Annual Flowers for Part-Shade

Shade gardening can be a challenge for any gardener. To ensure the plants grow and flower under part shade conditions, give extra care to the plants. Water frequently, because rainwater is often deflected by whatever is creating the shady condition. Apply fertilizer, if necessary, and ensure there is well-drained soil.

Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) flowers from spring to early fall. The flower color ranges from purple to red to white and the flowers are lightly fragrant. These small plants work well for edges and ground cover with a height of 3 to 10 inches tall. These plants are not drought tolerant and grow best in cool weather.

Wax Begonia

The wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum) has dark green or bronze leaves with thick white, pink or red flowers. The leaves are thick, like a succulent plant, and the flowers are small and grow in clumps. These flowers bloom all summer. Most often, the wax begonia grows to 6 to 12 inches tall and prefers moist, well-drained soil. Wax begonias are used to cover beds because they have a tendency to spread. You can also grow them in containers.

Forget Me Not

Forget me not (Myosotis sylvatica) flowers come in blue, pink or white, however the blue flowers are the most well known. The plants grow 6 to 18 inches tall and do not tolerate drought. The soil should be well-drained. This plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8.


The pansy (Viola) is often planted in early spring, as this plant does not tolerate heat well. The flowers are blue, purple, white, orange, red, yellow or combinations of those colors. These flowers grow 8 to 12 inches tall and work well in hanging baskets. Spent flowers should be removed regularly to keep the plants blooming.


The periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) flowers from spring to fall with pink, purple, red or white flowers. The flowers sit flat on top of the oblong leaves, creating a texture contrast. The leaves are dark green and slightly waxy. This is a drought- and heat-tolerant plant.

Horned Violet

The horned violet (Viola cornuta) is also known as Johnny jump-up. These flowers bloom in early spring, fall and winter and are blue, bi-colored, purple, white or yellow. They grow to a height of 8 to 12 inches and do not tolerate drought. Often, these annuals are one of the first plants that gardeners add to their garden in beds or containers.

Garden Balsam

The garden balsam (Impatiens balsamina) or rose balsam is a taller plant that prefers part shade. The double flowers look like roses. The most interesting thing about this plant is that the seed pods explode when touched. The garden balsam grows to 1 to 2 feet tall and prefers sandy soil with continuous moisture.

Keywords: part shade flowers, part shade annuals, shady flowers, annuals for shade

About this Author

Carla Locke is based in Oberlin, Ohio, and has been writing since 1998. Her writing career began in technical writing and has expanded into Web content. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in biology and an Associate of Applied Business in e-business technology.