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Shade-Loving Trailing Plants

fuchsia image by Alison Bowden from

Just because a spot of your garden is shady doesn't mean it has to be dull. Many shade-loving plants have bright flowers or striking foliage that can add color and contrast. Trailing, shade-loving plants can be used to cover the edge of a rock garden, dangle from hanging baskets or fall like a wave of water from a tall planter.

Trailing-Scandent Begonia

Trailing-scandent begonia (Begonia solananthera), also known as Brazilian heart begonia, can grow to 8 feet long, trailing its waxy leaves from baskets or even up a trellis. Most varieties of the trailing-scandent begonia have small leaves and bloom in clusters of pink, red or white flowers. It is a tender perennial that is treated as an annual in USDA Hardiness Zones below 10b.

False Lamium

False lamium (Lamiastrum galeobdolon), also called yellow archangel, is a perennial evergreen that is almost like a vine. Its 3-inch leaves are dark green, but a more decorative cultivar has variegated silver and dark green leaves. False lamium produces small spikes of yellow flowers in the late spring. It works well as a ground cover or trailing over the edge of a planter. It is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9.


Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.), also known as ladies' eardrops, flowers almost continuously outdoors from spring to fall. There are about 100 species of this shade-loving plant. Fuchsia is well-suited for hanging baskets because of its trailing stems and bell-shaped flowers. The flowers come in pink, magenta, red, purple and white, and they can be double or single. It can grow to 6 feet or taller, but potted plants will remain more manageable. Fuchsia is a tender perennial that is hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11.

Licorice Plant

Licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolatum) is a tender herbaceous perennial grown as an annual in non-tropical areas. It is hardy to USDA zones 9 to 11. Licorice plant has silver-green leaves that are covered with fine, white hairs. Its yellow and white flowers come in branching clusters. It prefers part shade in well-drained, sandy soil. Licorice plant's vine-like, bending stems grow to 3 feet long, making it an excellent ground cover or plant for hanging baskets.

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