10 Plants That Grow Well in the Shade
Black Lily Grows Well in the Shade and Looks Spectacular
Many Plants Prefer Full Shade or Half-Shade
When I wrote a web page about 10 Plants That Grow in the Shade, I had not intended to do a sequel. However, I had overlooked so many beautiful plants that I wanted to show you more of them, so that you can see how many choices you have when planting up a shady area in your garden.
Many new gardeners bemoan having too much shade in their garden. This is understandable if they just wanted to sunbathe, but if you think that nothing much will grow in the shade, think again - I will show you how to choose appropriate plants which will gladden your borders throughout the year.
Think of it as a challenge. You'll be thrilled with the results.
Here is a List of the 10 Shade Tolerant Plants Shown in this Article on Gardening - One or two of the Shade Loving Plants are Unusual, but most are quite common
With thanks to the many readers who gave their suggestions about plants that grow in shade
- Lily of the Valley
- Impatiens Also Known as Busy Lizzie
- Columbine or Aquilegia
- Jack in the Pulpit
- Dryopteris erythrosora
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1. Astilbe - Pink and Purple Feathery Plumes
There are about 18 different varieties of Astilbe
Astilbe comes in a range of colours, including white, pink, mauve and red. They grow to about 3ft tall, and flower in summer with glorious plumes.
Astilbe is quite at home in full shade or dappled shade, and its small leaves are very ornamental, and give a good show, even when the plants are not in flower.
2. Lily-of-the-Valley a Delicate Little Flower That Blooms in Spring
Lily-of-the-Valley is also known as Convallaria Majalis
Lily-of-the-Valley is a small perennial woodland plant which grows about 12" high from rhizomes. It flowers in late Spring, but will flower early if the winter has been mild - in my London garden if flowered in May this year.
The flowers are like delicate little bells, white tinged with green, and so pretty. According to my research, they can become a bit invasive, but regrettably this has never been the case in my garden, and, until this year, I have found them a bit difficult to grow. This could be because I have tried to grow them in the sun on my rockery, and perhaps they just didn't like that position.
This year I tried growing them in full shade in a pot which I kept well-watered. They were far more successful than the rockery group.
3. Hostas With Variegated Leaves - They Grow Well in Pots
There are many varieties of Hostas
Hostas are grown as much for their broad ornamental leaves as for their somewhat insignificant short flowering blue or white flowers
They are perennials, and die off in autumn, to start producing their clump of leaves in late Spring to early Summer. The leaves vary in colour from pale green or yellowy green in some types, to very dark green or blue-green in other types, or even variegated stripes. They make good ground cover in the shade.
Sadly slugs and snails love them, and can wolf down the lot in one night. I have even bought some which were said to be "slug-resistant", but they certainly weren't, and they just went the same way as the others. This can be very annoying if you have paid a lot for them. Not all gardens have a lot of slugs, and you might be lucky. In my garden, I have found the secret is to grow them in large planters, with a copper ring round the outside, which stops slugs in their tracks. You can buy the strips of metal at garden centers.
4. Busy Lizzie or Impatiens
Impatiens Also Known as Busy Lizzie
Impatiens grow in various shades of white, pink, salmon and red and can brighten up a dark and shady border. They do need some sunlight, but will tolerate partial shade.
They are long flowering, and usually treated as annuals, although in warmer climates they may be perennials. As they like warmth, they should not be planted outside until late Spring. They rarely need dead-heading, but if they look straggly, you can cut them back a little, and they will sprout new flower heads, and last from Spring through to Autumn.
5. Trillium Grandiforum
American wood lily is also known as large white wood lily ,snow trillium, wake robin, or white wake robin
Trillium is a perennial plant which grows vigorously in full or part-shade. It grows from rhizomes in a large clump with erect stems, which bear just one white flower with three petals, up to 10 cm. across, in Spring. It grows to about 6 - 9inches (10 - 15 cms) high, with a similar spread.
It needs a sheltered position and likes moist but well drained humus-rich soil, mulching with leaf mould in Autumn. As propagation by seeds takes several years to mature, it is preferable to divide the rhizomes after flowering.
They look good planted under shrubs and roses.
Trilliums do not need pruning and are normally disease-free, but are liked by slugs and snails.
