Shade-Loving  Plants

for where  the sun don’t shine

Though unfit for heavy shade, with at least a little morning sun each day, hydrangeas deliver bountiful blooms in spring and summer, with some pretty fall foliage to boot.


These hardy flowers can not only survive in shade, but they do so with gusto, rewarding gardeners with a fragrant golden-yellow fruit.

The playful fronds of this hardy shade plant initially develop in a pleasing shade of light green, then darken as the fern matures.

Satisfyingly easy to grow, this exotic-looking perennial shade plant stands out from the rest in low-light garden beds.


One spectacular species to try is Cornus florida, a tree with reddish-purple fall color surpassed only by its famous white flowers in spring.


A range of hues appear, even in a single bloom, and if stored in a dry spot over winter, their tubers can be recycled the following year.

This is a fast-growing shade plant that can reach heights of up to 30 feet tall (with the right guidance) and is just one of many stunning climbers for shade.

One of the most ubiquitous flowers in the U.S., impatiens flowers also are among the most shade tolerant.


A deer- and disease-resistant shade plant, some species can grow to be 8 to 12 feet high and make an attractive hedge.


Tough enough to handle shady spots with moist or wet soil on its own, astilbe—instantly recognizable by virtue of its colorful spikes—arrests the eye when grown in clumps.

Each variety of this plant boasts different leaf textures, whether scalloped, velvety, or fringed—and add incredible depth and variety to shady beds in any landscape.


Known commonly as lungwort, pulmonaria has a reputation for being one of the easiest low-light perennial plants for shade.