When gardeners refer to "shade conditions," they're generally describing a range from partial shade with three to six hours of sunshine a day, to full shade with less than three hours. Ground covers that like shade do well under trees where they can spread out and cover a lot of territory. Use the plants to fill in the spaces in the shade of a tall building or tall plants, and in window boxes on the shady side of a house. Even in the shade, there is no spot that has to go without a splash of color.
Meehan's mint (Meehania cordata) grows from 4 to 6 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide. The plant produces medium-sized dark-green leaves and small, deep-blue flowers that resemble a snapdragon, and bloom in late spring and early summer. Plant Meehan's mint in full or partial shade and a soil that is moist. The plant is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 9.
Variegated Peuce Masterwort
Variegated peuce masterwort (Peucedanum ostruthium 'Daphnis') is a native of France that grows from 20 to 23 inches tall and 18 to 23 inches wide. The plant produces fragrant gray-green leaves with white edges and large white flower clusters that resemble Queen-Anne's-Lace and bloom in early- and mid-summer. Plant variegated peuce masterwort in full or partial shade and a soil that is rich and moist. The plant is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.
Common periwinkle (Vinca minor) is a native of Europe and western Asia. The plant is an evergreen that grows from 3 to 6 inches tall with a spread of 23 to 35 inches. The plant produces dark-green, elliptical-shaped leaves that measure from 1 to 2 inches long. The blue flowers measure 1inch in diameter blooming from April through summer. Common periwinkle dose best in partial shade and a soil that is moist, well-drained and fertile. The plant is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.
Bunchberry dogwood (Cornus canadensis) is also known as Canadian bunchberry. The plant grows from 3 to 6 inches high with oval, dark-green pointed leaves that turn wine-red in the fall and encircle the stem right below the cluster of four green-white flowers. The flowers bloom from May through September and are followed by similar clusters of red berries. Plant bunchberry dogwood in full sun, partial shade or full shade and a moist soil. The plant is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 1 to 9.