10 Beautiful Shade Plants for Your Garden

Planting in shade areas might be a little difficult, as you might not always meet its full light or sun requirements. However, it doesn’t always have to be so.

There are some awesome plants that do well in shade areas and are easy to grow and maintain. Some of these shade tolerant plants are;

  1. Hostas
New Hampshire Hostas

The Hostas genus is home to a lot of stunning plants with eye-catchy foliage that grows well in a shaded garden. 

These evergreen hosta plants for shaded areas are easy to grow as they are tough and can grow in the hardiest climates. 

Bringing a wide variety of colors to your shade gardens, it is often paired with other shade flowers and plants for a better display. 

Botanical Name Hostas
Common Names Plantain Lily 
Origin Eastern Asia
Family Asparagaceae
Plant Type Herbaceous Perennial 
  1. Primrose

Primula Vilagarios or Primrose is a stunning flowering plant that is native to the regions of South and West Europe as well as some parts of Africa. 

It features a variety of colors with pink and red being the most common. They are good shade plants that require regular watering and rich well-draining soil to flourish. 

Grow the Primula Vulgaris is a shade garden alongside other colorful shade tolerant plants to create a gorgeous scene. 

Botanical Name Primula Vulgaris
Common Names Primrose
Origin Europe and Africa
Family Primulaceae
Plant Type Flowering Perennial 
  1. Coral Bells
Coral Bells
Switzer Landscaping & Nursery

Heucheras or Coral Bells are a flowering perennial plant that is native to the tropical regions of North America.

A member of the Saxifragaceae family,  Coral Bells are plants that love the shade and are easy to grow and maintain. 

They are tolerant to most climate conditions as they can survive harsh climates and require well-draining to thrive.

Botanical Name Heucheras 
Common Names Coral Bells
Origin North America
Family Saxifragaceae
Plant Type Semi-Evergreen Perennial Flowering plant
  1. Caladium
Classic Caladiums

Known for its big, heart-shaped leaves, the Caladium is a gorgeous shade plant with dark green foliage and vivid pink variegation. 

These outdoor plants for shade are best when used as bedding plants and require high humid temperatures to grow well. 

The Caladium plant is native to tropical regions of Central and South America and is known as annuals that are paired with plants like fuchsia and begonia in a shade garden.

Botanical Name Caladium
Common Names Heart of Jesus
Origin Central and South America
Family Araceae
Plant Type Tropical annual plant 
  1. Ligularia
Proven Winners

Ligularia or Leopard plants are easy-to-maintain plants that are perfect for shade areas due to their large leaf structure. 

They feature bright-colored flowers that are great when paired with dark plants in a garden or flower bed. 

Requiring lots of water, the Ligularia is a fast grower that can grow as high as 8 feet tall and spread as wide as 4 feet. 

Botanical Name Ligularia
Common Names Leopard Plants
Origin Central and Eastern Asia
Family Asteraceae
Plant Type Evergreen Perennial Flowering Plant
  1. Coleus

Coleus is a flowering plant that is popular among summer annuals. It features eye-catching variegation that does well when paired with flowering annuals like fuchsia. 

Although known as a shade plant, it is recommended that you expose the coleus to a little early morning sunlight for proper growth.

The Coleus is native to tropical regions located in Southeastern Asia and they frequent watering as well as a well-draining soil to thrive. 

Botanical Name Coleus
Common Names Flame Nettle
Origin SouthEast Asia
Family Lamiaceae
Plant Type Annual Flowering Plant
  1. Japanese Forest Grass
Japanese Forest Grass
Proven Winners

Hakonechloa macra also known as the Japanese Forest Grass is an ornamental grass-like plant that is tolerant of different lighting conditions but does better under full shade. 

Often used as ground cover plants, these shade garden plants feature long, slender variegated foliage and can be found growing in wet forests or mountain tops in japan. 

They are easy to maintain as they require rich and well-draining soil with plenty of moisture to grow best. 

Botanical Name Hakonechloa Macra
Common Names Japanese Forest Grass
Origin Japan and other parts of Central Asia
Family Poaceae
Plant Type Evergreen plant, Grass-like perennial 
  1. Lungwort
Birds And Blooms

The Pulmonaria or Lungwort is a flowering perennial plant that blooms every spring. It is one of the easiest plants to grow in shade areas as its requirements are minimal. 

The exotic Lungwort plant features dark green foliage that is complemented by the large range of colorful blooms it produces. These blooms range from pink to blue, to white and they blend with the green in a stunning way.

It is native to East Asia and parts of Europe and can be paired with some other shade plants like hosta plants. 

Botanical Name Pulmonaria
Common Names Lungwort
Origin East Asia and Europe
Family Boraginaceae
Plant Type Flowering Perennial evergreen plant
  1. Impatiens
All About Gardening

Impatiens are a peculiar flowering plant that is a little difficult to grow or maintain but they do produce great-looking blooms when grown in shade areas. 

Also called touch-me-not, as ripe capsules of the flowering plant tends to explode a little when touched, so you do have to note this when growing the exotic plants 

They are native to the tropical regions of North America and are a member of the Balsaminaceae family.

Botanical Name Impatiens
Common Names Touch-me0not
Origin North America
Family Balsaminaceae
Plant Type Perennial Flowering plant 
  1. Hellebore
Horticulture Magazine

Hellebores are tough flowering plants that perform well when grown in full shade. They are quite easy to maintain as they require rich well-draining soil and little watering

Known for its dark green foliage and dark purple blooms, the hellebore is also regarded as a black plant that could be mistaken for black when under the wrong lighting. 

It is a good plant for shaded gardens and pairs well when planted with bright-colored flowering plants like lilies. 

Botanical Name Helleborus
Common Names Hellebore 
Origin Asia and Europe
Family Ranunculaceae
Plant Type Evergreen Perennial, flowering plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you brighten a shady garden?

Plant bright-colored flowers that are tolerant to low lighting

How do you grow thick grass in shade?

Thick grasses like the Japanese Forest Grass require rich soil and regular pruning to grow well in shade. 

What’s the best grass for shaded areas?

The best grass to grow in a shaded area is the Japanese Forest Grass. 

How do you layout a shade garden?

Be sure to add water and stone as well as plant outdoor shade plants only.

What grows well in a shady fence?

The best plant to grow on a shade fence would be a fern plant.

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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