Most gardens have at least one shady spot in them, places that for one reason or another just don’t receive the full benefit of the sun’s rays. Don’t worry , there is a huge selection of shade loving perennials to turn that dim area into and oasis of color.
Shade perennials enjoy organic soil, so be sure to mix in some compost when you plant. Most shade perennials don’t mind moist soils, you might find you don’t have to water as much as a sun perennial garden.
Acanthus – Bear’s Breeches
A spectacular foliage plant for shade, it will tolerate even dry shade. This plant bears deep green, glossy leaves that have been known to reach a few feet long! In late spring, it produces spikes of white and purple flowers. The peculiarly shaped flowers give this plant its name.
These plants will thrive in part shade and add late season flower to the garden. Size will vary quite a bit, from the small mounding forms to the towering hybrids. The flowers range from white to pink to purple, and are quite showy for the late summer/fall garden.
One of the most common perennials for shade, great for use along borders or paths. Pink, lavender, red, and white plumes of flowers rise above fern like foliage. It also does well in containers.
Dicentra – Bleeding Heart
Bleeding heart is an old garden favorite, with heart-shaped flowers on arching stems. Blooms are pink or white. It loves heavy shade and looks great in a woodland garden setting.
The hardy fern is becoming more and more popular. There are so many varieties to choose from. The evergreen leaves will brighten any landscape all year long.
HELLEBORUS – LENTEN ROSE
This is one of the loveliest perennial flowers for shade. It grows in clumps of dark green leaves and produces large, cup-shaped blooms in white, pink and rose-purple.
HEUCHERA – CORAL BELLS
So many amazing varieties it’s hard to choose just one. And why would you. A garden of these alone would make a beautiful blanket of color.
These shade perennials are best known for their beautiful leaves, but their blooms of white flowers in the summer are wonderful too. Hostas come in a wide range of shapes, textures and colors, from cool blue-green to chartreuse. Some varieties are huge and will grow to be a couple of feet in diameter.
This is an excellent shade plant. There are many varieties with unique heart shaped foliage and clusters of blue flowers
Hardy fuchsias are one of the most worthwhile plants for a shady spot. Beautiful hanging flowers form on branches that arch out. They are just like the fuchsias you would grow in a hanging basket. They come in several shades of red, white, and pink, and some even have variegated or golden foliage. Hardy fuchsias will generally die back to the ground in this area, but will come back quickly when the weather starts to warm back up.
Another native plant that loves the shade, Trilliums are highly valued by those who grow them. They aren’t showy for much of the year, but their beautiful spring flowers make them worth it to those who have seen an established plant. This is a good one to plant and leave alone as they resent disturbance.