30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Not all gardens receive the same amount of sunlight. So it is preferable to choose the right plants for them to thrive. Plants that thrive in lots of sunlight are always mentioned. But this time we will focus on shade plants for those gardens or patios that do not have so much direct light. Of course, the fact that you have a shady garden does not mean that you are not privileged. Shady gardens also offer great opportunities to get a little more creative when it comes to plant selection. You can create textured ground covers up to lush evergreen borders and green beds at the base of the trees. The best shade plants boast an amazing range of colors, floral and foliage textures. So continue to the end and discover the best options for your shady garden.

Shade plant options for your garden

Japanese Maple

These shade plants are loved for providing beauty and varied colors during various seasons. These trees thrive when planted with protection from the afternoon sun. But if your space is limited, then you can opt for smaller varieties that may be more suitable for urban or small lots.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Astilbe

With its showy blooms atop fern-like foliage, these perennial shade plants truly love shade, it’s a beautiful way to add color and texture in garden sections where other flowers may not thrive. Although they can grow in deep shade, astilbes won’t bloom as much without some sun.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Aconitum

This beautiful perennial can grow up to a meter in height. They do well in well-drained, uniformly moist garden soils and can grow in partial shade. They possess strong stems, so you may not have to bet on them. Their main attraction, of course, is the flower itself. It has a really nice shade, deep blue or purple.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Spider

Spider plants prefer filtered sunlight, but can grow in partial or full shade. They tend to burn in the full afternoon sun. Outdoor spider plants make great ground cover and border plants around trees. Spider plants have thick rhizomes that store water, making them tolerate some drought. These shade plants can also make great trailing plants for large container arrangements.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Caladium

Caladiums are known for their heart-shaped foliage that features vivid color combinations of green, white, red, and pink. They thrive in shady sections of gardens, with hot and humid weather, making them ideal shade plants for adding bold colors between shrubs, under trees, in perennial borders, or in containers.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Coleus

This plant is a member of the mint family. It has become popular thanks to the variety of color and texture of its foliage. Although long considered a shade plant, optimal leaf color results from a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Coral Bells

These foliage plants thrive in partial shade and produce small, bell-shaped flowers on tall stems that attract hummingbirds. Use them as edging plants, in rock gardens, or in containers. They are really beautiful.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding heart flowers are well suited to dappled shade and full shade. They are usually early blooming and have wonderful soft, lacy foliage. The flowers are pink with white tips, and the bleeding hearts hang from horizontal branches. The sun burns the leaves of the plant, making this a suitable flower for shade gardens.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Foxglove

These are tall perennials with tubular-shaped flowers. They are found in shades of pink, peach, lavender, white, yellow, and red. They thrive in partial or full shade, depending on heat levels. Because they typically don’t have a long lifespan, foxglove is often planted in succession, so one set blooms each season.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Sparkling Flower

This woodland plant, native to North America, is a beautiful fixture in shade gardens. The delicate, wispy white flowers bloom for a surprisingly long time, beginning in spring, while the heart-shaped leaves provide year-round color in warmer regions. The sparkling flower tolerates deep shade, but thrives when it receives a little sunlight.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Hostas

Hostas are hardy and versatile perennials. They come in a variety of foliage sizes and colors, and work well in containers, as borders, and at the base of trees or shrubs. Hostas produce delicate flowers in the summer in shades of pink, lavender, or white. Without a doubt, they will be a show of color in your shade garden.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Hydrangea

This beautiful, fast-growing shrub blooms from spring through summer. Although they enjoy a bit of sunshine in the morning, they prefer shady afternoons. You can consider planting hydrangeas on the north or south sides of your home for best results.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Hellebores 

These beautiful perennials bloom in late winter to early spring and come in a range of wild colors, from white and pink to even black. The evergreen foliage makes these hardy shade plants a great year-round addition. You can even consider combining them with other shade plants like hosta and trillium.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Japanese Forest Herb

This deciduous perennial is another ornamental herb that thrives in the shade. Japanese forest grass grows in clumps and can tolerate anything from partial sun to deep shade. You can use them as ground cover, huddled along a slope, as a foundation plant, and even in containers.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Ferns

