Shade gardens can challenge the gardener, since fewer plants grow well with limited sun. Gardeners don't have to sacrifice color and flower when faced with a shade garden; several brightly colored plants thrive in part to full shade. Just because plants like shade doesn't mean they are ascetic in their other needs as well. Continue to nurture shade plants with water and fertilizer to keep them healthy.
Coleus provides vivid color for shade gardens, with leaves in hues of yellow, green, fuchsia, pink, purple and scarlet. Native to Java, this plant grows as an annual. Plants range from 8 to 24 inches in height. A member of the mint family, coleus does not experience many diseases and can be propagated via seed or cutting. Coleus grows in part sun to full shade.
Fuchsia or ladies' eardrops (Fuchsia x hybrida) is native to Mexico and South America. These grow well in containers or in the ground in shady spots. Fuchsia bears multicolored flowers in shades of purple, red, white and pink. Gardeners can choose trailing or erect types of fuchsia. These plants prefer moderate temperatures and cease flowering above 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hostas originated in Asia and bear large, broad leaves and generally inconspicuous purple or white flowers on long stalks. These have been growing in the United States since the 1800s. The leaves vary in color from bright green to dappled green and white or green and yellow. These shade plants are perennial and will grow quite large. Gardeners can create new plants by dividing their hosta in the spring.
Astilbe--also known as false spirea--varies from 1 to 5 feet tall and exhibits clumping behavior. This perennial grows in part to full shade and blooms from two to six weeks during the summertime. Astilbe flowers range from white, cream or pink to red and violet. Astilbe foliage may be light or dark green and is ruffled.