Names of Plants That Cannot Tolerate Sun

All plants need some sunlight. Even plants that cannot tolerate the sun need a small amount of light to survive, but this amount is minimal or negligible. Whether you are gardening indoors or your garden space is limited to a copse of trees, there a wide array of plants that are ideal for full shade. In addition to the ones you choose to grow, some shade-loving plants will insinuate themselves into your garden and surprise you.


Philodendrons are climbing vine-style plants that are commonly grown as houseplants. They are tropical plants that naturally grow on the forest floor and prefer low to medium light, withering in full sunlight. Philodendrons prefer humidity and a warm to moderate climate. The Philodendron is a genus of plants, with many different species.

Bird's Nest Orchid

The bird's-nest orchid, or Neottia nidus-avis, is a saprophyte, meaning it is a plant without chlorophyll that survives on decaying vegetation. This odd plant is closer to a fungus than a houseplant and is more likely to be found growing underneath your beech tree than as an intentional inclusion in a garden.


Bugleweed, or Ajuga reptans, is a common ground cover plant for shady gardens and walkways. The small flowers of this plant range from white to red to purple and blue. Although this plant can tolerate full sun as well as full shade, the plant is proportionately smaller when exposed to sunlight. Bugleweed will grow very quickly and spread to other areas if it is not contained.


Delicate wildflowers with colorful blooms that tolerate shade are hard to find. Luckily, impatiens flowers come in nearly every color of the rainbow. These plants will wither and die when exposed to too much sun. Impatiens is an entire genus of plants, with plenty of varieties to choose from.


Grown indoors or out, this shrublike perennial is known for its bright green and occasionally striped foliage. Hostas grow in clumps that can reach more than 2.5 feet wide. Some varieties produce odorless white or purple flowers that tend to bloom in late summer. The hostas that best tolerate shade are the ones possessing blue-tinted leaves. Hostas are a genus of lilylike plants.

Blue Bells

Bluebell flowers can be cultivated intentionally or can show up in a garden unexpectedly. Bluebell flowers are perennials and members of the Hyacinthoides genus. They are primarily found in the wild in deeply wooded areas. Bluebells are marked by bright or pale blue flora.

Keywords: shade plants, full shade, partial shade, plant cannot tolerate sun, indoor plants, shade garden

About this Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello is an eclectic writer from Ohio. Tumbarello has ghostwritten for a number of years, and has just started to publish her own work. She is an avid animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society and is currently pursuing her associate's degree in veterinary technology.