the garden. Hydrangea loves acidic, nutritious, and well-hydrated soil. To maintain the acidity of the soil and moisture in it, mulching with fallen needles, sawdust, peat is necessary. Hydrangea blooms from late June until frost in large flowers. Hydrangea has many varieties, most of them are winter hardy, but a shelter for the winter would not hurt. Even if they freeze slightly in harsh winters, they can easily recover during the season with good care.


shade plant the hosta

Of course, one of the best full shade plants is the hosta (it is often called the queen of the shade!). In shady areas, all the beauty of its leaves is revealed; when grown in the sun, they fade and lose their decorative effect. The hosta is unpretentious, frosty and drought-resistant. Grows very well. It blooms with bell-shaped flowers of white or lilac color, which gracefully rise above the green mass of leaves. Hostas do not like frequent division of bushes. It is enough to perform this procedure every five years. The variety of hosta leaf colors is impressive: from pale green to dark green, there are variegated varieties with white and yellow stripes. The sizes of the plants are also different: from dwarfs to giants. Height varies from 5 cm to 1.5-2 m. There is something to stop your choice.


best plants for shady areas

Among the plants that like shade, we could not fail to highlight the beautiful Astilbe. In shady gardens, Astilbe Arendsii, Thunbergii, and Japanese are the most popular. These plants bloom in the second half of summer. Spectacular inflorescences come in different colors: from snow-white to red-scarlet. The leaves are no less attractive: they are dark green with a glossy sheen.

Cyclamen Coum

full shade flowering plants

From late winter to early spring, resilient Cyclamen coum produces exquisite silver-lined dark green leaves and tiny blossoms in colors of red, pink, and white. It thrives in partial shade, at the foot of small shrubs and trees.

Blue Himalayan Poppy

complete shade plants

One of the most spectacular plants that require shade is rightfully the Himalayan blue poppy. From spring to early summer, the plant produces beautiful bowl-shaped blue blooms with vivid yellow centers. When grown in a mass, it makes a striking statement, and it thrives in wet, neutral to acid soil in a semi-shaded location.

Tiarella Cordifolia

shadow loving plants

In terms of leaf and form, tiarella is similar to heuchera, but its leaves are matte rather than shining, giving it a more ‘natural’ appearance. Bottle-brush blooms are white or pale pink, and they’re showier than other heuchera flowers. Leaf veins in new types are frequently burgundy-red. These full shade plants can be a great addition to your collection and delight not only you but all your guests.


plants that require shade

During flowering, these unpretentious plants, like little suns, illuminate the shaded garden with their yellow flowers. Varieties with blue, crimson, purple, lavender-pink, and white flowers are no less attractive. And after flowering, the long green iris leaves go well with the fern frond.


popular shade plants

Another wonderful total shade plant, which we could not pass by. You can’t go wrong with corydalis, whether you choose a bright pink or a deep purple tint. These plants work well in any shady garden. In the spring, the tubular, lightly perfumed blooms appear.

All these plants perfectly coexist with each other and together create an attractive flower garden. Plant them in your shaded area and your garden will be transformed in no time.

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