Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Part Shade Perennial Flowers

By Gen Schmidt ; Updated September 21, 2017

While gardening in shady conditions can be challenging, part shade doesn’t mean you can’t grow perennial flowers. In fact, there are a number of perennial bloomers which thrive in part shade and will bloom profusely for you.

When choosing perennial flowers for part shade, keep in mind that most prefer moist soil with plenty of organic matter or compost mixed in. Another element to keep in mind when selecting flowers for part shade is that bright flower or foliage colors can brighten up a shady corner of the garden. White, light purple, pale pink, and golden foliage can all help a shade flower stand out in the garden.

Dalmatian Bellflower

Dalmatian Bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana) is an easy-to-grow bellflower which thrives in part shade. It blooms off and on spring through fall, and when it blooms it becomes covered in masses of purple bell-shaped flowers.

Dalmatian Bellflower harmonizes well with other woodland plants that enjoy part shade, and it thrives in USDA zones 4 to 7. It can also tolerate wet soil conditions.

Dwarf Goat’s Beard

Dwarf Goat’s Beard (Aruncus aethusifolius) has deep green, finely cut foliage with a fern-like appearance. Its delicate leaves give way to airy white blooms which come up in cone-shaped spikes in early to mid-summer.

Dwarf Goat’s Beard grows well in USDA zones 3 to 9, and prefers partial shade. It grows to 2 feet tall and around, and blooms at the same time as Dalmatian Bellflower.

Onyx Odyssey Lenten Rose

Onyx Odyssey Lenten Rose (Helleborus ‘Onyx Odyssey’) is an exotic-looking Lenten Rose with double burgundy to black flowers. It blooms in winter, and the nodding black flowers make long-lasting cut flowers in a vase.

Onyx Odyssey Lenten Rose grows to 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, and thrives in part shade gardens. It grows in USDA zones 5 to 9, and has deep green foliage.

Color Flash Lime Astilbe

Color Flash Lime Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii ‘Beauty of Lisse’) is a golden-leaved Astilbe which shines brightly in the part shade garden. It has light pink flowers in summer which are held in cone-shaped spikes above the bright gold foliage.

Color Flash Lime Astilbe needs constantly moist soil, grows to 2 feet tall and wide, and thrives in USDA zones 4 to 8. It looks best massed in groups and grown underneath tree ferns or large flowering shrubs.

Krystal White Columbine

Krystal White Columbine (Aquilegia caerula ‘Krystal’) is a long-blooming species of columbine which has pure white flowers. The blooms on this part-shade loving perennial are larger than that of most columbines and are fragrant.

Krystal White Columbine prefers compost-laden soil with plenty of organic matter, grows in USDA zones 3 to 9, and blooms from spring through mid-summer.


About the Author


Gen Schmidt has been a landscaper in Northern California since 1998, and a professional garden writer since 2008. Her education includes a certificate of completion in environmental horticulture from City College of San Francisco. She is the owner of North Coast Gardening, a garden website for the Pacific Northwest.