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Shade Loving Plants

Shade Loving Hosta Plant

With some large deciduous trees that create shade from autumn to fall our garden is a natural habitat for shade plants.

A few misconceptions exist about shade loving plants, one is that they do not have colourful flowers. We grow red flowering trilliums and astilbe for starters and both add colour.

Hostas (pictured right) are mainly grown for the foliage and many have very colorful foliage that can brighten a shaded corner in the garden.

It is not only trees that create shade, many north facing gardens and courtyards will be shaded by buildings so they need special plants as well. We also grow a number of white flowering species including anemones, trilliums, galanthus and hostas, and yes they will all flower in the shade. Hellebores of course are another worth considering.

However in shade, white is a great colour, it really lifts a dark area, so go for lighter colours to brighten up that shady corner.

Flowering plants are very desirable, they provide color and interest, however consider plants with variegated foliage for year round interest in shaded positions.

Plants with great foliage should also be considered, try Arisaema candidisimum, it starts in late spring with very attractive foliage and follows with large leathery textured leaves that last through summer. Its not an evergreen but works well in a clump of 6-10 plants. Bergenia cordifolia is another, great foliage for most of the year with flowers in winter.

List of Shade Plants

White Hellebores in the shade garden

Plants For Dry Shade

Plants for Damp to Wet Shade

Selecting Plants for shade

  • Determine if the area is dry or damp
  • Is it deep shade all day, dappled shade or just for a part of the day
  • What is the soil like
  • Will the plants be competing with the root systems of trees
  • Is it a traffic areas

Armed with this information your local nursery should be able to help you select the appropriate plants for the type of shade you have in your garden.