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Plants for shade – Hand-picked selection

There are plenty of great garden plants to grow in partial to full shade. Here is a list of all of the varieties I can think of.

Columbine (Aquilegia) - plants for shadeIt’s not easy finding the right plants for shade or areas of the garden that get little direct sunlight. I think that it is important to get the most out of your garden and value every square inch of it by ensuring that you cram as many plants in as possible. But there will be spots in the garden where most plants suffer to grow – places in partial or total shade that even the weeds fear to venture into. For such barren plots, we must remember that in the natural world nature always finds a way to populate every nook and cranny with flora and fauna. To celebrate this, I have compiled a “plants for shade” list, that you might want to try in your own garden.

Here is a selection of shade-loving plants that you might want to consider for that awkward spot in the garden. You’d be surprised on what you can grow in partial to full shade.

Plants for a shady garden

  • Acer
  • Aconitum grows
  • Actaea simplex
  • Anemone Jobert
  • Anemone Pamina
  • Astilbe
  • Astrantia
  • Balloon Flower
  • Baptisia
  • Begonia “Cowardly Lion”
  • Begonia “Escargot”
  • Begonia “Fireworks”
  • Bell Flower (Campanula carpatica)
  • Bergenia
  • Bishop’s Hat (Epimedium grandiflorum)
  • Brunnera macrophylla
  • Busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana)
  • Camellia
  • Campanula, Bellflower
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
  • Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)
  • Coralbell, Alumroot
  • Cornus Alba Sibirica
  • Crinum Powellii
  • Daylily
  • Dryopteris filix-mas
  • Epimedium
  • Euonymus Albovariegata
  • Foam flower (Tiarella)
  • Foxglove
  • Fuchsia, Bleeding Heart
  • Garden Phlox
  • Geraniums
  • Globe Thistle
  • Goat’s Beard (Aruncus dioicus)
  • Heuchera
  • Impatiens namchabarwensis
  • Japanese Anemone
  • Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum)
  • Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)
  • Leopard’s Bane (Doronicum orientale)
  • Ligularia
  • Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Peony
  • Primrose
  • Ranunculus
  • Redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana)
  • Rhododendron
  • Snowdrop Windflower (Anemone sylvestris)
  • Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum humile)
  • Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias)
  • Strawberry geranium (Saxifraga stolonifera)
  • Toad lily (Tricyrtis)
  • Trillium grandiflorum (Wood lily)
  • Veronica, Speedwell
  • Viburnum
  • Viola
  • Woodrush (Luzula sylvatica)
  • Yarrow

Plants for full shade

  • Amsonia
  • Asters
  • Aucuba
  • Bamboo Pleioblastus Variegata
  • Box (Buxus)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Cyclamen
  • Daphne laureola
  • Euphorbia
  • Helleborus
  • Hosta
  • Ivy
  • Lungwort (Pulmonaria)
  • Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera)
  • Skimmia

For the ultimate plants for shade, I’d recommend: Hydrangea anomala petiolaris (Climbing Hydrangea). This tough, shading loving climber will happily scramble up a dark north facing wall and cover it with lovely green leaves and white flowers.

By James Middleton

An obsessive gardener since 1982. Day-time job - web designer and developer and University lecturer.

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