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Shade Plants: Celebrate What’s Lurking in the Shadows

Updated on April 1, 2016
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Tammy is an avid gardening writer and love the horticulture field. Selling USDA licenses plants to all states and 13 foreign countries.

In the hot months of Summer, sometimes shade is our most valuable refuge. When Spring is in full swing, those shady areas are also quite moist. It may seem like this would pose a challenge to a newly transplanted plant, but some plants are lovers of the more heavily veiled sections of the garden.


Celebrate shade dwellers, and utilize their beauty to create a calm and cozy area in any back yard. Spaces that lack sunlight in the backyard design do not have to remain barren. Liven up the soil under trees or tall shrubs with a few of nature’s unique shade dwellers.

Take a look at this comprehensive collection of the plants that thrive in the darker areas of a landscape. Create a new look this Spring and a cool place to relax and retreat from the festering heat of Summer.

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Sister Theresa (Astilbe arendsii)

Attempt an intervention with those dark, dank corners of the garden. The lush blooms of the pink Astilbe flowers will brighten up any dull space. They’re deer resistant and require little maintenance. Full shade is a happy home for Sister Theresa. It matures comfortably in growing zones three through eight.

Sister Therese


All Summer Beauty, Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

This gorgeous, bushy plant stays true to its name. All Summer Beauty provides blue blooming pompoms all throughout the Summer months. They are known for attracting various species of birds. They love full shade and are suitable to be planted in growing zones five through nine.

All Summer Beauty


Rose Trillium (Trillium catesbaei)

Adding a slight pink shade to a predominantly white, drooping bell flower, the Rose Trillium brings a calming essence to the garden shade. Like the other plants on our list, they are ideal for repelling deer. They love the full shade, and they are suitable for zones five through eight.

Rose Trillium


Spiderwort Sweet Kate (Tradescantia)

For a striking royal purple shade, plant a few Spiderwort Sweet Kates in the garden. These purple buds will add contrast against the shaded green of any planting area. They offer an extended blooming time but need to grow in a pot before planting. Loving the shade, Spiderwort Sweet Kate is most suitable for producing in zones three through nine.

Spiderwort Sweet Kate


Red Cardinal Flower


Deep Red Cardinal Flower (Lobelia speciose)

Every area of the garden needs a showy red flowering plant. The Red Cardinal Flower will most definitely fit that bill. They are excellent for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden. They love shady areas and mature efficiently in zones three through nine.


It is not necessary to shy away from the areas of the yard that do not receive direct sunlight throughout the day. In fact, there are plenty of different species of plants that prefer this setting. With just a small amount of research, it is easy to compile a list of favorites to plant for this dank season upon us.


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