Shade-Loving Plants: Gorgeous Perennials, Shrubs, Vines and Annuals That Love The Shade
These flowering perennials and shrubs are perfect for your shady garden that needs some color to brighten it up. Find out our picks for the best plants that grow in shade.
Now that my garden has grown into its own, I have a lot more shade than I used to. Which means that I have had to swap out some of the original full sun plants for plants that grow in shade. And I thought I’d share my favorites!
Most of my garden is made up of perennial flowers, vines and shrubs and I like to use low maintenance plants whenever possible, so that’s mostly what you’ll find below…with a few exceptions 🙂
Of course, my mother’s garden has always been pretty shady, so she has A LOT of experience planting in the shade…and has provided that great information in some of the links below.
Shade Loving Shrubs
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To make my garden as easy to maintain as possible, I use a lot of shrubs. As long as you give them enough space to grow, they usually don’t require much work (definitely my type of plant!) and they provide a backbone for the rest of the garden.
Fortunately, there is a pretty good selection of bushes that grow well in the shade, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some you like.
Click the links below to get more information about our favorite shade loving bushes.
- Shade loving bushes to plant under trees
- The best evergreen shrubs for shade
- Deer resistant shade shrubs
- Tree peonies (Yes…there are peonies that grow in the shade!)
- How to grow Rhododendrons and my favorite Rhododendron varieties
- Mountain Laurel
- Japanese Maples
- Japanese Pieris
Perennial Flowers That Thrive In Shade
Perennial flowers make up another large part of my garden. Since they come back every year, you only have to plant them once to enjoy many years of flowers in your garden.
And generally speaking, they make for a pretty low maintenance garden (another good thing in my books!)
Here are our favorite shade loving perennials:
- Ground cover perennials that thrive in the shade
- Tall flowering perennials for shade
- Blue and purple perennials for part shade
- Shade perennials to plant with spring bulbs
- Deer resistant shade perennials
- Japanese anemones
- Winter hardy ferns
- Hostas and Hosta varieties
Shade-Hardy Flowering Vines
I don’t know if you have noticed, but it is really hard to find flowering vines that grow in the shade and are not invasive. So when I find one I add it to my list!
Container Plants For The Shade
When you have a lot of shade in your garden, that usually means your containers are in the shade, too!
I love to plant blue flowers in blue planters on my shady deck, and you can find my favorite container plants for shade here:
- The best annuals for shade
- Blue plants for containers in the shade
- Red, white and blue flower pot combinations
- Window box flower combinations (inspired by Charleston flower boxes)
We will be updating this page with new links as we expand our shade garden library, so be sure to check back later for more information!
Do you have suggestions for other gorgeous plants that grow in shade? Tell us in the section below.
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This post was originally published on August 3, 2017 but was updated with new content on December 12, 2021.
Hi Wanda, beautiful as usual. Which ones do the deer not like. Russ has a lot of trouble with the deer. They even eat off the plants in his planters on his veranda.
Hi Aunt Elaine…sorry I just saw your comment. Here’s the link to the post about Deer Resistant Plants. He must have some really brazen deer if they are coming up that close to the house!
We’re trying to grow shade plants that are native to the Pacific Northwest.
Most ferns love shade: sword fern, maidenhair fern, and lady ferns.
Also look at Trilliums, sorel, bleeding heart and corydalis.
Thanks for the suggestions, Kay Lyn! I think growing native plants is a great way to have a successful garden. I really love ferns, too!