If your yard has a sunny location, consider planting a variety of tropical plants, such as coral bells. Coral bells have spires of small pink or white blooms, and they emerge in late spring and last through early summer. They grow eight to ten inches tall and have colorful foliage that changes color in the fall. These plants attract hummingbirds. They also tolerate full shade well and require minimal care.
If you want a flowering plant in the shade, try the popular ligularia. Ligularias are easy to grow and bloom in the late summer and early fall. They are part sun plants that reach between three and six feet in height. They produce large yellow flowers, and their leaves are richly colored, ranging from deep green to maroon. Ligularias can be difficult to grow in full sun, but with the right conditions, you can enjoy the show.
In full shade, Ligularia will produce smaller blooms. They will need supplemental watering to keep them from wilting in hot summers. Ligularia also likes a moist, organic soil. It would benefit from a compost amendment. They will also need some shade, so keep in mind this. The best Ligularia plants for full shade are best planted in partial sun, as they will wilt in full sunlight.
Most ligularia varieties are easy to care for. However, they are very picky about their growing conditions. They prefer moist, well-drained soil and part shade. They do not mind boggy sites, but they prefer shade or part shade. For best results, plant them in moist, part shaded areas. To help them retain moisture, amend the soil well before planting. This way, you’ll be sure they get the moisture they need.
Coral bells need a sunny spot in the yard to thrive. Because of their shallow roots, you’ll need to provide consistent watering once they’ve established themselves. Water frequently during periods of drought or extreme heat, and be sure to deadhead the flowers to ensure they bloom again the following year. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with brownish-looking leaves. Coral bells are drought-tolerant once established, but they still need plenty of water throughout the summer months.
In areas of the U.S. with moderately humid climates, coral bells grow well in full shade. If your zone is 6b or warmer, you can overwinter coral bells in containers. They prefer partial shade, and will require additional water to establish. In colder regions, they require full shade or partial shade. Then, prune them every spring for the most beautiful foliage. However, if you live in a part-shade area, they’ll thrive in full shade as well.
The bright yellow flowers of coral bells will attract hummingbirds to your garden. They’ll visit your garden in late Spring and continue to bloom throughout the summer and early fall. They’re excellent cut flowers, too! So, when it comes to choosing the best plants for full shade, remember that there are plenty of choices out there. Once you’ve decided on which coral bells will do well in full shade, you can start planning your planting.
If you are in the shade in your yard, Hosta is a great choice. The leaves of this perennial are deep blue and have a distinctive rippled edge. It needs partial shade or dappled shade. June hosta is compact, with blue and yellow leaves. It is a great choice for partial shade gardens. Its tall violet flowers attract bees and birds, and are very striking.
For maximum effect, plant hostas in groups with spaced plants at least one plant’s mature width apart in the center. They will need consistent moisture to flush out their foliage. Soil that is too clay-rich or too rocky will not do. You can amend it with organic matter. If the soil is too sandy or compacted, you may need to apply fertilizer monthly. This will help the hosta grow well.
The hosta family is hardy in most parts of the country (except the warmest). The only problem is that they are a favorite of deer, who may prefer other perennials such as ivy or ferns. However, you can rest assured that hostas will survive the shade. Among the many varieties available, ‘Autumn Frost’ is a beautiful hosta that will bloom in early spring. ‘Empress Wu’ is an exceptionally large green hosta that will reach maturity in about five or six years.
Japanese painted fern
When it comes to planting a fern, few plants are as versatile as the Japanese painted fern. The foliage is a beautiful whirl of variegated green, gray, and burgundy fronds. This low-maintenance perennial is hardy and drought-tolerant, and can grow in the shade. Once established, it spreads slowly in the shade to form a lush, elegant ground cover.
Japanese painted ferns grow well outdoors in USDA hardiness zones three through eight. They prefer a rich soil with a high organic content and a moderate amount of moisture. They do not require supplemental fertilizers, though they can benefit from a top-dressing of organic matter. In addition to this, the Japanese painted fern rarely needs to be fertilized. Pests and diseases rarely bother this plant, so it is a great choice for full shade gardens.
For a stunning display in the woodland garden, choose a Japanese Painted Fern. Its silvery fronds, contrasting with the pulsing burgundy veins, will liven up any shady spot. It also makes a great border plant or mass planting. These natives of eastern Asia look fantastic with contrasting shade-loving perennials. This versatile plant will look great in any part of the landscape, so consider adding it to your next landscaping project.
Some of the best plants for full shade are perennials that can survive the heat of the summer. Pulmonaria is a good choice for a shady spot because of its long, narrow leaves that are completely silver, spotted, or splashed with silver. They are very showy and come in different colors and can be divided in the fall. Astilbes are great choices as well because of their rich foliage, which can be a rich shade of bronze, green, or even wine red.
Other full shade-tolerant plants include spiderwort (also known as widow’s tears). It is a pretty plant that can grow up to two feet tall. A variety known as Sweet Kate has chartreuse-colored leaves. Meadowsweet has anti-inflammatory properties and does well in damp, shaded conditions. It can tolerate a moderate amount of moisture. Aside from being a beautiful plant, it also has architectural qualities. The RHS has a good list of shrubs for full shade and their zones of hardiness.
Impatiens are one of the best plants for full shade because of their colorful foliage and long-lasting flowers in early spring. Impatiens can overwinter in the soil, but New Guinea impatiens are resistant to this disease. Hydrangeas are another great plant for full shade and provide impressive blooms from early summer to fall. Their foliage can vary in color, from dark green to lime green, but they usually prefer shade.
Whether you have an empty space under a tree or want a colorful groundcover, Periwinkle is the plant for you. This plant can tolerate full shade and even thrive in pots. Its hardy nature and colorful flowers make it an excellent choice for shady gardens. It can tolerate very little water, making it ideal for shady areas. And because of its drought-tolerant nature, it doesn’t require much water once it’s established.
There are many varieties of periwinkle, but the most popular is Illumination periwinkle, or vinca minor ‘Illumination’. This plant has a unique, alternating dark green leafage rimmed in yellow. Moonlit Periwinkle has ruffled purple flowers, with dark evergreen leaves trimmed with yellow rims. Both varieties are drought-tolerant, but beware of overwatering as both are prone to overwatering.
To avoid these pests, space your periwinkle plants properly. Plant them in a nutrient-rich soil and ensure that they get enough water. In humid conditions, they can become susceptible to root rot and canker. Proper drainage will prevent these problems. If you do find an infected plant, it’s best to remove it. Alternatively, you can divide it with pruners.
This shrub can tolerate partial shade but does better in dappled shade. It grows up to 6-7 feet high and is widely tolerant of varying exposures. The ideal light for this plant is dappled shade; the oakleaf hydrangea grows well in inland and coastal areas. Oakleaf hydrangeas can also tolerate full sun.
The oakleaf hydrangea is primarily a native to the United States. The only other native variety is H. arborescens. It is relatively easy to grow and has four distinct seasons of interest. It blooms in late spring and continues to flower into early summer. It also has lovely yellow foliage in the fall. If your landscape doesn’t have any direct sunlight, you can plant an oakleaf hydrangea in a shady area for its spectacular fall color.
The oakleaf hydrangea grows well in dappled shade, but it doesn’t tolerate wet feet. It will suffer from root rot if the soil is soggy, so ensure the soil is free of debris. It’s also tolerant of dappled shade and partial shade. Oakleaf hydrangeas are hardy in USDA zones 5-9. They can also grow in containers and in foundation plantings.