Sponsored by: Best Shade Plants in Louisiana | Sponsored by: Louisiana Nursery

We all have our favorite spots in our home landscape. These areas tend to get a lot of sun – perfect for easy-to-grow blooming flowers and shrubs. We pay extra attention to these beds because the entire neighborhood can usually see them. When it comes to the shadier side of things, gardeners are often left at a loss as to what to use to cover this brown grass. It doesn’t have to be this way, even in a Louisiana climate! In this article, we’ll highlight the staff’s picks for the easiest and most gorgeous shade plants available in our stores. You can be confident of transforming that forbidden land under your oak tree into an integral part of your landscaping.

Most types of ferns

While many ferns are versatile enough to be exposed to partial sun (foxtails can even thrive in full sun!), we find that they tend to burn less leaves with little or no direct sunlight. This makes them great for patios and porches covered in a variety of pots or hanging baskets. They also make them great for in-ground shade beds! Don’t get me wrong, ferns like Boston and Machu tend to be sold potted for a reason: they damage or deteriorate in moderately cold weather (40 degrees F or below). However, in our opinion, these leafy plants are still worth the extra hassle of mulching a few days a year! Even if your fern has suffered hail damage, we suggest waiting before digging it out of the ground. Often times, they will surprise you with new growth the following spring.

Quick tip: If you really want to avoid extra hassle during the winter, try a hardier fern like holly fern or autumn fern. Although it’s not complete proof, it definitely makes a difference!


More modern iterations of the coleus plant are sometimes called “Sun-Coleus.” Although I have never grown coleus plants entirely in direct sunlight, I have pushed the limits by about 4-6 hours to great success. However, I still believe that partial shade to sun is the best way to grow these vibrant, colorful plants. You may not get the best colors and patterns possible, but you will have a plant that requires less maintenance and can thrive for several years. Coleus stands tall and spreads widely compared to many of its grassy parts. You’ll want to position them toward the middle or even toward the back of your beds for the best view. However you plant them, they grow quickly and are worth a try in that shady spot when other attempts have failed.


Hostas are a Louisiana favorite for shade and partial sun! You’ll find them in many different varieties, each offering options in terms of size, color, and variety. It’s pretty harsh in Louisiana even in the winter months, but we suggest using protective hoods only if temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Most hostas can grow to more than 3-4 feet tall and around, making them another great choice for filling in those larger spots in a shade bed. Hostas regularly produce flowers in addition to their gorgeous leaves, but it’s the particularly large leaves that attract attention most of the year. You may have seen these plants planted at least somewhere in your neighborhood or local green space, so see what all the fuss is about and give Hosta a try!


Fatsia plants make huge leaps in popularity every year, and it’s easy to see why. Large, distinctively split leaves and relatively fast and vigorous growth, it’s hard not to love this beautiful perennial shade plant! When choosing your Fatsia, be sure to check the variety as smaller varieties are making their way into garden centers. Even for the larger varieties (some can reach over 8 feet tall!), maintaining a shape suitable for your space is fairly easy with light pruning. I’ll be pruning right before spring, which should give you plenty of time to make cuttings! Like the other herbaceous plants on this list, we suggest using a protective cover for the winter season. However, I personally went without it and watched Vatsia return the following spring.


When I first saw Ligularia, I immediately thought it was a type of lily. I loved the watery feel, and soon after I saw the plant in full bloom. Its deep, glossy green foliage contrasts perfectly with its simple yellow flower, and it has remained my favorite to this day. Similar to fatsia, it is herbaceous and easily shaped. However, what you should see from above is much smaller, about 3-5 feet. It’ll need some protection when winter comes, but otherwise it’s an easy-to-grow, shade-loving plant with lots of personality!


These classic shrubs need no introduction: every master grower has their own slice of hydrangea pie, and many have created their own plants to get hydrangeas under most conditions in the landscape. Limelight, the full sun-loving shrub, has been gaining attention lately, but we can’t forget where it all began! Even in very shady spots in the yard, all the simple hydrangeas we’ve known for nearly decades will still shock and awe with their clusters of bulb-like blooms. In this particular article, we are going to suggest proper hydrangea plants to ensure proper drainage. Partial shade may not be a problem because the water dries more quickly, but 4 hours of sun or less can negatively affect evaporation. We still think this overcomes the damage of aesthetically unappealing sunspots. If you are looking for a shade-loving flowering plant, hydrangea is one of the best plants out there!

CamelliasShade (sponsored content)

Camellia (and sasanqua, depending on shade level)

The camellia family is just as common in shade gardens as hydrangeas, but they have a much wider range of applications in my opinion. It does not burn easily in partial sun, has dark foliage, and beautiful flowers of all kinds and colors. This is the most cold-tolerant plant on this list, and makes a wonderful evergreen centerpiece for your shade beds. Sasanko are usually thought of as being the most sun tolerant, but don’t let that stop you from trying either of them in indirect sun! I’ve had personal success with both, but it depends on your goals. Some types of sasanko are large and fast-growing (Christmas is a great example), and sunlight helps bring out these traits. If you are happy with the idea of ​​having a flowering shrub in the shade, choose the flower and colors that best suit your garden!

This list is certainly not exhaustive. Louisiana Nursery is constantly adding plants that can be great for everything from bed flowers to large shrubs and trees. Visit www.louisiananursery.com today to let us know if you found these picks helpful or if you’d like us to highlight any other items.

The Louisiana Nursery Garden Club is a great way to reward our customers for shopping with us. In addition, you will have access to our weekly newsletter full of pro tips and all our special offers. Visit www.louisiananursery.com/garden-club To register today.

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