Plants for shade and foliage are great choices for under tree gardening or those areas that don’t get much direct sunlight. Green shade plants give nice vibrant foliage and some are evergreen so they won’t drop their leaves and keep that full look all year long. Foliage plants can be used in many applications from containers on porches, to hanging baskets, to filler plants in shade gardens.
The palm sedge is from the sedge family and has the botanical name of Carex phyllocephala. It is an evergreen grass-like perennial. It has stems 1 to 2 feet long with dark green leaves. Grow in partial to full shade in moist soil. Propagate via seed or division in USDA hardiness zones of 7 through 10, zone 6 for the non-variegated form of the palm sedge.
The lady palm is from the palm family and has the botanical name of Rhapis excelsa. It is an evergreen that get can 10 feet tall with green divided leaves. Leaves are held on 12- to 18-inch stems. Grow in shade to partial shade in nearly any soil. Propagate via clump division or seed in USDA hardiness zones of 9 through 11.
The holly fern is from the polypody fern family and has the botanical name of Cyrtomium falcatum. It is an easy to grow perennial that is evergreen. It will get 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Fronds are dark green. Grow in acidic soil with the ability to be well drained. Partial to full shade is best for a holly fern. Propagate via division in USDA hardiness zones of 6 through 11.
The hosta is from the lily family and has the botanical name of Hosta spp. It is a perennial that has many shapes, leaf colors and sizes. Most will range from 6 inches to 3 feet tall. Grow in moist fertile soil with shade or partial shade. Propagate via division every 3 to 5 years in USDA hardiness zones of 3 through 9.
The asparagus fern is from the lily family and has the botanical name of Protasparagus densiflorus. It is an evergreen, easy to grow, fast-growing perennial that is drought tolerant. Leaves are featherlike, light green and 2 to 6 feet long. There will be white flowers and red berries. Grow in partial shade with regular watering. Propagate via division or seed in USDA hardiness zones of 9 through 12.