Flowering Perennial Shade Plants

Shady areas are typically all about foliage over flowers, as flowers usually need more direct sunlight. There are some perennial shade plants that will still give you interesting blooms in partial- to full-shade conditions. These perennial plants aren't hard to find and will give you year after year of production without having to replant and will add beauty to that problem shady spot in your landscape.

Florida Anise

Florida anise, botanically called Illicium floridanum, is also known as purple anise, star anise, or stink bush. It is fragrant, evergreen, and a wetland shrub. It will get 10 feet high with smooth leaves 2 to 6 inches long. Flowers are 2 inches wide and have an unpleasant odor. Colors will vary depending on the selected cultivar. Plant Florida anise in partial to full shade in moist and mulched soil. Propagate by cuttings or by seed and grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zones of 7 to 10.

Dancing Ladies Ginger

Dancing ladies ginger, botanically called Globba winitii, is also known as dancing girls ginger. It is perennial and reaches 2 feet tall with lance-like leaves and yellow flowers with purple or white bracts. The flowers will appear off and on from July through fall. Plant dancing ladies ginger in fertile, well-drained soil in full shade. Propagate via rhizome cuttings or by clump division and grow in USDA zones 8 to 11.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf hydrangea, botanically called Hydrangea quercifolia, is a shrub that will clump to reach 6 to 10 feet in height and slightly bigger in width. Yellowish green leaves are 4 to 12 inches long with white-fading-to-pink flowers 3 to 5 inches wide. Plant an oakleaf hydrangea in limey soil and partial to nearly complete shade. Propagate via clump division or by green-wood tip cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.

Common Periwinkle

Common periwinkle, botanically called Vinca minor, is a perennial vine that is evergreen, fast growing, and easy to grow. Leaves get 2 inches long and funnel-like flowers are violet-blue and 1 inch wide. It will get 4 to 8 inches tall. Plant a common periwinkle in shade for a groundcover or by full sun for flowers. Propagate via shoot division and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 4 to 9.


Primrose, botanically called Primula vulgaris, is an evergreen with leaves up to 10 inches long and tubular yellow flowers in clusters. The flowers can be fragrant. Plant a primrose in partial shade in moisture retentive soil. Propagate via division, stem cuttings, or by seed and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 4 to 8.

Keywords: Perennial shade plants, partial to full shade, shade loving plant

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.