Many flowering plants need lots of sun in order to thrive and produce their colorful blooms. But some just love the shade, so if you have a mostly shady yard, fear not—you can add color and interest with plants like hostas, astilbe, impatiens and bleeding heart. Some shade-loving flowers are annuals and others are perennials. You'll need to evaluate your property to learn whether you have light shade, part shade, filtered shade or full shade before you make your choices of plants to grow (see Tips).
Select the plant(s) you want to grow, depending on the amount of sun (or lack of it) that your yard receives. For example, hostas perform well in light to full shade (see Tips).
Dig in compost, peat moss, bark and other organic materials to enrich the soil in your shady area. Different plants have different needs, but if you think of a forest setting where shade-loving plants grow, often a rich, thick layer of loam or mulch exists due to dropped leaves and other organic materials from the trees that provide the shade.
Dig holes slightly larger than the nursery pots in which your plants arrived. Empty your plant(s) from their pot(s) and then set them into the holes. Gently fill them with the soil you dug out, patting it down gently around their bases.
Water thoroughly and keep most shade-loving plants moist.
Bait or trap snails and slugs because they live in cool, dark and damp environments. You can purchase snail and slug bait at your nursery, or scatter diatomaceous earth around your shady garden bed. Try beer traps if you prefer a nonchemical solution to rid your garden of these pests.
Evaluate how well your shade-loving plants bloomed and prospered at the end of summer. If one plant pleased you more than another, you might want to plant more of that one the following spring.