Top 10 Shade Loving Plants For Your Garden

Everybody enjoys a sunny garden of bright, luminous flowers. But shady gardens earn a certain love, too. Such annual shades display stunning colors on the leaf and delicate, exotic flowers. Shade plants for new gardeners might simply mean a plant tolerant of lower levels of light. Perhaps there is an area around your garden surrounded by some leafy trees, or maybe you’re searching for low-growing plants that can thrive under the shade of larger plants or trees. Maybe you need only a few hardy perennials to be able to survive the winter months. So, you need to buy or order plants online and select a shade plant that is right for your yard with our shady garden ideas.


Heuchera, also called coral bells, is a vivid, annual extension to any shade garden, with ruffled leaves and colorful foliage. Grown mainly in spring to mid-summer for its pretty foliage, its mounding shoots up tiny flower spikes. It is an attractive accent plant that tolerates some light, although its best color takes place in the shade. With heuchera, it’s the foliage that gives visual excitation, though some varieties do have showy flowers on tall, slender stems.

Bletilla — Ground Orchid

It’s an exotic-looking flower that appears in white, purple and different shades of pink in early spring. Sometimes its blooms last for up to several weeks. This is an uncommon landscaping plant for colder climates, or it can be wintered in containers indoors.

Lily of the Valley

Such strong little plants have lovely, bell-shaped spring flowers with a celestial perfume. They’re great plants grow in full shade, cool-climate, preferring a cold, humid spot under a canopy of a tree. It is an easily spreading ground cover, so be careful wherever you are planting it.

Stinking Iris

Stinking iris thrives in full shade, especially under trees. It has evergreen artistic foliage and dull purple-green flowers, but when its large flower stalks split open in the autumn it comes into its own to unveil rows of orange-red seeds that persist well into winter.

Campanula lactiflora

These are a Bellflower variety that thrives in shade. Campanula lactiflora bears, from summer to fall, pretty clusters of purple-blue bell-shaped flowers over the heart-shaped green leaves. This is ideal for growing towards the back of a border and fits well in conventional planting schemes or cottage gardens. The blooms, like other bellflowers, are a lure for bees and other pollinators.

Alchemilla — Lady’s mantle.

As the water drops on the leaves of this herb, it beads up into gleaming little jewels. The flowers, emerging in early June, are yellow-green and make a perfect filler for almost any colored bouquets. This plant is extremely long-lived and trouble-free. Alchemilla mollis is the standard sized herb. Look for Alchemilla erythropoda for small spaces that get only around 6 inches high.

Dead nettle

In early summer, a small, spreading plant with silvery foliage and violet, pink, red, or white blooms. This plant joyfully spreads in shady locations, but not invasively. If you’re winding up with too much of it, just give it a nibble, lift a whole section out and take it to a friend.

Phalaenopsis orchids

These very beautiful blooms come in a variety of colors and can thrive under a range of conditions. Many people say these are the best orchids to manage but don’t make a habit of using ice cubes to water your orchids since they don’t have ice in their natural habitat.

Pulmonaria — Lungwort

Another plant with lovely silvery foliage. Typically the leaves are long and narrow, and can be entirely silver, spotted with silver or splashed with silver at random. Lungwort flowers in spring and its blossoms are very showy, varying in color from white to pink and blue — occasionally emerging on the same plant in various colours.


Some of the foxgloves are biennials, which means they spend their first year developing foliage, flowering their second year and then dying. It may sound unpleasant, but generally, the plants reseed and work things out, and you end up getting flowers every year.

Whether it’s a cool climate forest retreat or a tropical backyard oasis, every garden needs plants that love the shade. So order bamboo plants or pick your choice from these perennials and make your garden heaven on earth!

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