Gardening in the Shade

In Shade Gardening by Thussadmin

Every yard has its own special challenges, but it’s nothing a little pop of color can’t fix. There are many flowers that can grow and flourish in shade. A few shade tolerant flowers whether perennials or annuals, planted in the right places can bring color to a dark corner. Every plant needs water and sun to survive, but not all of them need the same amount—or much at all. When it comes to exposure to light, these perennials and annuals believe less is more. Here are some of the absolute best plants that can survive in a shady yard.


Astilbe                                                                 Heuchera (Coral bells)               Ferns

Bleeding hearts                                              Hydrangea                                       Hydrangeas

Fox Glove                                        Cotoneaster

The way plants experience sunlight is not so different from the way we do. Imagine sitting on a park bench, in an open area with no trees nearby. If it were 9 am on a sunny day in June you could be pretty happy sitting there for an hour. But if the bench was in a hot city and it was 2 pm on a sunny day in August, it’s unlikely you would stay there for more than a minute or two.

The point is, gardeners need to think ahead to see how many hours of sun a plant will potentially get. The quality – or intensity — of that sunlight is just as critical. Tuberous begonias or hostas, for example, are happy with four hours of cool morning sun, but not with four hours of hot afternoon sun. In the early morning and late afternoon, the sun’s rays strike the earth at a relatively low angle. At these times the light may be bright, but it’s not very intense. The sun is at its strongest from 11 am to 3 pm. As a general rule, sun-sensitive plants prefer morning or late afternoon light and need protection from the hot midday sun.


Annuals grow, bloom, and fade in a single season, so you can change your planting plan every year to keep things feeling new and fresh. 

Alyssum                                                                    Nemesia

Begonia                                                                    Nicotinia

Coleus                                                                       Pansy

Fuschia                                                                     Potato Vine

Heliotrope                                                               Snapdragon

Impatiens                                                                Torenia

Lobelia                                                                      Violas

Check out the Proven Winners video below for some shade inspiration.