Liven up a dark area of the garden with a blooming shade plant. Blooming shade plants grow in a wide range of sizes, shapes and blooms colors, each with its own distinct growing requirements. Some are evergreen to ensure a constant bit of color to the garden. Helping to bring vibrancy to an underused section of the landscape, blooming shade plants create a stunning display.
Hellebore (Helleborus --- hybridus cvs.) is an evergreen perennial with a clumping growth pattern and moderate growth rate. Growing 1 to 3 feet tall and wide, hellebore has 2-inch wide, saucer-shaped flowers that grow in a wide range of colors including, yellow, pink, purple and white. Emerging in late winter to early spring, the flower remains attractive for many weeks to months. The frost-tolerant and shade-loving hellebore flowers have the ability to bloom among snow and deep freezes, making for a hardy shade plant variety. Yet, they tolerate heat and humidity. The shiny, leather-like foliage is green to remain vibrant throughout winter. Hellebore flowers grow best in part to full shade and neutral to alkaline soils that are nutrient-rich and well-drained. To grow in other areas of the garden, divide hellebores after flowering. Plant hellebores in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 4 to 9.
Chapman's rhododendron (Rhododendron minus var. Chapmanii) is an evergreen shrub with an open, spreading form. Growing 4 to 8 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide, Chapman's rhododendron has puffball-like flowers that emerge in late spring to light up the garden. Growing 4 inches wide, the flowers are pale pink and speckled. The lustrous green leaves grow 1 to 2 inches long and remain colorful all year long. Heat-tolerant, Chapman's rhododendron grows best in high shade and well-drained soil. Plant in USDA zones 7 to 9.
Creeping myrtle (Vinca minor 'Illumination') is a perennial ground cover with a moderate growth rate and spreading habit. Deer- and drought-tolerant, creeping myrtle grows 6 to 12 inches tall and over 30 feet long. The flowers on creeping myrtle are periwinkle blue to grow 1-inch wide. The foliage is gold with a dark green edging that surrounds each leaf. Tucked into a container or used as edging, creeping myrtle creates a showy garden display. Creeping myrtle requires full shade and well-drained soils to thrive. Plant in USDA zones 4 to 9.