This is one of the oldest groups of plants on Earth. It is worth mentioning that ferns are the second most diverse group of vascular plants, with 10,500 varieties, giving an air of wildlife to any garden. You can use them as ground cover, as background plants, or borders along a water feature in your shady backyard.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Impatiens

Also known as Busy Lizzie. Its annual bloom is ideal for a colorful bed, planter, or other potted plant, and requires moisture and shade. You can transfer them after the last spring frost for a vivid omen of brighter days to come. Thriving in partial or full shade, they prefer to be out of full sunlight and if kept well watered they will produce a gorgeous carpet of color on either edge or beds. They work best in the ground or in pots and containers.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Toad Lily

The intricate and showy flowers with toad-like spots are the reason for growing these little plants. Toad lilies bloom in mid to late summer to fall in a variety of spotted colors ranging from white to lavender.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Lily of the Valley

These delicate bluebells hang on short stems and have a strong fragrance. It is a plant cover that spreads very easily, so we recommend that you be careful where you place it.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Ligularia

Also known as a leopard plant, ligularia is an excellent choice for any shade garden. One of the good things about this plant is its striking purplish-red leaves. There is another variety that features yellow flowers that look like daisies, and yet another called The Rocket that features more pointed flowers.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Lady’s Mantle

The Lady’s Mantle is a herbaceous perennial that boasts charm and delicacy. It can be an attractive ground cover under trees. It is worth mentioning that this plant is sometimes used to make lotions or soaps. To prevent your lady’s mantle from growing out of control, remove the flowers as soon as they fade.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Spotted dead nettle 

Its name comes from the similarity of its leaves to nettles. These low-growing evergreen plants bloom in late spring through early summer and attract bees, especially bumblebees. Because it can adapt to a variety of light conditions, spotted dead nettle thrives in transitional areas between light and shade.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Chinese Ground Orchid

This ground orchid is very hardy and easy to care for. It produces small pinkish purple flowers that bloom in mid to late spring, and are best for partially shaded edge areas or great rock gardens.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Pulmonaria

The scientific name Pulmonaria is derived from the Latin pulmo (lung). In ancient times, the spotted oval leaves were thought to symbolize diseased lungs, which is why they were used to treat lung infections. This perennial flower blooms in early spring earlier than most other flowers. It thrives very well in moist and shady wooded gardens.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Primrose 

These hardy perennials bloom in early spring in a range of vibrant colors, from white and yellow to orange, red and pink, they also thrive very well in lightly shaded gardens.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Lenten Rose 

These evergreen plants produce unusual and long-lasting blooms in late winter or early spring. They are one of the first perennial flowers to bloom in a shade garden. They have evergreen foliage, beautiful flowers, and very little maintenance. Try to choose the place where you will put it very well, since they do not like to be moved once it is established.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Solomon’s Seal

With its arched stems, delicate flower bouquets, and the ability to blend in with other shade plants, Solomon’s Seal will add texture and depth to reflect the dappled light under the trees. Solomon’s seal will happily blend in with other shade-tolerant perennials such as hostas, lady’s mantle, heuchera, and lilies.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Wood Spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae)

This is another low-maintenance, evergreen plant that tolerates shade well and is an ideal ground cover under trees. Its tiny chartreuse flowers bloom in late spring and last for several months.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Trillium 

Called the trinity flower because the plant has three petals, leaves, and sepals. Trillium wildflowers are truly a sight to behold not only in their native habitat but also in any garden. Trilliums bloom early and go dormant in mid-summer. However, with the right growing conditions, they are easy to care for and long-lived in the garden. In order for them to thrive, you must provide them with moist, well-drained soil enriched with organic matter.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Viola

Perennial violas closely resemble their beautiful cousins, pansies. But, perennial violas offer the benefit of coming back year after year, adding color to the early-season garden, when relatively few other plants bloom. Grow perennial violas in full sun or also in partial or total shade, especially in summer. Most varieties can grow quite well in the shade.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

Certainly everyone loves a sunny garden with bright, showy flowers. But shady gardens deserve a little love and dedication, too. Shade plants feature beautiful leaf colors and delicate as well as exotic flowers. You just have to properly choose the plants for your garden and you will see how you will give it life and color despite the little sunlight it may receive. Keep in mind that plants can be both partial shade, which means they don’t get more than three to four hours of sun a day.

30 Perfect Shade Plants for Your Shady Patio or Garden

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