Gardening in the shade can be difficult because shade reduces your plant choices. Shade is defined as less than four hours of direct sun per day, while part shade is less than six hours of direct sun per day. The north side of a building is generally shaded, while the east side gets morning sun and afternoon shade. If you love pink flowers, there are some excellent shrubs and perennials that produce abundant blooms in the shade.
Max Vogel Japanese Anemone
Max Vogel Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida "Max Vogel") blooms in fall, when few other plants are blooming. It grows to 3 feet tall, with pink flowers held above the foliage. The blooms make excellent cut flowers. This anemone looks particularly good with other woodland plants that thrive in shade, such as astilbes, ferns and fuchsias.
Max Vogel Japanese Anemone grows well in USDA Zones 3 through 9 and thrives in part shade to shade. It prefers constantly moist soil.
Pink Elf French Hydrangea
Pink Elf French hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla "Pia") is a petite variety of bigleaf hydreangea. It only grows to 2 to 3 feet tall. It prefers moist soil and part shade conditions, and has bright pink flowers in summer.
Pink Elf French hydrangea thrives in USDA Zones 5 to 11, and can tolerate seacoast conditions and can be grown in containers. The flowers can be cut and put indoors in a vase for a long-lasting bouquet.
Inshriach Pink Astilbe
Inshriach Pink astilbe (Astilbe simplicifolia "Inshriach Pink") is a shade-loving perennial with fluffy pink, cone-shaped blooms held above fern-like foliage. This astilbe grows to 1 foot tall by 2 feet wide, and blooms later than most astilbes, in mid-summer.
Inshriach Pink astilbe thrives in USDA Zones 4 through 9 and can tolerate deer and very wet soil conditions.
Bronze Wing Rhododendron
Bronze Wing rhododendron (Rhododendron "Bronze Wing") is a stunning rhododendron with deep bronze new foliage in spring. It has huge trusses of pale pink blossoms in April to May, and it grows 4 to 5 feet tall.
Bronze Wing rhododendron grows in USDA Zones 7 to 10, prefers part shade and needs regular watering to get established, after which is it more tolerant of having less summer water. Rhododendrons prefers acidic soil and need a thick top dressing of mulch or compost to thrive.