Perennial Shade Plants for Missouri

Missouri incorporates the U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4b to 7a on the map. This range of temperatures assures frigid winters and warm summers. In shaded areas, temperatures are cooler than in full-sun locations. Perennial shade plants for Missouri are well-suited for these cooler temperatures.

Indian Wood-Oats

Indian wood-oats, Chasmanthium latifolium, is also known as spangle grass, wood oats, wild oats and northern sea oats. It is a perennial grass that grows 2 to 5 feet tall and clumps with 1-inch-wide leaves and 1- to 2-inch flowers on spikelet clusters. Green grass turns tan in fall and a red-bronze in the winter. Grow this in partial shade in dry or moist soil. It will also tolerate full sun. Propagate via seed or division, and grow in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9.

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Bottlebrush buckeye, Aesculus parviflora, is a hummingbird-attracting shrub. It gets 8 to 12 feet high and 8 to 15 feet wide. Leaves are 3 to 8 inches long, starting bronze and maturing to green and then yellow. Flowers are in 8- to 12-inch panicles, and white. Grow this plant in any soil that isn't too limey and in partial shade. Propagate via seed or cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8.

Carpet Bugleweed

Carpet bugleweed, Ajuga reptans, is a fast-growing perennial that gets 6 to 10 inches high with dark green oblong leaves 3 to 5 inches long and flowers one-half inch long and purple-blue. Grow this plant in partial to full shade in any moist soil. Propagate via seed, cuttings and spreading stolons. Grow in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9.


Bracken, Pteridium aquilinum, is an easy-to-grow perennial that is drought-tolerant. Fronds are in clusters 1 to 3 feet long. Grow in any light from full sun to just about full shade in dry acidic soils. Propagate by rhizome or spores, and grow in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 11.


Hosta, Hosta spp., is a shade-loving perennial that gets 6 inches to 3 feet tall with leaves up to 2 feet long depending on the cultivar. Flowers are on stalks and look like summer lilies. Hosta is a foliage plant that prefers fertile moist soil with shade or partial shade. Propagate via clump division, and grow in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9.

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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.