Plants That Love the Shade

For gardens under trees and in shady spots in the landscape, gardeners look toward shade-loving plants to grow. These are perfect plants for those areas that do not get full or filtered sun, places where a garden is still preferred. Some good choices for a shady area include cardamom, foxglove, lady palm, hostas and primrose.


Cardamom, or Elettaria cardamomum, is from the Zingiberaceae, or ginger, family. It is a perennial evergreen that grows up to 12 feet in height with dark green leaves and white or yellow flowers. Elettaria cardamomum needs filtered shade with constant moisture and a warm temperature. Propagate via rhizome division.


Foxglove, or Digitalis purpurea, is a member of the Scrophulariaceae, or figwort, family. It is a short-lived perennial with tubular flowers in a variety of colors and green or white leaves. Digitalis purpurea needs partial shade and regular watering with a cool climate and moist acidic soil. Propagate via seed.

Lady Palm

Lady palm, or Rhapis excelsa, is from the Arecaceae/Palmae, or palm, family. It is an evergreen plant that grows 10 feet tall with green divided leaves and scar-patterned trunks. Rhapis excelsa needs shade or partial shade and can adapt to the soil conditions. Propagate via clump division or seed.


Hosta, or Hosta spp., is from the Liliaceae, or Lily, family. It is a perennial plant with 50 to 70 different species and leaf patterns. They range from six inches in height to three feet in height. Hostas need shade or partial shade and a neutral pH soil. They need regular watering and summertime mulchings. Propagate via root clump division.


Primrose, or Primula vulgaris, is from the Primulaceae, or primrose, family. It has semi-evergreen leaves that are wrinkled and up to 10 inches long. Tubular flowers, mostly yellow, can be on six-inch stalks. There are many different colors of primrose. Primula vulgaris needs partial shade and rich soil. Propagate via seed, division or stem cuttings.

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Keywords: shady spots, shady area, plants that love shade

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.