8 of the most amazing plants for shade gardens

The sun may be shining, but if you have a north-facing garden that has more than its share of shade, don’t worry, you can still light it up with some gorgeous plants.

Tropical-looking large-leaved hostas, feathery ferns, bulbous hydrangeas, rhododendrons and colorful azaleas can tolerate a fair amount of shade, under the right soil conditions.

If you have a shaded wall that provides plants with cool roots, you can brighten it with hardy Virginia creeper, which will brighten it when its leaves change to a deep, vibrant red in the fall, or camellias for their rose-like blooms. Or delicate-looking hellebores with their nods to late winter and early spring flowers.

Moist sites near ponds or streams will be welcomed by candelabra, ligularia and gonera (giant rhubarb), while cyclamen hedirifolium, gladioli and dark geraniums will tolerate dry shade, perhaps under trees or alongside hedges, so there’s really no reason not to Your ability to brighten a shaded place.


hostas: If you love these tropical-looking leafy plants and want to keep slugs away, plant them in pots and raise them off the ground, preferably on a metal stand, not near a wall where slugs and snails may climb up and lean away. enough to get to the papers. Hostas also produce beautiful spikes of purple flowers in summer.

Heucheras: These are versatile plants, whether as stand-alone potted specimens or added to display containers. They come in a wide range of colours, from acid green to burgundy, providing foliage interest all year round, and in summer they produce aerial sprays of small light green, white or pink flowers, which attract bees. They are happiest in moist shade.

under the trees

Shade-loving plant mats can be placed under trees in moist shade, although the addition of bulky organic matter will help retain moisture and enrich the soil, which may have depleted nutrients from the trees. Forest plants are often the most suitable candidates.

lily of the valley: These sweet-smelling, sweet-smelling but hardy perennials provide great ground cover, and produce small, very fragrant white flowers in late spring, adding fragrance and color in woodland areas under trees.

Cyclamen hedifolium: This beautiful, compact flower bears pale to dark pink flowers in autumn, which appear before the ivy leaves and makes a colorful ground cover in dry shade under trees, shrubs or in containers. They also self-seed easily, establishing colonies if protected from summer rains.

Shaded walls and yards

Camellia japonica: These elegant shrubs can be grown as a freestanding specimen either in the ground or in a pot, and bear large, rose-like flowers in shades ranging from white to pink and dark red. They do best in dappled shade, but try to avoid putting them where they get morning sun, as this can damage their buds, especially after a frost.

fern: These plants should do well in a shaded patio because they are moisture- and shade-loving and make great architectural plants, especially when their blooming fronds provide a rich, feathery green in spring, which stays in place into fall. You can grow them in pots or in a raised bed to keep them closer to you in the yard.

shady borders

Japanese anemone: Some gardeners find these tough perennials a bit annoying, because once established, it will take some work to get rid of them. But they add a splash of color, bearing long spines of white or pink flowers in the fall, when many other blooms are dead.

Geranium Cranspiel: These are not the same as annual geraniums that you can buy as bedding at garden centers. In fact, they are among the hardiest perennials that make an ideal ground cover at the front of borders, thriving in poor, dry soils in shade, and growing vigorously to form large clumps. Among the most impressive is ‘Rozanne’, which produces large quantities of purple flowers in the summer.

Fatsia Japonica: For a stunning plant, this shade-loving plant, also known as false castor oil plant, with huge palm leaves, won’t disappoint. It’s as hardy as old shoes and you can grow it almost anywhere in the shade, growing up to 1.5m high and 4m wide. Look carefully and you’ll notice that they also bloom in late fall, producing greenish-white balls that look a bit like ivy flowers.

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