An ornamental Hose Reel
Very long hosepipe, easy to wind, and looks nice in the garden
Take This Poll About Propagating Plants - See How You Measure Up Against Other Pollsters
Have some fun! What's the extent of your enthusiasm - are you a real gardener, or just playing?
Do you grow plants from seeds, or do you acquire them when they are growing in pots?
6. Columbine or Aquilegia Comes in Many Different Colors
Columbine or Aquilegia has delicate bell-shaped flowers and attractive foliage
The flowers of Columbine or Aquilegia range through white, yellow, pink and mauve, with many different combinations. Aquilegia are perennials with long leafy stems which bear flowers with spurs. The plants are hardy, and will grow in half-shade or sun. They grow to about 1ft (30 cm.) high and flower in Summer. Grow them from seeds sown in pots in Spring, and transplant into fertile, moist but well-drained soil. They look good in a rockery as well as in flower beds.
Aquilegias are very pretty - one of my favourite plants. They self-seed and, once estabished, the number of plants increases year by year.
7. Jack in the Pulpit
Jack in the Pulpit is also known as Arisaema candidissimum
White, hooded spathes, striped pale pink, with a greenish tube are 10cm in length and appear in summer. The flowers are carried on long upright stems which grow to about 1 ft. (30cm.) high, followed by a spike of red berries in autumn.
The plants are perennial bulbs and are not fully hardy, possibly needing protection in winter. They grow in full sun or partial shade and like a sheltered position. The bulbs should not be allowed to dry out over winter when dormant. They like a moist, well-drained soil and can be propagated by seeds sown in Autumn or Spring.
Jack in the Pulpit look good in informal gardens, flower borders or as underplanting of roses and shrubs. They don't need to be pruned. They are susceptible to slugs and vine weevil.
They are toxic and can cause skin or eye irritation, or severe discomfort if eaten.
8a. Anemone de Caen Has Brilliant Colours in White, Red, Pink, and Purple
Anemone de Caen - Nothing Subtle About These Colors!
Anemone de Caen will grow in partial shade provided there is plenty of light, although they do best in a sunny spot. They need a sheltered place, well drained soil and compost or manure. They bear very brightly coloured red, white, pink and purple flowers in June and may bloom for several months.
Anemone de Caen are Ideal for planting in borders, rockeries and tubs. They grow to about 10 inches (20 cm) high.
They are good as cut flowers, when they will last for 7 to 10 days.
Plant the tubers with the pointed end upwards, soaking them overnight first. If you plant them in Autumn, protect them by covering with straw or dead leaves.
Although people say that Anemone de Caen is easy to grow, I have never had much success with them. This is not through want of trying, as I love them - so, clearly, I have not given them the appropriate conditions to flourish. I can only warn you to follow the growing instructions carefully when you buy them.
8b. More Anemones - This time Anemone Japonica
Anemone Japonica or Japanese Anemones are Either Pink or White
These are my favourite anemones - the colors are more subtle than that of their little cousins.
They are perennials and, once established, they spread by suckers and by self-seeding. They need to be kept strictly under control if you don't want them to take over the whole garden, but they are what I call good-value flowers, as you'll find them blooming from mid-summer to November or even December if the weather is mild. The leaves are attractive in their own right, so the plants look ornamental even before the flowers develop.
They grow to about 3 - 4 ft. tall. so remember not to plant them in the front of your flower borders.
9. Epimediums are Low-Lying Ground Cover Plants
Epimedium are forest plants and need moist, free draining, humus rich soil, and shade.
Their new leaves are tinted in bronze, copper and reds, turning purple, and red in autumn in some varieties. Apply a mulch to protect new growth from frosts.
10. Dryopteris Erythrosora - Also Known as Buckler Fern
Dryopteris Erythrosora (Buckler Fern) is easy to grow
Dryopteris erythrosora is a hardy fern that grows in partial or full shade, and prefers moist heavy soil or clay .
It grows to about 1 foot (60 cm) high, and spreads a similar amount. The fronds are coppery red when emerging and mature to dark green, dying back in winter.
Dryopteris erythrosora needs a lot of water and will benefit with the addition of compost or well-rotted leaf mould.