Shade Garden Plants

February 15, 2017

When choosing your shade garden plants, it is important to define the levels of shade in your garden first so you can select plants best-suited to the shade category. There are many wonderful plants for shaded gardens and yards, but if you don't analyze the amount of shade available (full shade, partial shade and so on) before planting, your shade garden design is unlikely to be successful.


Shaded areas of the garden tend to be a bit neglected because people are not sure what to plant in shade or because they didn’t have much success in the past and are reluctant to try again. However, if you want to be successful in shade gardening, all you have to do is know how to define the shade areas and find the right plants to thrive under shaded conditions and environments.


Shade Types

Putting your shade into a category is important since some plants can grow in full shade while others will need partial or dappled shade with peeks of sunlight throughout the day. Basically, there are different classifications for shade and shade types are not all the same. If you study your garden, you'll notice that at different times of the day, each part of the garden receives a different amount of sun and shade. The sun moving across the sky from morning to night affects the amount of shade underneath trees, and parts of your garden may get some sunlight at different times of the day. For example, it may get lots of morning sun but be quite shadowed by the afternoon, and vice versa.




The above philosophy is also true throughout different seasons of the year. In winter, the sun may be lower in the sky whereas in the summer, it is higher and will touch parts of your garden that the light missed completely in the winter.


Visit our blog on how to Identify the Shade in Your Garden to determine for yourself the shade types that exist in your yard. From there, you can start thinking about which types of plants you want.


Shade Plants

There are lots of interesting plants to cultivate in shade gardens. Some are attractive for their leaf color and variation, and others are appealing for their beautiful flowers. You can choose from shrubs, ferns, perennial flowers, groundcover and ivy, and bulbs that come up in spring and flower before the leaves come out on the trees and block out the sun.


Here is an alphabetical list of examples of shade garden plants.


A - E


  • Ajuga Plants

  • Astrantia

  • Astilbe Plants

  • Azalea

  • Beebalm

  • Bleeding Heart Flower

  • Blue Lobelia

  • Bluebell Flowers

  • Bluestar Amsonia

  • Browallia

  • Bunchberry

  • Caladium

  • Celadine Poppy

  • Cardinal Flower

  • Coleus Plant

  • Columbine Flower

  • Coneflower Plant

  • Crocus Flowers

  • Daylily

  • Dutchman Breeches


F - K


  • Fawns Breath

  • Ferns

  • Foam Flower

  • Forget Me Nots

  • Foxglove Plant

  • Goatsbread

  • Heuchera Plant

  • Hyancith

  • Hosta Plants

  • Iris Plants

  • Impateins Flowers

  • Jack in the Pulpit Plant


L - Z


  • Lenten Rose Plant

  • Lily of the Valley

  • Lungwort Plant

  • Meadow Rue

  • Monkshood Plant

  • Pansy Flowers

  • Peony Plant

  • Phlox Flower

  • Poppy Flower

  • Primrose Flower

  • Rue Anemone

  • Solomons Seal

  • Trillium Plant

  • Tulip

  • Vines

  • Wake Robin Plant

  • Wax Begonia

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