Too much shade can hinder the growth of many plants, causing them to droop over and produce less flowers, or no flowers at all. Gardeners who have a lot of shade, whether caused by wide reaching shade trees or urban structures, still have plenty of options for lush, beautiful plants that need shade.
Originally native to Eurasia, Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) is a striking plant that produces its signature waxy white blooms as early as mid winter, sometimes even flowering through snow. The plant also boasts lovely deep green foliage. The ultimate shade flower, Lenten rose will grow in light shade to heavy shade. The woodland plant prefers soil that is loose and rich. Though adaptable to dry soils, Lenten rose does best in moist soil.
Native to the southeastern United States, oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is a deciduous shrub that reaches heights of up to 10 feet tall. Somewhat ungainly and coarse in appearance, the oakleaf hydrangea looks attractive below a larger tree. The plant is notable for its foliage, which turns shades of red and purple in the fall. It produces thick clusters of white flowers that can be easily cut for a long lasting bouquet. Oakleaf hydrangea does best in partial shade, though it will tolerate almost complete shade. The plant requires limey soil, and though drought tolerant, the flowers will fare better with regular watering.
Boasting huge, elephant ear-shaped leaves, giant taro (Alocasia macrorrhiza) is a perennial foliage plant native to tropical regions of Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia. The lush green plant is often used as a tropical backdrop to flowers or for its edible rhizomes and shoots (although these should only be eaten with those who know how to prepare them properly). Giant taro does best in partial shade and will tolerate full shade as well. Giant taro should be grown in humus rich, moist soil.