Green Circle Growers Blog

Plants that Are Made for the Shade

Green Circle Growers - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Most gardeners find shady areas a challenge to plant. Hostas, also known as Plantian Lilies, are a popular choice for shady garden spots. The green hues and variegated patterns of this leafy plant make an attractive filler under mature shade trees and along shadowy garden paths. Hardy ferns are another group of shade-loving plants that usually spring to mind when gardeners shop for plants that require minimal sunlight. But when planting a shade garden, gardeners need not limit themselves to these two popular standbys. There are quite a few shade-tolerant plants available at local garden centers that can bring a delightful variety of color and texture to shade plantings.

Consider using some of the shade-tolerant plants in the following list to brighten the dark corners of your yard. With proper watering, newly-added shade perennials still have ample time to become well-established before frost which will allow you to reap the full benefit of their beauty next summer.

  • Aquilegia, commonly called Columbine, is native to North America and is self-seeding so it may not stay where originally planted. This spring-bloomer is prized for its unusual spur-like flower and blooms in shades of yellow, red or blue. Aquilegia prefers partial shade.
  • Astilbe, also called False Spirea, has attractive fern-like leaves from which a stalk topped by a colorful feathery spike blooms from late spring through fall. Astilbe grows best in light to medium shade and prefers moist soils.
  • Heuchera, or coral bells, can be found in a wide variety of leaf colors from chocolaty brown and deep purple to pink and orange. Growing in low, leafy mounds, they produce long stalks of tiny bell-shaped flowers in either the spring or summer, depending on variety. Heuchera thrives in light to full shade with periodic watering.

More shade garden tips next time