Dry Shade Garden Plants

Garden plants can grow best in a variety of conditions, but shade plants are going to be ones that prefer to be out of direct sun. For shade plants that will thrive in dry locations, pick ones that are termed "drought-tolerant." Shade plants are great to plant under trees, next to tall fences or building, or any spot in the landscape where there is less sunlight.

Oysterplant

Tradescantia spathacea, the oysterplant or boatlily, is from the spiderwort family. It is an evergreen perennial that is easy to grow and drought tolerant. It gets 6 to 12 inches long with an 8 inch stem. Leaves are long and sword-like with white flowers. Grow an oysterplant in any soil with light shade. Propagate via cuttings or seed in USDA hardiness zones of 9 to 11.

Sasanqua Camellia

Camellia sasanqua, the sasanqua camellia, is from the tea family. It is a fragrant, evergreen, drought-tolerant shrub. It gets 4 to 15 feet tall with 1 ½ to 4 inch wide flowers in fall and winter. Leaves are glossy and a rich green color, 1 inch long. Grow in acidic soil in broken shade. Propagate via cuttings in USDA hardiness zones of 7 to 9.

Coontie

Zamia pumila, the coontie, is from the coontie family. It is an evergreen perennial that is drought tolerant and easy to grow. It gets 3 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. Leaves are 3 feet long, dark green, and fern-like in their fineness. Grow a coontie in dense shade (it will tolerate full sun too) and water when soil is dry. Propagate via seed in USDA hardiness zones of 8 to 10.

Asparagus Fern

Protasparagus densiflorus, the asparagus fern, is from the lily family. It is an evergreen perennial that is fast growing, easy to grow, and drought tolerant. It gets 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Leaves are light green stems 2 to 6 feet long. White flowers are in summer and ½ inch wide. Grow an asparagus fern in partial shade with regular watering. Propagate via seed or division in USDA hardiness zones of 9 to 12.

Bracken

Pteridium aquilinum, the bracken, is from the bracken fern family. It is an easy to grow perennial that is drought tolerant. Fronds are 1 to 3 feet long that emerge from a rhizome. Grow in almost full shade (will tolerate full sun too) in dry acidic soils. Propagate via spores or rhizome pieces in USDA hardiness zones of 3 to 11.

Grand Crinum Lily

Crinum asiaticum, the grand crinum lily, is from the amaryllis family. It is a fragrant evergreen perennial that is drought tolerant. Leaves are dark green, strap-like, and 3 feet long with tubular flowers in white. The plant gets 5 feet tall and 7 feet wide. Grow in well drained soil in partial shade or sun conditions. Propagate via offsets in USDA hardiness zones of 9 to 11.

Keywords: shade plants, garden plants, drought tolerant

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.