Gardening in shady areas can be both challenging and rewarding. The challenges include growing plants successfully among aggressive tree roots and matching the right plants with variable light conditions. The rewards include creating unique plant settings and textures that constantly evolve with the changing light.
What Does it Mean to Be Part-Shade?
Full sun, part shade, dappled light, indirect light. There are so many ways to define the types of light in your garden. There’s morning shade vs. afternoon shade. There’s the dappled, filtered or heavy shade under trees. Plus, it all varies with the seasons. When you know the type of light you have, you can better select plants to thrive there. Pay attention to your shady garden in all seasons and all times of day.
Armed with an understanding of your shade patterns, you can begin choosing plants. The classics include azalea, hosta, hydrangea, coleus, bleeding hearts (dicentra), and ferns. Simply visit the “shade section” of Homestead to see the expansive array of hues available to ‘brighten’ your shady areas.
Our Favorite Shade-Loving Perennials
Plants with light-colored flowers will beautifully brighten shady areas. Also consider species with strikingly textured or variegated foliage – they’ll look good all season long. And don’t forget bulbs like snowdrops, irises and lilies that will naturalize in shady areas. Some wildflowers will also naturalize. In difficult areas, choose native woodland plants.
- Hosta, Hosta ssp. – Hostas are one of the easiest shade-loving perennials to grow. They come in many varieties of sizes and shapes, and thrive best in evenly moist, well-drained soil in full shade.
- Yellow corydalis, Corydalis lutea – These perennials are known for being the longest bloomers in shade, with the prettiest pop of bright yellow. These do best in full to part shade.
- Hellebore, Helleborus ssp. – Known as the Christmas or Lenten Rose are one of the easiest bloomers or flowering shade plants. They produce burgundy, pink, cream, green, or white flowers. These sturdy, drought-tolerant, shade-loving plants are also deer- and rabbit-resistant.
- Astilbe, Astilbe Arendsii Group – These feathery flowers come in shades of burgundy, red, pink, lavender and white, with finely cut foliage and accents of bronze. They can grow up to 3 feet tall depending on variety and thrive in the shade.
- Japanese forest grass, Hakonechloa macra – This waterfall-esque greenery comes in varieties of bright gold, yellow, or white variegation and are the perfect filler for shady areas.
- Hydrangea, Hydrangea ssp. – These big, beautiful balls of blooms love the shade, and we love their bright colors. They thrive best when they can get a bit of sun in the morning but shade for the rest of the day.
Don’t neglect the shady areas on your property – grow perennials to beautify them!
Have questions on which shade-loving perennials will thrive on your property? We’re here to help. Email us at [email protected], or visit our stores.
And please follow us on social media and share photos of your shade-loving plants! Because we love plants as much as you do!