Plants and Flowers That Love Shade

No matter how well-designed your garden is, it is going to have some spots without enough light to nourish the sun lovers in your garden. Fortunately, there's a wide variety of plants adapted to grow in partial or full shade. Whether you love lush greenery, bright floral displays or a bit of both, you can find something to brighten up the darker corners of your landscape.


Most ferns are shade-loving plants. Many are traditional woodland plants have adapted to live in the understory of forests where their large leaves give them an advantage in capturing the limited available light. Ferns enjoy rich, fertile, moist soil with plenty of organic matter. They grow slowly and do not have seeds. Instead, they spread by rhizomes and by spores which grow on the undersides of their leaves.


Originating from Asia, hostas are a group of hundreds of bulbs that yield spectacular leaves and lily-like blossoms. The leaves come in a variety of colors, from dark blue to gold, in lush groupings. Many strains have leaves which change color over the season, growing darker or lighter. Flowers are from white to lavender in dense, attractive groups. Some hostas like partial, afternoon shade combined with morning sun, while darker-leaved varieties like deeper shade. They like rich, well-drained and slightly acidic soil.


Vines are a natural choice for the shade beneath a tree or the deep shadow of a wall. Many have attractive structures, lush foliage and bright flowers, enhancing their appeal. Trumpet vines, with their bright, aptly named flowers attract hummingbirds do your garden for several months at a time, while they continue to bloom. They grow aggressively, and can reach heights of 40 feet in some cases. Clematis vines can live for 20 years or more and come in a wide variety of strains with flowers of different shapes and colors. Climbing hydrangea is a good choice for nearly any situation, as it will thrive in zones 4-10 and can tolerate anything from full shade to full sun.

Keywords: shade loving plants, shade loving flowers, flowering shade plants

About this Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has nearly five years' experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.